Creating Magic – 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney, by Lee Cockerell, is a great business book.
Organizational structure matters. Lee Cockerell makes the point in the second chapter with his Strategy #2: Break the Mold.
Cockerell tells the story of moving to France to help create Disneyland Paris where he immediately learned that success would depend largely on the quality of the restaurants, given that Europeans love their food.
He realized that the issue was that, in most hotel chains, the chefs report to a food and beverage director, who in turn reports to the general manager. On the other hand, world class chefs are more like artists and their kitchens and dining rooms are their studios. Therefore they prefer working in free standing restaurants rather than hotel chains and resorts.
Cockerell solved the problem by eliminating the middle layer and had the chefs report directly to the general manager, giving them the autonomy they thrive on. He was then able to recruit the top chefs because he told them that working at Disney was like working in an independent restaurant, where the only person they answered to was the owner.
Take a look at how your business is structured and ask yourself these questions:
- Will the way you’ve structured your organization foster good communication throughout the organization and rapid decision-making to advance each function of your business?
- Are the lines of accountability clear – does everyone know who they report to?
- Are roles and responsibilities absolutely clear for every seat in your organization – does each person know what you expect from them?