It’s time we addressed the monster in the room.
There’s something we need to talk about. It affects many marketing teams out there.
Do you no longer recognise how your team structure fits together?
Have you accidentally ‘created a Frankenstructure’?
Nine telltale signs that you might have a Frankenstructure
- There isn’t an up to date org chart. If there is an org chart in existence it’s covered with red pen, with new lines and boxes crossed out and added- ‘Why’s Gary still on this thing, he left two years ago?’
- There’s been a steady increase in the contract staff to permanent staff ratio as you wait to figure out a new structure
- Every position description is out of date compared to the work that people are actually doing
- The job levels, job titles and responsibilities between teams are askew. Have you been asked these questions? ‘Why does Aisha get paid at that level when she has no staff?’ and ‘Why does John have the same job title as Amirah but get paid 2 grades lower?’
- Teams are constantly stepping on each other’s toes or at loggerheads as there’s either no clear lines of accountability, and/or too much duplication of functions
- Nobody really knows what other people in the team do, what their goals are, or worse still their names
- The structure doesn’t align to the marketing strategy or pay enough focus to core customer segments
- You’re over-resourced in some areas and poorly resourced in others
- You’re lacking key in-house functions that you need to compete
Four common conditions that may result in a Frankenstructure
- The team has either grown or shrunk rapidly over the years with a lot of knee-jerk changes to make budget cuts or quickly increase headcount to solve an immediate problem
- You’ve absorbed or merged with departments in a rather ad-hoc way
- There’s been a few marketing directors come through in quick succession all changing the org structure by adding or removing positions
- Everyone’s been too busy getting on with the job to stop and strategically review the structure and analyse if it still makes sense. Do you remember the last time your team structure was strategically reviewed?
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Teams often grow and change over time, with arms and legs being added, cut off and added again. It works for a while, and you make do. But there comes a time when the bandages and stitches holding the structure together come apart. This is typically followed by dysfunction, silos, politics and staff disempowerment. With a team in this state, meeting your targets becomes almost impossible.
Fortunately, it’s treatable. Knowing you have a Frankenstructure is the first step, doing something about it comes next. Sadly, this work is often put off because:
- It’s hard and it can be difficult to know where to start
- It takes time, which is always in short supply for Marketing Directors and Managers
- It’s taxing on people if done incorrectly- we’ve all got the scars of change management done poorly
- It’s difficult to get a frame of reference to know if a new structure is any better than the old one, or what best practice looks like.
But we all know that it’s the hard work that often creates the biggest results.
It reminds me of the urgent/important matrix. You intrinsically know that creating an aligned, high-performing, modern marketing team is important. But it may not feel urgent because, like a frog in boiling water, it’s been like it for so long that you’ve stopped paying attention to it. So instead, attention drifts back to the non-important, urgent tasks.
At Growth Generators we love fixing Frankenstructures. We’ve seen them in all shapes and sizes.
We work alongside the marketing leader using an adapted design-thinking process that helps you build an aligned, modern marketing team that drives growth. Check if out and see if you can apply it to your situation.
And if you need any help, then please have a look at our Team Remodelling services.
Check out episode 12 of our Podcast “How to tame a Frankenstructure” to find out more information such as the 7 things you can do to tame your Frankenstructure.
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration from other leading CMOs who describe how they’ve structured their team and driven team transformation, then subscribe to our Podcast.
Don’t let your Frankenstructure hold you back. Tame the beast.