Tips for Entrepreneurs

Structure is important in your business

By October 27, 2009 No Comments
The Performing Arts Center, Denver, CO

The Performing Arts Center, Denver, CO

I am currently reading Creating Magic – 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney by Lee Cockerell, thanks to Bill Cotter who gave me a copy of the book. You can buy a copy here at Amazon.

One point leaped out at me immediately. 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 then 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.

Cockerell concludes the chapter by saying that you should evaluate your current organizational structure by asking yourself these questions:

1. Does the operation run smoothly in your absence?

2. Are the lines of accountability, responsibility and authority clear?

3. Are decisions made easily and efficiently?

4. Does information flow smoothly to all levels?

5. Do answers get to the right people quickly?

If this resonates with you, you will also love reading Traction – Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman. You can buy Traction here. You will learn about EOS – the Entrepreneurial Operating System – which is a framework to implement Cockerell’s strategy in your business.

Do you agree with Lee Cockerell and Gino Wickman? How are you making this happen in your business? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Photo credit: Ishrona

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