Dr. Sharon PoczterDr. Sharon Poczter, chair of the strategy and entrepreneurship department at Sy Syms School of Business, published a piece in Inc. titled “This Fundamental Problem Can Kill Your Startup–Here’s How to Avoid It.”

Dr. Poczter noted that “presented with the everyday existential challenges of a startup—from funding to competition—founders often overlook one extremely important set of choices for their long-term strategy: organizational design.” Three initial questions can help business owners get a handle on what design their organizations need: 1) Who does what?; 2) How will we coordinate the work?; and 3) Who will report to whom? And these questions need to be asked and answered at the very start-up of the start-up because organizational structure “is much more difficult to change retroactively.”

She suggested two simple ways to incorporate efficient market elements into a company’s design. First, “flexibility in roles and titles is necessary,” and, second, “employees should be organized into customer, product, or market-focused projects rather than strictly functional groups (such as marketing, finance, and operations), and given the freedom to move between projects.”

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