First time CEOs and entrepreneurs often call me to discuss how to structure their organization. Common questions include: Should I hire a COO or not
? Who should the VP Marketing
report to? How should I split up product and engineering? Should international build out its own functions or be matrixed with US headquarters?
There is often fear in the mind of the entrepreneur that there is a “right” answer to how to structure an organization and that if they screw it up by doing the “wrong” thing the implications could be disastrous. This is an incorrect perspective. Most of the time there is no “right” answer and org structure is really an exercise in pragmatism – i.e. what is the right structure given the constraints you face in terms of the talent available to your company, the set of initiatives you need to pursue, and a 12-18 month time horizon.
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