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IT Maturity, Inc. Newsletter #10

Learn How to Mechanically Tune Your Executive Team (FREE Tool Included)!   


The basic membership of modern executive teams includes: Geographic leaders, Product leaders, Process leaders, Enterprise sub-process leaders, and Enhancement-Integration-Advancement leaders.

Geography, Product, and Process are familiar concepts, but what is an Enterprise sub-process? And what is an Enhancement-Integration-Advancement leader?

To understand Enterprise sub-processes you need to realize that enterprise activities, those activities where the enterprise interacts with its larger environment as an entity (e.g. public relations, government relations, investor relations, legal), can and should be turned into processes. And to further realize that all of these enterprise activities are sub-processes in the larger enterprise process bucket.

The most confounding organizational abstractions are those of Enhancement, Integration, and Advancement , which are one and the same activity applied to different domains. In all cases they correlate with efforts to improve elements of the business/enterprise. Enhancement includes improvement of critical business processes. Integration includes both Partner and Vendor integration, where partner integration includes working with sales channels as well as mergers and acquisitions. Vendor integration includes vendors providing services, software, and hardware (including parts) and the larger supply chain.  Advancement includes putting new technology into both Product and Service.


To better understand these concepts we will explore an example executive team from a hypothetical multi-national corporation. The executive team is composed of the following members in addition to the CEO. Note that, as simplifications, support staff have been removed from the picture, and abstract team names are used.

  • Geographic Region 1 Lead
  • Geographic Region 2 Lead
  • Geographic Region 3 Lead
  • Geographic Region 4 Lean
  • Process - Finance Lead
  • Process - Product Development Lead
  • Process - HR Lead
  • Process - Marketing Lead
  • Process - IT Lead
  • Enterprise Sub-process - Communications Lead
  • Enterprise Sub-process - Legal Lead
  • Enterprise Sub-process - Government Relations Lead
  • Enhancement/Integration/Advancement (Improvement) Lead

Observation 1: The CEO, in essence, is the enterprise process lead, so there should be no surprise that many enterprise sub-processes are part of his direct team. In the above example this includes Communications, Legal and Government Relations Leads.

Observation 2: Many processes leads are regional as opposed to being at the enterprise level. In other words this organization is not a symmetric process based organization. No organization should be expected to be symmetric across any leadership category. To understand this, let’s look one level deeper into one of the Regional Leads’ team: 

  • Geographic Region 1 Lead
    • Geographic Sub-region 1 Sales/Service Lead
    • Geographic Sub-region 2 Lead
    • Product Line 1 Sales/Service Lead
    • Product Line 2 Sales/Service Lead
    • Product Line 3 Sales/Service Lead
    • Region Process - Manufacturing Lead
    • Region Process - IT Lead
    • Region Process - HR Lead
    • Region Process - Marketing Lead
    • Region Process - Finance Lead
    • Region Enterprise Sub-process - Legal Lead
    • Region Enterprise Sub-process - Government Relations Lead
    • Region Customer Experience Lead (Advancement Lead - as described above)

In analyzing this sub-team many asymmetries can be seen. We see the Sales, Service, and Manufacturing process leads that were missing from the CEO’s team, as well as other process leads, are asymmetrically aligned with regions, sub-regions and products.

Also note the variation between Geographic Sub-region 1 and 2 Leads. The Geographic Sub-region 2 Lead would have Sales, Service, Manufacturing, Finance, IT, and other sub-region process leads as part of his team, as opposed to the Sub-region 1 Lead, which leverages everything but sales and service from the larger region.

How specific asymmetries are chosen is based upon culture, process, and legal motivations that underlie the differentiation or isolation in regions and sub-regions. In the above sales, service, and manufacture are particularly differentiated by region. Thus, there are organizational asymmetries that exist around those processes. An example motivation for one of these asymmetries would be cost structures for manual labor being different in different regions, which motivates more manual manufacture processes or more automated manufacture processes for a region.

We discuss further below how to methodically identify which asymmetries will be most effective for your own organization.

Observation 3: To understand Enhancement/Integration/Advancement, let’s look one level deeper at the Enhancement/Integration/Advancement Lead’s team:

  • Enhancement/Integration/Advancement (Improvement) Lead
    • Process - Supply Chain Lead (i.e. Vendor Integration)
    • Enterprise Partner (Mergers and Acquisitions) Lead (i.e. Partner Integration)
    • R&D Lead (i.e. Product Advancement)
    • Innovative Product 1 Lead (i.e. Product Advancement)
    • Innovative Service 1 Lead (i.e. Service Advancement)
    • Critical Business Process 1 Enhancement Lead (i.e. Business Enhancement)
    • Customer Experience Lead (i.e. Hybrid Product/Service Advancement)

Note that several different types of improvement are missing from this high level team.

  • First, lower level partnership improvements are not included, but are rather delegated to marketing and sales organizations.
  • Second, only one type of process hybrid is captured. Other possible hybrid process enhancements might include a hybrid product development and manufacturing enhancement where manufacturing rules are incorporated into the product development process so that products can be designed for higher quality, as well as cheaper and quicker manufacture.
  • Third, only one critical business process enhancement has been identified for high level attention. Many other processes might benefit from executive level attention.
  • Fourth, only a couple of product and service advancements have been identified for high-level attention.  Again, many different products and services might benefit from executive level attention.

The general concern in this situation, is whether or not the organization understands that they are delegating many types of improvement lower in the organization, and whether they have a methodology to escalate improvements and innovations up the organization chain when necessary.


Was rigor use to make asymmetrical slices along regions and products or was it intuitive. Rigor requires collection of data, analysis of the data, and then creating a structure based on the data and analysis. For organizational structures what data should be collected? What data indicates when an organizational structure is working effectively or causing issues? Further, the collection of data, analysis, and creation of effective structures needs to occur near-real-time so that organizations can adapt as their environment changes.

ITMM Leadership Improvement identifies what data to collect, how to do analysis, and how to create structures. The above discussion was a short synopsis of what structures can be created for the highest levels of an organization, including geographic, product, process, enterprise sub-process, and improvement structures. Data that can be collected and analyzed includes tracking of management, organization, extent, culture, and vision leadership activities. All of this is discussed in greater detail in the ITMM Leadership Improvement Online Training available at:

Key Takeaways!

  1. Understand basic organizational elements - process, product, geography, enterprise, and improvement.
  2. Improvement needs occur across the full context of the organization (see ITMM LIO), whether or not it sits in a top level office.
  3. There are numerous hybrid process opportunities available that should be leveraged via organizational structures.
  4. You should use mechanistic tools (like the ITMM LIO) to track, analyze, and evolve your organizational structures.  

All of these items are covered in greater depth in ITMM LIO Training.

Executive Team Self Analysis Tool

Geography Leads

Product Leads

Process Leads

Enterprise Sub-Process Leads

Improvement (Enhancement/Integration/Advancement) Leads

Gaps, Issues, Asymmetries, Delegations
Example 1: Asymmetry: Low cost for manual manufacture and regulations (legal reasons) in regions 3 and 4 forces different manufacture processes.
Example 2: Asymmetry: Sales and Service in region 4 is through a distributor channel for legal reasons.
Example 3: Delegations: Non-critical partnerships, business process enhancements, and product and service improvements can be delegated lower in the organization.

For a FREE high-level analysis of your organizations structure fill out the above organizational structure information and the below contact information and hit the submit button.






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