Is your business model or organizational structure ready for tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges, or does it still reflect your “hey days” of the past? If your firm did not exist and you were to create it new today, what would it look like?

It’s true, many organizations today are designed exactly to succeed in their past. Why quarrel with success? Your current model got you this far, it should continue to serve you well.

Yet, while today’s challenges (revenue growth, expense management, client trends and needs, talent acquisition, talent management, talent retention, and a very uncertain economy) sound familiar, they are very different and extremely more difficult to solve than even just a few years ago. New solutions are needed to face these familiar problems. A new structure may be needed also.

There came a point in our company’s evolution that we found ourselves too home office centric for our own good. We were no longer listening to the voice of our client or our field reps who really knew what was going on. We were no longer high touch yet working in a relationship-driven environment.

I decided we had to deploy certain decision-making authority and client relationship management into the field, all around the United States. It was hard, no one liked breaking up the old gang, but after a lot of meetings and communication, it became clear to most that we had ceded (literally) valuable competitive ground to our competitors.

We made many necessary moves, including many procedural changes to accommodate our newly empowered field leaders. It became clear we had made the right changes to our operating model.

We became high-touch again, dropped some unnecessary expenses, invested in new offerings and approaches and generally better equipped ourselves to join our clients and help them face tomorrow’s challenges.

It was not easy, but I was convinced we were on an unsustainable track until we redesigned our model. How is your model working out? Let me hear from you…