How to Use Competitor Org Charts for Organizational Design
April 06, 2021
by Krista Bradford

Competitor Org Charts for Organizational Design

Competitor org charts are a must-have tool for organizational design. As the rate of change in business accelerates, companies are shape-shifting for competitive advantage. Companies reorg and restructure to bring down costs, spur new growth, and strengthen profitability. But where, exactly, to begin?

A good starting place is getting your hands on org charts of your competitors.

Examining how a competitor is structured offers you competitive intelligence that you can take to the bank. In fact, org chart intelligence can be harnessed for organizational design to drive profitability.

Org Charts for Cost-Cutting

If your goal is cost-cutting, competitor org charts are a powerful tool to inform thinking around how best to do that. Cost-cutting doesn’t always mean reducing headcount.

For example, if the percentage of overall headcount for your competitor’s IT team is twice the size of your company’s team, but other teams are comparatively smaller — it may suggest that they’re using technology to keep costs and headcount low. 

If that’s the case, upsizing your IT team may help you save money.

Org Charts for Streamlining

Studying the org charts of profitable competitors can also help you figure out how to best streamline your organization to reduce costs and drive efficiency,.

Eliminating a layer of middle management, an under-utilized function, or under-performing business may look good as a line item in a financial statement. But change-agents need to make sure that they don’t break a company’s ability to function.

A corporate structure that facilitates efficient workflow and enables future changes without disruption is ideal. Looking at the organizational design of competitors (or other kinds of companies) can give you ideas about how to best to structure your own organization.

Org Charts for Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a huge driver in organization design.  However, you can’t just plug the latest technology into existing systems and expect everything will run like clockwork.

You must consider how that technical advancement will affect the entire organization. Digital transformation often transforms how work is done, how the org structure is designed, what skills and talent are needed, and where people will work.

Examining the organizational design of technically forward-leaning organizations is a great way to think through the kinds of people, departments, divisions, and locations you will need.

Org Charts for Agility

If you want your organization to respond to market opportunities more quickly, structuring your organization to make it more agile is another form of transformation. Corporations that pursue this kind of change often look to agile companies such as Amazon to benchmark “best practices” in organizational design. 

Amazon is a famously flat organization. They push decision-making down to the director level, in effect making those leaders general managers of a product or service. Their teams work as if they were their own businesses. Team members feel a stake in the outcome.

As a result, they are agile: they move with lightning speed and seize the advantage. Are there lessons to be learned studying their org chart? You bet.

How to Get Org Charts for Organizational Design

You either build your own org charts or buy them from company like ours.

We’re the only company of which we are aware that provides org charts complete with profile photos, biographies, contact information, and relevant links.

If you have questions, we’d be happy to hop on a call with you and you can even use our handy scheduling app to get a spot on our calendar.


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