[Blog] The Purpose of an Organizational Structure

Aug 29, 2022


by Sam Chand

In 2016, I stayed with wonderful hosts in Ghana, West Africa. They placed me in a gorgeous residence filled with villas—so I got my own villa! This trip made me reflect on the purpose of organizational structures and their roles in getting us to our destinations. Allow me to explain.

The purpose of an organizational structure is to help you fulfill the mission—the vision—of your organization. Whether you work in a church or a corporation, all the structure does is help you achieve your goal. It’s like the cars, trains, and planes that helped me get to Ghana. Each of these vehicles played a part; but alone, none of them could do the job. My goal was not the car, the train, or the plane—my goal was to get to my destination.

So, if I had insisted, "I want a plane to get me there," I wouldn’t have ever seen my villa. That’s what happens when you begin with an organizational structure instead of a vision. You limit your destination! However, once you have a destination in mind, then you can decide, ‘What kind of organizational structure will allow me to get there?’

As a consultant, I hear this question many times: ‘Dr. Chand, what is the best structure for our church or corporation?’ I’m here to tell you that is the wrong question. The right question, rather, is ‘What’s the destination? What do we want to achieve?’ Then, you can decide the structure that will facilitate you getting there.

Don’t put the cart before the horse; let the horse lead the cart. Happy traveling!


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