Option 4 is the most challenging structure.
A strong functional leader must take on the development of a new focus area for the company. New skill sets must be developed to drive the significant change required throughout the organization. Functional experts throughout the company will need to be corralled continually for work to be done and advanced.
This is not insurmountable. In fact, this is the default approach that most companies do end up taking for all the reasons that are probably rattling around in your head right now.
This leads us to a rather simple reason that these efforts fail so frequently: the weight cripples the valiant efforts of the brave soldiers trying to take it on. They simply don’t know or aren’t prepared in advance for what the work entails, how to define and stage it, what resources are required, and the unrelenting heavy lifting to get the job done.
Pros for This Option
• Usually a seasoned, well-respected leader is the one to take on this role.
• Since there’s a decent amount of selling to make this happen, good consensus is hugely in place by the time the structure is adopted.
Cons for This Option
• Extensive cat herding is required to manage commitment for work to keep proceeding.
• Significant new work is layered on top of an already full workload.
• Unless silo competition is kept at bay, it could compromise the operation’s ability to lead.
• The burden rests on the lead operating area to develop new skill sets to lead the customer work.