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11.10.2015
Stormpath is a User Management API that reduces development time with instant-on, scalable user infrastructure.
To get started with the basics of Stormpath quickly, check out the REST API Quickstart Guide.
Stormpath is the first easy, secure user management and authentication service for developers.
Fast and intuitive to use, Stormpath enables plug-and-play security and accelerates application development on any platform. By offloading user management and authentication to Stormpath, developers can bring new applications to market faster, reduce development and operations costs, and protect their users with best-in-class security. When building your applications in the past, how much time have you spent writing some or all of this functionality? By offloading all of this effort to Stormpath, a service with deep security roots, you can quickly get back to writing your actual application and never worry about password attacks again. These resources and their relationships are manageable by the REST API as described in this document, but you may also manage them via the Stormpath Admin Console user interface. An Application is a real-world software application that communicates with Stormpath to offload user management, authentication, and security workflows. Directories can be used to cleanly manage segmented account populations – for example, you might use one Directory for company employees and another Directory for customers, each with its own security policies. Security Notice: Any account that can access the Stormpath application within the Stormpath Admin Console has full administrative access to your Stormpath data and settings, including access to the REST API if they have an API Key. Most clients (including web browsers) show a dialog or prompt for you to provide a username and password for HTTP Basic Authentication. Stormpath also supports a more secure authentication scheme known as digest authentication. This technique is especially secure because the API key secret is never transmitted outside of the application, making it extremely difficult for anything (or anyone) outside of the application to interfere with a request or see the secret. We recommend using digest authentication whenever possible because it is inherently more secure. All Stormpath SDKs (currently Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python) use this more secure digest authentication so we recommend that you use the SDKs whenever possible. Finally, if you would like to use Stormpath digest authentication in a programming language that Stormpath does not yet support, you can attempt to port the algorithm to that language. The Stormpath SAuthc1 digest algorithm is NOT the same as RFC 2617 HTTP digest authentication.
Successful requests contain the created entity resource representation, while failed requests show an error representation. The request was successful, we created a new resource, and the response body contains the representation. You cannot create or update a resource because another resource already exists or conflicts with one you are submitting. Successful requests contain the requested entity resource representation, while failed requests show an error representation. A common redirect response; you can GET the representation at the URI in the location response header.
Successful requests contain the updated entity resource representation, while failed requests show an error representation. The request was successful, we updated the resource, and the response body contains the resource full representation. REST API responses indicating an error or warning are represented by a proper response HTTP status code (403, 404, etc). A simple, easy to understand message that you can show directly to your application end-user. A clear, plain text explanation with technical details that might assist a developer calling the Stormpath API. The Stormpath Error Code Reference provides the list of all Stormpath-specific error codes and their meanings. If you want to interact with multiple resources, you must do so with a Collection Resource. If a Collection Resource represents a large enough number of resource instances, it will not include them all in a single response. This example requests a tenant’s applications Collection Resource from the server with page results starting at index 10 (the 11th element), with a maximum of 40 total elements. You can search for specific resources within a Collection Resource by using certain query parameters to specify your search criteria.
There are currently two different types of searches that might be performed: a generic Filter-based search and a more targeted Attribute-based search. Because the Stormpath REST API always represents one or more resources of the same type as a Collection Resource, a REST search is always sent to a Collection Resource endpoint. If the entered criteria, through a case-insensitive comparison, exists within (or is equal to) any viewable attribute on an instance in the collection, that instance is included in the query results. Each query parameter name is the same name of a searchable attribute on an instance in the Collection Resource.
No asterisk at the beginning or end of the value indicates a direct case-insensitive match. An asterisk only at the beginning of the value indicates that the case-insensitive value is at the end. An asterisk only at the end of the value indicates that the case-insensitive value is at the beginning. An asterisk at the end AND at the beginning of the value indicates the value is contained in the string.
Stormpath exposes properties on all resources that will give you information about when the resource was created or modified. Stormpath stores the datetime in ISO 8601 which is human readable and has common support across all languages. The brackets [] denote inclusion, but createdAt and modifiedAt also support exclusion with parentheses ().
Precision of datetime for this request is controlled by the granularity of the ISO-8601 Datetime you specify. REST resources that reference other resources, such as an account referencing its parent directory, represent the references as a Link object. A Link is an object nested within an existing resource representation that has, at a minimum, an href attribute. When encountering a link object, you can use the link href attribute to interact with that resource as necessary. When requesting a resource you might want the Stormpath API server to return not only that resource, but also one or more of its linked resources.
For example, to retrieve an account and its parent directory, instead of issuing two requests (one for the account and another for its directory) add an expand query parameter with a value of directory to the resource URI.
You can use this technique to reduce the number of round-trip communication requests to Stormpath API server, enhancing the performance of your application.
For example, it would not be possible to return an account with its directory expanded and also the directory’s groups expanded as well. You can specify more than one link attribute by specifying a comma-delimited list of attribute names to expand. The offset and limit values are enclosed in parenthesis and delimited by the colon : character. If you specify parenthesis for a collection expansion, you must specify an offset value or a limit value or both. If you expand a Collection Resource and you do not specify parenthesis with an offset or limit (for example ?expand=groups), the default pagination values are used automatically.
Finally, it should be noted that you can expand both standard (non-collection) links and collection links in the same expand directive. In the Stormpath REST API specifically, your Tenant resource can be thought of as your global starting point. If you do not have your Tenant’s specific URI handy, you can always retrieve your Tenant using the current Tenant alias URI.
Because a REST caller can retrieve one and only one Tenant resource, it is often more convenient not to be concerned with the Tenant-specific URL is when performing a request, and instead use a simpler permanent alias.
You can request the current Tenant resource, and the API server will automatically issue a 302 redirect to the Tenant resource corresponding to the currently executing API caller. Most REST libraries and web browsers will automatically issue a request for the resource in the Location header. You may also use collection pagination and sort ordering query parameters to customize the paginated response.
You may search for applications by sending a GET request to your tenant’s applications Collection Resource href URL using search query parameters. In addition to the the search query parameters, you may also use pagination and sorting query parameters to customize the paginated response.
You may search for directories by sending a GET request to your tenant’s directories Collection Resource href URL using search query parameters. You may search for accounts by sending a GET request to your tenant’s accounts Collection Resource href URL using search query parameters. In addition to the the search query parameters, you may also use pagination, sorting, and link expansion query parameters to customize the paginated response. You may search for groups by sending a GET request to your tenant’s groups Collection Resource href URL using search query parameters. An Application in Stormpath represents any real world piece of software that communicates with Stormpath to offload its user management and authentication needs. Even the Stormpath Admin Console and API is represented as an Application (named Stormpath), so you can control who has administrative access to your Stormpath tenant by managing the Stormpath application’s associated account stores. A link to the application’s password reset tokens collection, used in password reset workflows. A link to all groups that are accessible to the application for authorization (access control) needs.
Top IMG friendly states International medical graduates (IMGs) apply all over the country. This website and its content is copyright of Rohit D - © name, mleresidencytips and droidor. Like a rock rolling down hill, you want to get the mass of your organization moving quickly in the right direction.
Having aligned vision and values, as well as an aligned organizational structure, is the first step. Every business relies on multiple processes (sales, customer service, finance, product development, marketing, etc.). In order to help your business accelerate its execution speed, I’m going to explain what an effective decision-making and implementation process is, how to do it well, who should be involved, and when to use it. I want to give you an immediate sense of what the process of making good decisions and implementing them quickly actually looks like by sharing a short movie clip.
Make decisions once a critical mass of the company contributes to everyone to seeing the full picture. Many startup founders will change their strategy from one moment to the next, justifying this with something like, “We have to be nimble around here.
Of course it’s not only startups that suffer from fast decision making and poor implementations. The truth is that fast execution requires a good decision-making process up front – and effective decision making takes time!
Here’s a funny story of a CEO who failed to gather in the decision-making process upstream those who would be impacted downstream. Understanding how important that was, the CEO of the toothpaste factory got the top people in the company together and they decided to start a new project, in which they would hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem, as their engineering department was already too stretched to take on any extra effort.
The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, third-parties selected, and six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution — on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time.
It turns out, the number of defects picked up by the scales was 0 after three weeks of production use.
Puzzled, the CEO travels down to the factory, and walks up to the part of the line where the precision scales were installed. You wouldn’t be reading this story if the CEO had first actually taken the time to include the shop floor workers — those who would be most impacted by the decision — in the decision-making process itself. To gather authority, you’ve got to get at least the lowest level of authority involved in the decision-making process.
To gather power, recognize who can help or hinder the implementation of your objective and involve them up front in the decision-making process. To gather influence, you should recognize who has influence over the implementation and involve them up front in the decision-making process as well. To drive this concept of gathering authority, power, and influence home, imagine that the circle below represents the size of the task that you want to accomplish.
If your task is big, then you'll need to gather in the authority, power, and influence to make it happen. Now that you’re familiar with the basic concepts of authority, power, and influence, you can see their effects everywhere you look. To gather authority, power, and influence literally means to get everyone in the same room (or at least on the same phone call) and to follow the 6 steps of effective decision-making as a team. Once you’ve identified and gathered in the mass of authority, power, and influence, you need to set the stage of the decision-making process. One of the most important parts of setting the stage is easy to do but often mistakenly skipped. The only purpose of having a meeting is to have the team participate through the process as one unit, through which each participant brings their whole being, experience, knowledge, and awareness to the task at hand.
It’s actually pretty easy to unfreeze a group as long as you take a few minutes to do it. The reason I suggest you ask participants about personal desired outcome is that, when we have a personal interest in something, we’re much more engaged in attaining it.
When it comes to setting expectations on time management in the decision-making process, here are some guidelines.
Gathering the data means collecting all the facts and perspectives in the room on the issue at hand. In this scenario, the VP of Sales, who’s a hard-charging, task-focused type (Psiu) will likely point the finger at marketing: “We’re not selling because we’re not driving enough inbound leads. The second reason to gather data as a group is that each person brings a different perspective to the table. Now that the team has the data and can agree on the facts, it’s time to leverage the collective wisdom of the group to generate insights. If the group has gone through a process of setting the stage, gathering the facts, and generating insights, now is the time for the authority in the room to decide what to do. Now that a basic decision has been made, it’s time to assign action steps and amp up the time pressure on the implementation.
Compare this to a scenario when Arthur and Frank don’t go through the decision-making process together. Just as there is a particular rhythm to follow for effective decision making and implementation, there’s a particular rhythm for managing business needs between short-range execution and long-range business development. Armed with a common long-range strategy, clearly defined authority and accountability within the structure, and defined short-range goals, the core functional heads form into a Leadership Team, led by the CEO, that meets weekly or biweekly on site to review progress, make decisions, and execute the plan. As you gather the authority, power, and influence over the implementation into the decision-making process, you will be well served to also recognize the signs of organizational misalignment or inertia.
In order to increase organizational momentum, you must make good decisions and implement them swiftly. Even though your organization is a complex adaptive system and not static object, the same principles hold true. The functions an organization performs are the core areas or activities it must engage in to accomplish its strategy (e.g. As the business and surrounding context develop over time, people settle into their roles and ways of operating. Just as efficiency overpowers effectiveness, the demands of today always overpower the needs of tomorrow.
The autonomy to sell and meet customer needs should always take precedence in the structure — for without sales and repeat sales the organization will quickly cease to exist. I’m going to talk about how to avoid this mistake in greater detail in a coming article in this series but the basics are simple to grasp. Getting an individual to gracefully let go of a role or a hat that has outgrown them can be challenging.
A structural diagram may look similar to an org chart but there are some important differences. After restructuring, the CEO works with each new functional head to roll out budgets, targets, and rewards for their departments. The second issue with the proposed structure is that efficiency functions (Tech Ops and Community Operations) are given authority over effectiveness functions (R&D and Account Management).
Fourth, it’s impossible to distinguish where the authority to meet customer needs resides and how the company is controlling for systemic risk. Autodesk,e–‹c™?a?†a?€a?—c·sa?Se»Ye«”a?«DragonFly,a?€a?—web basede?­e??a±…a®¶a®¤a…§?“?e?­cs„a·?a…·.
Stormpatha€™s intuitive API and expert support make it easy for developers to authenticate, manage and secure users and roles in any application. The flexible cloud service can manage millions of users with a scalable pricing model that is ideal for projects of any size.
It might be helpful to note that Stormpath does not have an explicit Role concept – you use Stormpath Groups as Roles for Role-Based Access Control. An account can log in to applications using either the email address or username associated with it. This approach computes a cryptographic digest of the request and sends the digest value along with the request. However, if we do not yet have an SDK for your programming language, you should use basic authentication over HTTPS. The Stormpath SAuthc1 digest-based authentication scheme is more secure than standard HTTP digest authentication.


Because some HTTP clients do not support PUT and DELETE methods, you can simulate them by sending a POST request to a resource endpoint with a _method query string parameter. It is known as a Collection Resource because it is itself a first class resource – it has its own attributes similar to any other resource in addition to the instances it contains. Collection Resources also support additional behavior specific to collections, such as pagination, sort ordering, and searching.
Instead a technique known as pagination is used to break up the results into one or more pages of data. Sortable attributes are primitives (non-complex and non-link) attributes, such as integers and strings. For example, a search can be performed across accounts or groups, but not both at the same time. Only instances visible to the current caller (owned by the caller’s tenant), are returned in the query results. For example, enabled or disabled must be passed and fragments such as ena, dis, bled are not acceptable.
Link expansion allows you to retrieve related resources in a single request to the server instead of having to issue multiple separate requests. Check the resource’s specific documentation to see which of its link attributes are expandable. This is a relatively simple form and the most problems encountered are in areas like year of graduation, work experience, research experience or observerships etc. If you have misalignment in these areas, then no matter what, you’re not going to get very far. These can be highly visible or nearly invisible, organic, haphazard, detailed, flexible, constant, or changing and either a boon or a burden. The chief and the tribe intuitively recognize a universal truth: Whoever is going to be impacted downstream by a decision, should be involved upstream in the decision-making process itself. You need to be able to transcend time pressure in the decision-making phase of the process and then use it to your advantage during the implementation phase.
What happens instead is that a lot of half-baked decisions get rattled off, pile up, and create bottlenecks on implementation. It takes time to gather the right people, set the stage, gather data, generate insights, decide what to do, assign action items, and reinforce the decision.
If it’s a real crisis, then you’ll need to act swiftly and try to reduce the negative fallout later.
This was due to the way the production line was set up, and people with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timings so precise that every single unit coming out of it is perfect 100% of the time.
They solved the problem by using some high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box weighing less than it should. It should’ve been picking up at least a dozen a day, so maybe there was something wrong with the report. A few feet before it, there was a $20 desk fan, blowing the empty boxes out of the belt and into a bin. The fact is that, in order to effect change, you must gather only the minimum amount of critical mass into the decision-making process – and that includes only those with authority, power, and influence over the implementation. For example, imagine a Director of Operations who is charged with improving efficiency in a production line. In this case, it may be herself (if the authority was granted to her by the CEO) or, if not, then it’s the CEO. Think of power like a lever, whereby those who have power over implementation can effectively help lever you up or lever you down.
Returning to the previous example, who might help or hinder the Director of Operation’s desire to improve efficiency? Who can influence, positively or negatively, the Director of Operation’s desire to improve efficiency and purchase a new machine? If it’s a small task that you can do yourself, then you already have the authority, power, and influence coalesced and there’s no need to involve anyone else. It does not mean to periodically ping the authority, power, and influence and update them on your progress.
This requires everyone involved to first unlock or unfreeze their mental inertia — to create a sense of space or mental capacity to focus on the task and embody a future change.
Most of the time spent in decision making is invested in Steps 1 to 3 (Setting the Stage, Gathering Data, and Generating Insights).
If you don’t take the time to gather all the facts, the group is going to miss the full picture and make a half-baked decision.
Imagine a technology company that is experiencing a 10% reduction from the previous quarter’s sales. In this scenario, Arthur has to get one-on-one time with Frank, explain the situation, and attempt to get Frank to change his schedule and priorities. In this final phase, the group reflects on and integrates the process they just experienced and the decisions reached.
From the article on organizational structure, you’ll learn that short-run needs always overpower long-range ones. One to two times per year, a Company Council, represented by the key functional heads and key team members throughout the organization (those 1s and 2s you want to groom for the long term), should gather together off site to set the long-range (one-to-three-year) strategy and to align the organizational structure to support that strategy.
If there’s significant misalignment within the organization’s Execution Diamond (Vision and Values, Structure, and People), then your task will be very challenging indeed.
In order to do that, you have to first gather in the mass of authority, power, and influence over the implementation and reduce the resistance to change.
Ichak Adizes, Managing Corporate Lifecycles, Santa Barbara: Adizes Institue Publishing, 2004. Structure dictates the relationship of authority and accountability in an organization and, therefore, also how people function.
The classic mistake made in restructuring is that the new form of the organization follows the old one to a large degree. Because of this, you’ll never want to have functions focused on effectiveness (sales, marketing, people development, account management, and strategy) reporting to functions focused on efficiency (operations, quality control, administration, and customer service).
That’s why the pressure you feel to do the daily work keeps you from spending as much time with your family as you want to.
At the same time, the organization must exercise certain controls to protect itself from systemic harm (the kind of harm that can destroy the entire organization).
Your structure is only as good as the people operating within it and how well they’re matched to their jobs. The first step in designing the new structure is to identify the core functions that must be performed in support of the business strategy, what each function will have authority and be accountable for, and how each function will be measured (Key Performance Indicators or KPIs). The most important aspect of bringing a structure to life, however, isn’t the structure itself, but rather the process of decision making and implementation that goes along with it. The company is a software as a service (Saas) provider that has developed a new virtual trade show platform. For example, Sales & Marketing are both focused on effectiveness but should rarely, if ever, be the same function. If the transmitted digest matches what the Stormpath API server computes for the same request, the request is authenticated.
You can submit one or more attributes of a resource, but at least one attribute must be specified. For example, if the limit requested is greater than the maximum allowed or if the response represents the final page in the total collection and the item count of the final page is less than the limit. Here, I have posted a sample form to help folks who are struggling with the basics of the CAF. I have an application for a green card at my country's US embassy that started about 2 years ago.
The challenge in getting an organization to change direction is the fact that its mass isn’t neatly self-contained.
At the same time, alignment in vision, values, and structure alone won’t cause the business to move. Because at the most fundamental level, a business is simply a decision-making and implementation system. And unlike decision making, implementation is where you want to use time pressure to your advantage, setting clear outcomes and delivery dates.
In 2011, NetFlix announced that it would segment its business into two distinct brands, one focused on streaming (NetFlix) and the other on DVD delivery (Qwikster). It’s counterintuitive but the right path forward is to slow down on the decision-making so that you can speed up on the implementation. In your own life, would you prefer to personally decide what to do or have someone tell you what to do?
Each person brings different information, experience, and knowledge to bear on the problem or opportunity, contributing to everyone seeing the full picture.
Small variations in the environment (which can’t be controlled in a cost-effective fashion) mean you must have quality assurance checks smartly distributed across the line so that customers all the way down the supermarket don’t get pissed off and buy someone else’s product instead. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over and yank the defective box out of it, pressing another button when done. He filed a bug against it, and after some investigation, the engineers come back saying the report was actually correct.
But clearly it is neither time- nor cost-effective in most instances to gather every individual who will be impacted downstream by a decision upstream in the decision-making process. The budgetary committee can only endorse items that are within the budget and that fit the budgetary guidelines. If she fails to do this, then she’ll never have a clear indication of where the project really stands. In addition to the Director’s boss, this would also include the staff who work on the production line, design the systems, and perform maintenance.
Individuals with a great deal of influence rely on who they are, who they know, and what they say.
Because time pressure is the enemy of effective decision making, one of the most important things you can do when setting the stage is to create the right environment for the best decision to unfold.
Once this is accomplished, it’s pretty straightforward to complete Step 4 (Deciding What to Do) and Step 5 (Assigning Action Steps for Implementation). My favorite way to handle this is to run 75-minute team sessions with a 5 to 15 minute break in between. This means that there will be occasions when you need to spend more time in one part of the process than you were anticipating. Each person will see the problem in a different light and no agreement will be reached on what the core issue really is. Alarmed, the board of directors asks the CEO to identify the problem and present a solution at the next board meeting. The executive team all nod their heads in agreement, but inside they’re thinking, “Oh boy, here we go again. By creating an environment of authentic group participation, the person who is responsible for having the decision implemented must now make it. You’re setting clear deliverables, clear dates, and unarguable accountability to execute on that decision.
It’s not always easy to do – and it generally results in a poorer decision and a bogged-down implementation. It’s not a chance to complain, but rather to verbally lock in and commit to the implementation.
You therefore need to create an organizational process that allows for effective long-range planning and development combined with short-range execution.
The goal of this strategic alignment session is to allow everyone to focus on long-run changes impacting the market and the business and to identify potential improvement areas within the business. This shared alignment and dialogue among the Leadership Team allows everyone to stay on the same page, track and adjust performance, and keep the friction low. Instead, your best course of action would be to gather in the authority, power, and influence to first realign the Execution Diamond.
Then a force of change can be applied through an effective decision-making and implementation process and the organization will accelerate quickly in the desired direction. If you want to improve organizational performance, you’ll need to change the organizational design.
It must be structured (or restructured) to create an design that supports its function or business strategy.
The location of each function is where it is placed in the organizational structure and how it interacts with other functions. Imagine a company with an existing cash cow business that is coming under severe pricing pressure. The company gets stuck in an old way of doing things and has trouble breaking free of the past. From an outsider’s perspective, it may be hard to figure out how and why the company looks and acts the way it does. Perhaps it’s repeating the same execution mistakes or making new hires that repeatedly fail (often a sign of structural imbalance rather than bad hiring decisions). That is, a new strategy is created but the old hierarchy remains embedded in the so-called “new” structure.
Then, avoiding the 5 classic mistakes of structure above, place those functions in the right locations within the organizational structure.
I’ve worked here for five years and now I have to report to this Johnny-Come-Lately?” That’s a refrain that every growth-oriented company must deal with at some point.
What we’re concerned with here, first and foremost, are the functions that need to be performed by the business and where authority will reside in the structure. The goal is not to create islands or fiefdoms but an integrated organization where all of the parts work well together. First, this proposed structure was created based on the past precedents within the company, not the core functions that need to be performed in order to execute the new strategy. It is prohibited to redistribute or reproduce the content on the site unless written explicit permission from me.
Think about it — every problem and opportunity require a decision to be made (and yes, deciding to do nothing is a decision too) and a solution to be implemented. When people fully participate in the decision-making process, they’re less resistant to the implementation of its outcomes.
Reed Hastings, the company CEO, was right in my opinion to attempt to restructure the business into two distinct business units (see Strategy). When you’re given an opportunity to genuinely participate in a decision-making process, not only do you help to create a better decision through your unique insights, but you also become more willing to implement the decision itself.
The scales really weren’t picking up any defects, because all boxes that got to that point in the conveyor belt were good.
That’s why a country uses a representative democracy, why a public company uses a board of directors, or why parents are the legal guardians of their children.
Involving those with power up front will generally contribute to a better decision, which becomes their own. For example, a politician on the campaign trail is attempting to gain votes through influence.
There’s also the influence of industry experts, case studies, and other buyers’ testimonials. But if this is a “big task,” this generally means that the mass of authority, power, and influence are spread out. To reduce the resistance to change, you need to involve them in the decision-making process itself. Basically, when you and I show up to a meeting, our bodies are present but our minds are not. Then once each person has had a chance to state his or her desired outcomes, make sure that all the desired outcomes are aligned and attainable and if not, address them up front accordingly. A general rule of thumb is to invest 80% of the time in Steps 1 through 3 and 20% of the time in Steps 4 through 6. The CEO gathers the VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, CTO, and CFO in a conference room and says, “All right. Because those with power and influence over the implementation have been given the opportunity to have their voice heard, they should stand behind the decision. In this part of the process, there may be a slight give and take between the authority in the room and those charged with performing different aspects of the implementation.
A simple way to reinforce and close the meeting is to poll the group on their individual experiences during the process, as well as their views on how to improve it or how to support the implementation. It’s important to do this long-range work off site to stimulate a new and broader perspective among the team. It should also reduce the total number of meetings conducted each week because, instead of scheduling ad hoc meetings, decisions are funneled into regular Leadership Team meetings where a good decision-making process is followed. Any time a key decision needs to get made, follow a sound process that begins by setting the stage, followed by gathering the data, generating insights, deciding what to do, assigning action steps, and reinforcing the decision.
Just like a chair, all of its parts or functions must be of the right type and placed in the right location so that the entire system works well together. The authority of a function refers to its ability to make decisions within its domain and to perform its activities without unnecessary encumbrance.
The “new” structure is really just added to the old one, like a house with an addition – and things get confusing.
For even the best of us, it can be very challenging to operate within an outdated or dysfunctional structure. There may be confusion among functions and roles, decision-making bottlenecks within the power centers, or simply slow execution all around. Instead, you need to make a clean break with the past and design the new structure with a fresh eye. Over time, the processes and systems become so efficient and tightly controlled, that there is very little flexibility or margin for error. One needs freedom to produce results, the other needs to regulate for greater efficiencies. Once this is completed, the structure acts as a blueprint for an organizational chart that calls out individual roles and (hats).
One thing that can help this transition is to focus not on the job titles but on the PSIU requirements of each function.


The goal is to first design the structure to support the strategy (without including individual names) and then to align the right people within that structure. If structure is the bones or shape of an organization, then the process of decision making and implementation is the heart of it.
I received this proposed structure just as the company was raising capital and hiring staff to scale its business and attack multiple industry verticals at once. This will make for fuzzy accountability, an inability to scale easily, new hires struggling to make a difference and navigate the organization, and the existing team having a hard time growing out of their former hats into dedicated roles. Imagine being in charge of R&D, which requires exploration and risk taking, but having to report every day to Tech Ops, which requires great control and risk mitigation. If Marketing reports to Sales, then Marketing will begin to look like a sales support function, instead of a long-run positioning, strategy, and differentiation function. Now the question is, do you think I should just choose the "Pending application for permanent residency" option in MyERAS profile?
In order to get the organization to execute on its strategy, you’ve got to get the mass contained and headed in one direction. Making the organization come alive and move quickly in a chosen direction requires that two things be done well: making and implementing decisions. If the business does this well — if it continually makes good decisions and implements them fast — then its momentum will increase and it will be successful.
The gist is that the senior tribe members have gathered to discuss what to do about foreigners invading their territory. In fact, they’re usually in favor of those outcomes and eagerly want to drive them forward.
For example, if the Director hires an industry consultant to assess the situation and make a recommendation, the consultant has influence over the outcome, but no authority or real power. There’s a lot of mass that must first be coalesced into the decision-making process itself. That means in an hour-long meeting, 42 minutes would be allocated to setting the stage, gathering facts and generating insights and just 18 minutes to deciding what to do, assigning action steps, and integration.
At the same time, it allows the group enough space and personal freedom to restore the body, check their email, make a phone call, etc. People change, markets adapt, situations alter, and technologies disrupt and get disrupted. It does not mean that the decision will make everyone happy, but it does mean that the team now needs to back whatever decision is made. Arthur Authority asks, “Frank, when do you think you can complete the XYZ analysis?” Frank replies, “I need to do a little research and speak with Marge. Once the long-range strategy is identified, shorter-range goals and outcomes are set, budgets and rewards are established, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) are identified for each business function. With the right people in the room, good decision making naturally leads to swift implementation.
The purpose of a chair is to support a sitting human being, which is why it’s designed the way it is. A sound organizational structure will make it unarguably clear what each function (and ultimately each person) is accountable for. When an organization is in startup to early growth mode, the founder(s) control most of the core functions.
If any of these things are happening, it’s time to do the hard but rewarding work of creating a new structure. By its nature, effectiveness (which is doing the right thing), which includes innovation and adapting to change, requires flexibility and margin for error. For example, what happens if the marketing strategy function (a long-range orientation focused on branding, positioning, strategy, etc.) reports into the sales function (a short-range orientation focused on executing results now)? The design principle here is that as much autonomy as possible should be given to those closest to the customer (functions like sales and account management) while the ability to control for systemic risk (functions like accounting, legal, and HR) should be as centralized as possible. Then help the individual to identify the characteristics of the job that they’re really good at and that they really enjoy and seek alignment with a job that has those requirements. I’m going to discuss this process in greater detail in the next article in this series. In addition to securing growth capital, the company’s greatest challenge is shifting from a startup where the two co-founders do most everything to a scalable company where the co-founders can focus on what they do best. It’s difficult to tell what are the key staff the company should hire and in what sequence.
In fact, the secret to organizational momentum lies in continually making good decisions and implementing them quickly. If it does the opposite — if it makes bad decisions, or if it makes good decisions but implements them slowly, or my personal favorite, makes bad decisions and implements them quickly — then it will fail. You can compare that to any company faced with a cataclysmic market change and struggling with what to do about it. Imagine, on the other hand, if the chief skipped this meeting and decided what to do in isolation or with a few elders. Slow-quick means that you spend adequate time in making a good decision and then fly like a rocket on implementation. This approach is a classic folly because the team fails to see the complete picture before them.
It means that, in environments with rapid change and time pressure, you can only find answers in the real world, not on a white board. In high-level selling, one of the first questions an experienced salesperson will ask is, “Who has authority to make a decision?” Then, if they’re smart, they will do their best to get that person involved in the entire selling process. For the same reason that lawyers do not conduct a jury trial independently and then report their findings for the jury to decide upon. If you feel that 18 minutes is not enough time to decide what to do, assign action steps, and integrate, it’s a clear indication that you’ll need to schedule a longer meeting. Get agreement from the group up front about the time frames in which you’ll run sessions and breaks. What facts do sales, marketing, technology, and finance have that can add clarity to the picture? Good information makes it possible to manage all this because it allows you to better understand and respond to each of the phases you’re moving through.
In the previous example, one insight might be that there’s poor coordination between development and customer requirements. After facilitating over 100 group decision-making processes, I have yet to witness the ultimate authority make a decision that is at odds with the group. Great design means that something is structured in such a way that it allows it to serve its purpose very well. In addition, the design must both support the current business strategy and allow the organization to adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs over time. Its chosen strategy is to continue to milk the cash cow (while it can) and use those proceeds to invest in new verticals. While employees genuinely want the new business units to thrive, there’s often a lack of clarity, authority, and accountability around them. The wind is in your sails, you know the direction you want to take, but the boat keeps fighting against itself. Keep in mind, therefore, that things can become so efficient that they lose their effectiveness.
It’s easy to see that the marketing strategy function will quickly succumb to the pressure of sales and become a sales support function. Basically, rather than trying to make these functions play nice together, this design principle recognizes that inherent conflict, plans for it, and creates a structure that attempts to harness it for the overall good of the organization. It can take a few weeks to a few months to get the structure humming and people comfortable in their new roles. It’s more likely that current staff will inherit functions that they’ve always done, or that no one else has been trained to do.
Certainly it’s the CEO but if the CEO is running the day-to-day P&L across multiple verticals, then he is not going to be able to focus on the big picture and overall execution. Just as a haphazard sales process results in lost sales, poor fulfillment, and an inability to scale, a poor decision-making and implementation process results in poor decisions, flawed implementations, and an inability to scale the business. Whatever the decision, the collective mass of the rest of the tribe would have slowed down or resisted, subtly or not so subtly, the implementation. Under time pressure, it fails to take into account different perspectives, gather enough information, get buy-in, find new insights in the data, make a well-rounded decision, and reinforce it. You therefore want to get the product released promptly and tested in the hands of actual customers because this allows you to better understand their needs. But if a new machine is required, then those who will be responsible for using it can help to choose the right one, based on their firsthand experience, and they won’t resist it like they would if it was purchased and installed out of the blue. But if there’s a strong gatekeeper, the salesperson suffers from sleepless nights because they must rely purely on influencing others who in turn will hopefully influence the final authority. Also, make sure to unfreeze the group when they come back from a break or start a new session. It reveals what’s really happening now and provides insights into what might happen next.
It’s not that the authority is afraid to make a hard decision; rather, it’s that everyone involved has reached the right decision together. Because they’ve gone through the entire process together, both Frank and Arthur are fully aware of the broader implications, needs, and purpose of the action item. If not, it’s a clear indication that the requisite level of authority, power, and influence weren’t in the room, that there was a breakdown in the process, or that there’s a greater underlying misalignment at the level of vision and values or structure. All of its parts are of the right type and placed exactly where they should be for their intended purpose. On paper, it realigns some reporting functions and allocates more budget to new business development units. In addition, the new business units, which need freedom to operate in startup mode, have to deal with an existing bureaucracy and old ways of doing things. As the business grows, the founder(s) become a bottleneck to growth — they simply can’t do it all at a larger scale.
The fact is that changing structure in a business can seem really daunting because of all the past precedents that exist – interpersonal relationships, expectations, roles, career trajectories, and functions.
The takeaway here is: always avoid having functions focused on effectiveness reporting to functions focused on efficiency. Sales may get what it thinks it needs in the short run but the company will totally lose its ability to develop its products, brands, and strategy over the long range as a result. For example, if Sales is forced to follow a bunch of bureaucratic accounting and legal procedures to win a new account, sales will suffer. In the race for market share, however, companies make the mistake of mis-fitting styles to functions because of perceived time and resource constraints.
Every individual in the organization should have one primary role and — depending on the size, complexity, and resources of the business — may wear multiple (hats).
But if you break it down into its core PSIU requirements, you’ll see that it’s really about cold calling, managing a team, and hitting a quota (PSiU). If this structure is adopted, the company will plod along, entropy and internal friction will rise, and the company will fail to scale. These are opinions only and author (s) are not responsible for any outcomes that arise as consequence of using the content on the site.
While you may disagree with their decision, you’ll have a hard time disagreeing with the process the tribe used to reach it (other than they should have made a concerted effort to get more data up front — but more on the importance of data gathering in a bit). In other words, don’t make half-baked rapid-fire decisions that get bogged down on implementation.
If the product “fails,” this is seen as net positive (assuming client expectations are managed) because it eliminates more uncertainty about what doesn’t work and you can test again based on better information.
Reed Hastings was later quoted as saying, “We simply moved too quickly, and that’s where you get those missed execution details.
Asking those who will have to use a piece of equipment in their daily work for their opinion on features may seem blindingly obvious.
Successful salespeople usually have powerful networks of contacts (people who can help or hinder them in making introductions) and have mastered the art of influence to sway buyer behavior.
The coalesced authority, power, and influence must all participate in the decision-making process firsthand. It doesn’t matter at this stage which insights are correct, only that the group is collectively generating insights based on a shared set of facts. It holds an all-hands meeting to talk about the new strategy and the future of the business. So they make key hires to replace themselves in selected functions – for example, a technical founder hires a head of sales and delegates authority to find, sell, and close new accounts. And in general, people will fight any change that results in a real or perceived loss of power. However, if the sales team sells a bunch of underqualified leads that can’t pay, the whole company suffers.
For example, a startup founder plays the CEO role and also wears the hats of (Business Development) and (Finance). With such a change in perspective, the current Director of Sales who is being asked to make a change may realize, “Hmm… I actually HATE cold calling and managing a team of reps. Once this is accomplished, individual names are added into roles and (hats) within the structure. It’s ironic that you do the hard work of restructuring so you can forget about structure. But within this structure there’s an increasing demand to standardize towards greater efficiency because that’s what Community Operations requires. Within this current structure, it’s very likely that the CEO never extracts himself from those activities he’s always done and shouldn’t still be doing if the business is to scale.
By involving a critical mass of the tribe up front in the decision itself, the resistance to change was much lower post-decision and implementation swifter. Notice too that, if a jury member, lawyer, or judge can’t make the day of the trial, then the trial is postponed. If you do skimp, it will come back to bite you through poor decisions and flawed implementations. Like a chair with an uncomfortable seat or an oddly measured leg, a poorly designed object just doesn’t perform like you want it to. Everyone continues to pay lip service to the strategy and the importance of the new business units but doubt, frustration, and a feeling of ineptitude have already crept in.
All of these things can make it difficult to make a clean break from the past and take a fresh look at what the business should be now. Therefore, Sales should be able to sell without restriction but also bear the burden of underperforming accounts.
As the company grows and acquires more resources, she will give up hats to new hires in order to better focus on her core role. Post integration, people should be once again clear on their roles, hats, and accountabilities. Efficiency always trumps effectiveness over time and therefore, the company will lose its effectiveness within this structure. If he does attempt to extract himself, he’ll delegate without the requisite controls in place and the company will make a major mistake that threatens its life. There are very few schools that do not accept IMGs and you wont be applying to them anyways (i hope). Similarly, if you can’t get the authority, power, and influence in the room or on the phone at the same time, you would be well served to postpone the meeting to a later date. Because the leader skipped gathering data as a group and, as a result, each individual in the room will have a divergent perspective and conflicting interests and styles that never get reconciled. At the same time, Accounting and Legal should be centralized because if there’s a loss of cash or a legal liability, the whole business is at risk. Because management believes they can’t afford to take the time and risk of hiring a new VP of Sales, they move the Account Manager into the VP of Sales role and give him a commission-based sales plan in the hope that this will incentivize him to perform as a sales person. I’m happy to give this up.” Again, navigating these complex emotional issues is hard and can cost the company a lot of energy.
The organization starts to really hum in its performance and execution speed picks up noticeably. I dont think that choosing one or the other matters at this step, but since it is going to take you at least 3 years to get GC, will require a visa anyways, you shoud go ahead and make that clear from the get go. There’s a rhythm to life, a rhythm to dance, a rhythm to decision making and implementation.
If you try to press ahead, you’ll likely end up increasing the resistance to change, not decreasing it. So the structure must call this inherent conflict out and make it constructive for the entire business. This is one of the many reasons that using a sound organizational restructuring process is essential. Roaring down the tracks towards a common objective is one of the best feelings in business.
Thus in case you match - the program can start working on your documents without waiting for a clarification from you. When it comes to restructuring, you need to make a clean break from the status quo and help your staff look at things with fresh eyes. For this reason, restructuring done wrong will exacerbate attachment to the status quo and natural resistance to change. It’s his nature to harvest accounts, follow a process, and help customers feel happy with their experience. As a result, sales will suffer and the Account Manager, once happy in his job, is now suffering too.
While we all have to play the hand we’re dealt with, placing people in misaligned roles is always a recipe for failure.
If you have to play this card, make it clear to everyone that it’s only for the short run and the top priority is to find a candidate who is the right fit as soon as possible.



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