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Managing Organizational White Space

The white space of a business is everything that goes on between your people and your projects that is not critical path but critical to your success as a business. This article provides examples and tactics relevant to managing white space.

What is the white space?
A mentor of mine and Modelnetics Management leader taught me that the white space of an organizational chart is all of the activity or lack thereof that goes on between the team members and their assigned roles. It is the missing pieces that are overlooked on a successful project or event, the clashing styles between two leaders or the need for increased knowledge of key team players.

How to you discover white space issues?
Conversation, meetings set to regular rhythms are the most helpful in uncovering white space opportunities.

Most people find it fairly straight forward to perform the duties on their job description, it’s the in between required actions that move the organization forward progressively they may need help with. Providing outside industry training opportunities, coaching sessions can help increase the abilities of key employees and increase project success.

White space in an organization or company occurs in certain areas of business that consist of unclear strategies, lack of authority, vague rules and imprecise budgetary factors. In contrast, black space makes up those areas of an organization that are well-managed and targeted with formal planning and budgeting. Source: Chron

Creating documents that reflect key company processes and clearly assign roles and responsibilities can decrease unmanaged white space. Pay special attention to responsibilities – where employees duties cross over others – provide increased training and collaborative opportunities to increase success of complicated or often overlooked but crucial tasks.

For more information on identifying and managing organizational white space, read these articles.

https://hbr.org/2001/02/managing-in-the-whitespace
https://innovationmanagement.se/2013/06/13/white-space-mapping-seeing-the-future-beyond-the-core/