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Is unstructured really better? Today, I woke up vexed. As I spent some time trying to interrogate why, I realised it was because of an article that had been making the rounds on social media. The article posited that there might be little value in business structure, as the likes of Linda Ikeji, Nairaland and Instablog were making scarcely taxed Dollars with minimal structure. It went on to suggest that more structured organisations had died and so what was the point? Here’s my very strong response. The issue isn’t structure. It’s ambition.

First, the writer referenced above may well be generalising, as he may or may not have studied the particulars of the organisations he mentioned. However, if the vision of an entrepreneur is to be personally rich, to escape poverty, to feed their family or to be a baller, then unstructured works. It is best to keep the money within easy reach and in your family.

You didn’t come to this life to make others wealthy, especially those who work for you. And so, the unstructured model pays you. It’s self-focused and survivalist. Just keep your head down and keep your organisation lean. Don’t live an ostentatious life, so the authorities don’t come looking for you unnecessarily. There is also no need to bother about staffing, process, administration and so on. Remember to stay healthy because if you are out of commission for too long, your company will die and fresher, younger competition will inevitably overtake you. So make sure you diversify early to sustain your lifestyle in future.

But, some people want more. They crave businesses like Dangote, Apple, Google or Tesla. There’s a desire to build multidisciplinary and multi-sector institutions. And, at the point when they are serving hundreds of thousands across multiple cities or countries, entrepreneurs know they can’t do it on their own. They need help and other people. Structure is required to engage diverse markets and systems. Lawyers and lobbyists are needed to protect what the business owners have laboured for. Centres of innovation as well as patents are necessary to remain relevant. The ultimate goal is to impact nations and people at cross-generational levels. To build ecosystems that make investors, staff and partners rich. Products that can change the world. This model is other-directed and broad focused.

In essence, the structure conversation is not just about money. It’s really about the scale of your ambition. Do you want to feed or do you want to lead?

The structure conversation is really about the scale of your ambition. Do you want to feed or do you want to lead? Click To Tweet