First things first. I'm new to MT online, though I'm a long time podcast listener, so please move to the appropriate forum if I am mis-placing this.
BLUF: Given the fact it is more important to have influence than authority in order to be effective, what drives the need for a step up the organisational hierarchy in order to be effective? By this I mean that I recognise that influence is essential to be effective but when is that insufficient and organisational hierarchy in forms such as job title and authority required? To some degree it must be or why is there any hierarchy at all?
I work in a function that is new to our organisation. The nature of the function means that it cuts across the existing structure which pretty much the entire Enterprise is aligned to support. The organisation looks to that structure for guidance and decision making. It does not recognise the need for our involvement or our decision making authority even though we have very senior level support for our roles.
This includes GM responsibility that cuts across the existing authority of Director level colleagues. Our job titles sit 2 levels below the Directors that own GM down their reporting line, all of whom by the nature of our structure own less GM than we do (ie. Enterprise GM shared among 6 Directors in one direction and amongst 3 in our team in a perpendicular direction).
I believe that we can achieve some of our goals through influence and effective delivery (though this is exhausting given an organisation that actively pushes against us at every turn!). Our management are willing to discuss our position in the organisation but share the view that it will not be a silver bullet.
Where I am struggling is that as a general principle I understand the importance of influence, but when do you need some level of authority in order to be effective? At the present time I can exercise influence but have no decision making authority by virtue of of my organisational position. If I truly own GM I surely need some authority, else I can't be accountable for it.
I'd welcome any views, whether supportive of my view or not!