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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Web, Not Chart

Margaret Wheatley says that “the organizational chart never charts the organization.”  Organizations always resemble a cobbling together of partnerships rather than a tight chain of command.  The better graphic to conceptualize this is a web of interconnectivity.

Still, many leaders try to insist that the org chart rules and the chain of command is the holy grail.  The key underlying term here would be CONTROL.  When “permission” is required to work its way up, then back down, an elaborate command structure, then positive action, positive growth, and positive results are pretty much NOT guaranteed. 

Here are some Indicators of high performing organizations:
  • Employees throughout the organization grasp the vision and can see their role within that concept.
  • Employees are entrusted with the autonomy to make decisions within their purview, with the assumption and expectation that they will make those decisions in alignment with the organization's driving principles (not check-off boxes).
  • Significant resources are invested in the education (not just training) of employees along a broad range of skills, all in the interest of enhancing professional AND personal growth.
  • Information flows openly and freely in all directions throughout the web.  There are NO SECRETS that are kept from employees.
  • Leaders in the organization spend the lion's share of their time teaching, talking, promoting, and praising efforts aligned to those driving principles.
Sound like a place you'd like to work?

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