What would your organisation chart look like?

Do you have a classical management structure? Is your organisation chart made of boxes with positions? Have you ever had a closer look on what tasks the management team should perform? What would your organisation chart look like if you could design it from scratch?

Most organisation charts I see are made of traditional boxes. Except for minor differences, organisation charts pretty much look the same in all types of businesses.

The classical use of organisation charts

It’s a basic need for any organisation to have a structure to be able to fulfil its reason for existing. Organisation charts are made to get a quick visual overview of how the company is structured.

An organisation chart is a diagram that shows the structure of an organisation and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions – Wikipedia

I have been working with a lot of companies where the organisation chart unfortunately is a historical document. Usually the chart is a reflection of traditional job descriptions. Most management teams are organised in boxes in which we put people and tasks.

The renewal of the top management team is done when one person leaves a box. A new person with more or less the same competency is often entered into the same box. The interaction of the boxes in the organisation chart is depending on the personal connection of the people who occupy the positions.

With a classical organisation chart, the relationship between the people in the boxes reflects the performance of the organisation. It’s a resource focused company.

Remove the dust of your organisation chart

Very few managers are in the position to start building the top team completely from scratch. Do not though take your organisation for granted. Make the effort to review your organisation chart.

Are all the boxes still needed? What tasks are performed by the managers holding the positions? Are some tasks done twice? Are all the tasks relevant? Is the job done because it always has? Are the boxes adapted to the persons in your team? Do people hold on to their tasks? Are you aware of your competency gap? Is your top structure flexible?

The classical organisations chart is close to 200 years. Is it time to remove the boxes?

We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experience – Edward de Bono

Globalisation, rapid innovations and a high cost focus are good reasons to energise your top structure. It might be an idea to move away from a resource focused organisation chart towards a top structure organised in flow.

LEAN your team out of the box

Take the time to position your top management structure. The efficiency of your top structure mirrors down in your organisation. Create a top structure with flow that is adapted to the value your organisation should provide to your clients.

Everyone is born with an instinct of success and ability to make it, but only the ones who think out of the box succeed – Unarine Ramary

Remove the boxes. Get the overview of all the tasks performed by the members in your management team. Validate that the tasks are still required. Remove the overlaps. Put the tasks in a logical order. Create a natural flow that is suited to serve your organisation.

Each time I have participated to this exercise, it is fascinating to see the results. The members of the team get quite a few A-ha moments during the process. The interactions and connections between the team members are strengthened. It makes room for flexibility. Creativity raise. Efficiency is increased. The organisation flows into place.

As a leader, you need to be personally involved in making your new organisation structure. The company never gets clearer than you are. Creating the frame of your company is your number one task to get a performing organisation.

Good luck with refreshing your leadership flow!


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