I often talk about org charts in my speeches. When I show audiences a traditional top-down pyramid, two things happen simultaneously—some people groan aloud, and other people say “Hey, it works.“ The difference is often generational.
Likewise when I show audiences a matrix-like org chart, some people say “yes!” and others say, “That looks like chaos.” Again, the difference tends to be generational.
Here’s the hard truth.
We work in the in-between. Not in purely top-down, authority-based companies, and not in completely network-based, matrix-like companies either.
Reality is a messy mixture of the two. On any given day, it makes sense to use a top-down chart to move info along and get bottom-line decisions made, AND on that same day, it makes sense to share ideas and innovate from the roots up and out.
We make some decisions one way, and some decisions another. In times like these, as change keeps accelerating, we need good information all the time. it makes sense to bring all voices into play, AND it makes sense to channel those voices efficiently. Top-down and bottom up.
How does your official chart look? How does it really function? Where do the generations play out on the chart? Do some generations respect the chart while others constantly make new paths?
I look forward to these conversations with you in the new year.
Amy Lynch, The Expert on Generations at Work | @AmyLynchGenEdge
Let's Talk: 615-944-6140
Author and entrepreneur Amy Lynch helps the generations understand each other and work together. She has spoken to 100s of groups from MTV to Boeing, J&J and the staff of the U.S. Senate. Amy has been quoted in The Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and NBC Evening News, among others. Call her about your next event.