When I entered one of the former organisations, I asked for the organisational charts, to help me to find my way. It turned out org charts were implicitly forbidden. Creating clarity on paper would cause too much trouble and would disengage too many people. I could have known, because in my selection process I had met already three executives who claimed that they would be my future boss.
Initially I did not like this aversion for clarity and clear lines of responsibilities, but it turned out to function rather well.
10 reasons why to get rid of your traditional hierarchical org charts
- People like to work for you, because they want to develop and learn a lot. Not because they fit a box in the chart.
- You believe organisations are moving from traditional hierarchical organisations to global network organisations. You do not want to emphasise the old reality.
- It is more about teams than individuals. Organisational charts stress the individual responsibilities, while you like to have high performing teams who sort out themselves how they achieve their goals.
- You need an agile organisation that is able to adapt quickly to new realities. Stifling org charts do not help here.
- Org charts lead to job descriptions, and the last thing you want is people who stick to their job descriptions (and HR departments that have to spend time on writing job descriptions).
- They give a distorted view of the reality, and why would you want that?
- Org charts lead to discussions about territory and borders. You want your people and teams to focus on the common goals, and not on useless territorial discussions.
- Organisational charts lead to a functional and fragmented approach, and not to a holistic multidisciplinary approach.
- Org charts and structures do not mobilise and engage people.
- You want people to collaborate and reach out to colleagues who can help them, disregard less of their position in the org chart.
Your reaction could be: but the org chart has also many advantages, like helping people to navigate through the organisation, and to have a clear sight on their responsibilities. Of course, and I am sure you can come up with eight other positive aspects as well. I hope to read them in your blog soon!