Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pass the Ketchup, Please

I have a big plate of words. About 2 years ago, I wrote a blog entry called "Structure Schmucture" through which I espoused my theory that traditional structure was not that important if it is possible to work horizontally across the organization.

Kind of like working in projects, where you pull in the subject matter experts and everyone does their part in executing a well designed plan. The team is held together by a plan of what will be accomplished, with his or her accountability outlined. The team comes together regularly to review progress and makes adjustments along the way.

While I still agree that is the ideal way of working, I have come to the most humble conclusion that I am . . . wrong. Recently I realized that this state of Nirvana that I wrote about can only exist if the fundamentals of leadership accountability are in place.

Without going textbook on you, people need to know what their job is so they can do it. One must not take the org chart for granted. It is the holy grail of the disorganized or discombobulated. The org chart defines the box that each person occupies so that person can do their job.

Org charts are more than a place to hang one's corporate hat; org charts are the place where one's purpose and value to the organization is formed, and org charts define the home team. Coming up with the org chart is not easy because there are people involved. Feelings. Lives. Livelihoods.

So I find myself eating my words, as I realize that defining structure is hard to do sometimes, and so important if it's not in place.

Do we have any Tabasco?

No comments: