Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

I'll Take The Mess

Organizational structure is directly related to organizational behavior.

A heavy, hierarchical org chart also means heavy control. Sometimes this is okay. Organizations need organization - guidance to do the mission. Someone decides the mission. The same someone decides how to fulfill the mission. Vision and action.

From the top. The president. The board. Shoot it down the org chart. Be like the Army.

Top-down obedience. Submit to authority. Do your job. Do it with joy.

Some organizations have a different structure.

Leaders do their job in setting the vision (this is the job of leadership, after all). At this point, there is a key and subtle difference. Leaders seek to release members of the organization into the fulfillment of the vision. There's no other real directive. The "how" isn't always as important as the "what" (within given parameters). This is messier. But freedom and innovation is the value.

Some personalities are suited for hierarchy, order, and directive leadership. This is how to get a lot of people working on one thing in one way.

Other personalities are suited for low-structure, broad guidelines, freedom, and creativity. This is how to get fewer people working on a common goal using multiple methods for innovating solutions.

Every organizational method has its strengths and weaknesses. All things considered, every person will have their organizational preferences.

The ultimate consideration is the end product. What do you want to produce?

One achieves a result with more potential speed and efficiency. The other produces a result (eventually) and builds people in the process. But there is a bigger mess and slower time-tables.

I don't know if one structure is empirically better than the other.

But I do know which I prefer.