Little Boxes, on the Org Chart…..

Part of my job involves organization design. When I get called in for this kind of work, the first step is to clarify the goals of the organization and the unique areas of work the organization does for the greater enterprise.

Many leaders want to start by drawing the boxes showing how they want the new organization to work. Who reports to whom. But boxes on the org chart don’t do work. Living organizations where information and ideas are exchanged, explored and acted on get work done. So I try and stay out of the box drawing until the last level of thinking about how to do the work is complete.

And, as a child of the 60’s, I hear this song in my head whenever we start with the boxes.

And they’re all made out of PowerPoint and they all look just the same.

It’s not the structure. It’s the people.

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