On its surface, an org-chart is simply a mapping of a company’s corporate structure. However, with the proper knowledge, an org chart can influence a team’s behavior. It can communicate an organization’s priorities, while simultaneously highlighting core competencies and where to best utilize them. An org-chart can promote collaboration and accountability. Basically, in the right hands, an org chart can help a leader steer their organization down the right path.
Forbes recently published an article that detailed the industry demand for a flexible alternative to the stationary org chart. In the article, David Burkus looks to the likes of Broadway production teams to help uncover the value of operating with an org chart that is formed around products and problems as opposed to a fixed structure. The big takeaway here is this: the more willing you are to part with a predefined structure for your organization or business—in favor of something that allows for resources to be allocated where they are needed the most—the better you can perform in your competitive marketplace.
But Burkus’ article also hints at a dynamic shift in the way we visualize information to better suit the flexible nature of the 21st century. There has to be a degree of parity between structure and flexibility in everything we, as modern professionals, do; that’s why Burkus’ article is so poignant. It highlights that as times are changing, technology and familiarity need to meet somewhere in the middle—hence the familiarity of an easily manageable org chart that provides features to expedite a hectic production schedule.
So what benefits can an org chart provide your company? We’ve put together a list of three key takeaways that organizational charts can provide to the everyday business professional:
While org charts do an exceptional job at giving members of your team a visual aid when it comes to defining leadership roles for a particular department or project, their benefits exceed far beyond a simple reminder of in-office hierarchy. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that aligning yourself with like-minded and thoughtful individuals is one of the biggest steps to take when propelling a business forward. This all starts with analyzing your team and optimizing your order of operations. The end goal is to place your leadership thoughtfully throughout your organization, giving you an opportunity to perfectly align management based upon your company’s unique vision. Successful leaders should not only be able to address the vision of your company, but they should also believe in it by serving as the embodiment of culture throughout your organization. Leadership should be envisioned with a purpose, and org charts provide you with the perfect tool to align your employees accordingly.
As mentioned above, leadership should serve as an extension of your company philosophy—and to a larger extent, act as a champion of your organization’s culture. But what exactly does that mean? For starters, a company’s culture should serve the purpose of defining a vision: What are you trying to solve? Why do you want to solve it? How do you plan to do it? The answers to these questions should dictate how the culture of your organization will play in the eyes of employees. With leadership perpetuating culture across all departments, you can rely upon members of your management teams to help define the role their department will play in establishing a culture for your organization. But imagining a strong vision is only half the battle; ensuring your concept can sustain the test of time is another beast in its entirety.
A large component of locking in employee engagement is accountability. Employees should be fully aware of the responsibilities and deliverables that are to be completed on their behalf, as well as given the necessary resources that are required to do so. Detailing an organizational structure should set in motion a sense of nurturing between employees and managerial staff, as it sets up an open line of communication.
Which leads us to our next point of discussion…
97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. It’s no secret that the best ideas come from collaboration and feedback from others, so why not leverage the use of teamwork within your organization? Collaborative efforts are a great way to diversify the talent pool at your disposal, while keeping things fresh and true to your organization’s vision. A great exercise for leadership that incorporates teambuilding mechanics is to assign employees to new projects as they become available—regardless of department or skillset. The ultimate goal is to develop something that is unique to your brand and can help combat resource limitations as necessary. That’s one of the largest benefits that come with owning a company-wide organizational chart; you can manage employee workloads to ensure no single employee is being overworked.
Do you use an organizational chart in your office? We’d love to hear how visual management is changing the game for your workspace. Let us know in the comments below!