Natural Hierarchy

Order out of chaos. What we know and what we don’t know. There are people in the company now. As the mission was discussed, some left, some stayed, some enrolled. Those that are left have to work together, but in what way?

Organizational structure is simply the way we define the working relationships between people. Some of those relationships are vertical. Vertical working relationships are described as managerial and define two things. In that relationship, what is the accountability of each person? In that relationship, who has the authority. Accountability and authority. And, so, a manager is born.

But, who should be the manager? The instant the founder selects a manager, a hierarchy emerges. Some modern companies decry, that because they are modern, they have no managers and thus no hierarchy. Some modern companies believe that hierarchy is an evil social construct that should be banished for social good. But, if there is no manager, there is no hierarchy. If there is no hierarchy, there is no accountability and no authority. And chaos re-emerges.

Hierarchy is a natural sorting of value. Hierarchy is a product of nature, not a social construct. Value can be placed on many things. For mate selection, the value may be attractiveness, physical, chemical, economic. The Tinder swipe is based on a hierarchy of value.

For a company, the value is competence. The organizational structure is a hierarchy of competence. A person climbs the ladder of organizational hierarchy based on their ability (capability) and expression of competence.

2 thoughts on “Natural Hierarchy

  1. Tom Foster

    Hi, Bruce,
    Hierarchy is just a framework. The framework gets populated only by those functions and roles necessary (Lee Thayer) for the work of the mission. So, yes, it changes. A managerial role is both people AND process. The manager determines (consistent with the mission) what work is to be done, the level of work required, the necessary people to complete that work and the building of the team to do the work. Then of course, the work must be monitored for completion and quality spec. So, it’s both.


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