From the Ask Tom mailbag –
I was in your Time Span presentation about Elliott Jaques and Managerial Relationships. I recently discovered that our perceived organization chart is quite different that the one I had or felt was in place. I had all of my managers draw their view of our Org Chart so I can get a better grip on the disconnect. What is the best way to create the most accurate Org Chart and most importantly, implement it?
Interesting that Elliott faced this same dilemma. He described these various versions of the Org Chart this way –
- Manifest Org Chart – this is the published version
- Assumed Org Chart – this is the version that different people assume, as many versions as you have people. This is the version you received from your managers.
- Extant Org Chart – the way the Org Chart actually works, based on observations and interviews. This would include all the dysfunction, vagaries, dotted lines, stupid rules, end arounds and general mayhem.
- Requisite Org Chart – the design of managerial relationships based on Requisite principles.
When we put Org Charts together, we think the central question is “who reports to whom?” This is a sucker punch question that leads us astray. It is not a matter of “who reports to whom?” but a matter of “which manager is accountable for the output of which team or team member?”
A manager is that person in the organization held accountable for the output of their team. So, when I examine any role, it’s not a matter of who that role should report to. When I examine the role, it’s a matter of which manager is accountable for the output of this role.
This subtle shift is a game-changer. The Organization Chart is a visual depiction of managerial accountability, not “who reports to whom?”
But your question is how best to create this visual depiction. Ultimately, all crumbs lead to the top. I hold the CEO accountable for the design of the work. But the detail of this design is best hashed out in a series of meetings considering these questions –
- What is the work to be done, tasks to be completed?”
- What is the Level of Work?
- What role is best to complete the tasks?
- Which manager is accountable for the completion of those tasks (output)?
Very interesting questions.