We used to talk about the pyramid-shaped org chart. Lots of workers at the bottom with some moving up through increasingly rarefied air until you finally reached the king at the top.
Unfortunately, most companies are still structured that way.
My friend Joe Phelps wrote a book: “Pyramids are tombs.”
He outlines his success creating a flat organization that produces world-class product with outstanding bottom-line results.
Then Ken Blanchard, the famous One-Minute Manager, suggested we flip the pyramid.
Ken said with an inverted pyramid you’ll think your people are responsible and your job as leader is to be responsive. Your job is to help your team win. Because if they win, you win.
Sounds good, right? Better than the one with the peak at the top anyway.
Yet the thing is, I don’t like any pyramid. Those structures are pointless.
The org chart should look like an amoeba.
A cell that changes shape.
A living organism.
And at the heart of that organism? Not the leader. Not the teammates.
Hence the amoeba – customer in the center with the leader, managers and every teammate gathered around asking “How may I help you?”
No customers, no company, right?