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  • Writer's pictureMeghan Kirkland

Mastering the Shift to a Less Hierarchical Organisation


๐…๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ .ย 

๐๐จ ๐Œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐‡๐ข๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก๐ฒ.ย 

๐†๐จ๐จ๐๐›๐ฒ๐ž ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฎ๐œ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ.

The buzz around flattening organisations is undeniable. Lots of people talk to me about it, but the real question is:ย 

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง?

.. ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐จ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ?ย 

The ability to design and evaluate these kinds of organisational structures (and transitions towards them) is becoming a critical skill for leaders and HR professionals.

I thought this article fromย Eric Anicich,ย Michael Y. Lee,ย andย Juan Pablo Sรกnchez Celiย via HBR was a great read into the challenges of moving towards a less hierarchical model. I highly recommend it!

Here are the key highlights that resonated with me:

๐Ÿ’ก ๐๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐ ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž "๐‘๐š๐ณ๐จ๐ซ-๐„๐๐ ๐ž" ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐„๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐‹๐ž๐š๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ: Leading in a flatter organisation requires a fine balance between providing guidance and developing autonomy. It's an "intricate dance" of being a visionary while calibrating influence.

๐Ÿ’ก ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐™๐จ๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐ž ๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ:ย I thought this description was pretty apt. The ghost of traditional hierarchies can linger, hindering genuine decentralisation. โ€œTo truly flatten an organisation, itโ€™s not enough to build anew; one must also actively dismantle and guard against the resurrection of the old.โ€

๐Ÿ’ก ๐€๐๐๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ:ย Bridging the gap between different parts of the organisation during varying speeds of decentralisation is crucial. Incremental changes and integrating decentralisation principles can aid in a smoother transition.

๐Ÿ’ก๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฑ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐ˆ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ:ย Amidst numerous organisational changes, distinguishing between decentralisation-related initiatives and others is key. Clear and consistent communication is vital in managing overall organisational stress and understanding its impact on employees.

For a deeper dive into these topics and much more, check out the full readย here:ย

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