Imagine two companies:
Company A has a tradition hierarchical structure of management. The only time most of the employees see the ‘fat-cat’ boss is when he pulls into his private parking space in his fancy Mercedes each morning. The boss inhabits a top floor office with panoramic views, and he rarely leaves its sanctuary. He deals only with the high-flying executives he has appointed, and then often only in monthly meetings. The boss makes the final decision on everything, seldom taking into account anything but facts and figures. Any changes that are made to the work environment or policies are sprung on employees and they are simply expected to accept and adapt, like good little cogs. In his elevated world, this boss has no idea what life is like for his employees or his customers.
Company B has moved away from the hierarchy recommended in the outdated teachings of traditional business schools across the globe. The world has moved on and change is happening every minute. Company B has a horizontal structure. Employees and managers are trusted and imbued with the power to make decisions without approval from ‘higher-up’. Care has been taken to hire passionate, creative employees, and they have been given a good deal of responsibility and flexibility in regards to their role and their schedule. Channels of communication are open throughout the company and individuals will often liaise directly with several different departments when working on a project. The boss of this company can regularly be found putting in a day’s work on the shop floor or mingling with the staff. He is in touch with what it takes to keep the company running form day to day and he always has time to listen to new ideas from his workforce.
Which company do you think enjoys better rates of employee, customer and shareholder happiness, loyalty, productivity, innovation and overall success?
The answer is almost certainly Company B.