Almost every executive we have worked with in the last 10-12 years has been familiar with Jim Collin’s formula to building a great team: get the right people on the bus and make sure everyone is sitting in the right seats. This means hire the right people (“on the bus”) and have everyone assigned the tasks they are best at (“in the right seats”). This is not easy but executives tend to make this too complicated because they do not like to use - or they downplay - the #1 tool designed to help them do this effectively: the organizational chart.

An updated, living document The org chart clarifies who does what and who answers to whom. This increases communication, accountability and problem-solving. The executives and managers should define the org chart at the beginning of the year and publish the updated version each quarter. The document stays relevant, meaningful and useful. But without an updated chart, miscommunication increases and accountability lessens. The vision and goals of the company are then at risk. HR is the team that should publish the org chart.

KEEP IT SIMPLE General tips on designing effective org charts:

  • Keep it simple (1 page)

  • Show only lines of protocol (who answers to whom)

  • Don’t add functional lines of any kind

  • Have few dotted lines if necessary

  • Show levels of authority (executives, managers, supervisors, etc...)

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