In the future we will not talk about this or that type of organizational structure, we will talk about one model that includes all of its predecessors. Hierarchical, Flat, Holocratic, Team, Matrix, Adhocracy, Functional, Accountable, Objective… all combine into one.
As with most things, the rise of technology has a tendency to change our paradigm, the standing model, the perspective we adopt.
This paradigm shift in the world of organizational structure is getting ready to happen with the rise of the Graph Database and the GUI technologies growing up around it. (NEO4J, Tiger Graph, Amazon’s Neptune, Microsoft’s Graph, Tom Sawyer’s Perspectives, etc).
We will start to hear and use these sayings: “Let’s Graph that.” or “Oh, that’s a graph.” Meaning we are using the Graph Database approach where relationships carry as much priority as the objects they are connecting. In computer talk, we use the words nodes, edges, properties, and labels. In the real world, we will talk about the objects that are connected with relationship connections that have direction and weight.
The cool thing is this: We will not be reinventing the wheel! These org structure connections (in bold) will use the same organizational words we use today.
- Reports To (a Job)
- Mentored By (a Job)
- Coached By (a Position)
- Member Of (a Team)
- Attends (a Meeting)
- Function Of (a Job)
- Accountable For (an Objective)
- Responsible For (A Key Result)
- Follows (a Processes)
- Interfaces With (a System)
- Interacts With (an Entity like a Project, Contract or Customer)
- Participates In (Functional Unit or Workflow)
- Has (a Skill)
- Owns (their Job)
All of these relationships and connections will be captured in an Organizational Graph. If you let your mind wander a bit, let it lift up above all of these example connections I just listed, you will see that all types of Organizational Structure models that exist in 2020 can be covered.
Applied in real life.
- Every CEO will be able to get the answer to “Who is doing what and why?”
- Every Individual Contributor will be able to answer “What am I doing and why?”
With an Org Graph, an employee will be able to answer these 14 questions.
- I know the Purpose of my Job.
- I know what Positions or “Roles” I fill as part of my Job and I know the Purpose of each of these Positions.
- I know who I Report To.
- I know who I am Mentored By.
- I know who I turn to for Coaching in each of my Positions
- I know what Teams I am Part Of and Why.
- I know what Meetings I Attend and Why.
- I know what Entities (Clients, Projects, Contracts) I Interact with.
- I know what Workflows my Job and Positions participate in.
- I know what Processes I follow and maintain as part of my Job and Positions.
- I know what Systems I log in to and Why, and I know how to use them.
- I know the Objectives I am pursuing and how they align with Co. Objectives.
- I know the Key Results I must hit to be doing a good job.
- I know what Skills I need now and in the future.
I hope you are seeing the impact this will have on our approach to Org Charts and how this will manifest in the world of org charting software.