RE: Org Charts & White Space

Bryan Frew (
Mon, 14 Nov 94 07:44:38 PST

>An org chart is an affinity diagram. As such, ALL IT REPRESENTS is a
>model of the relationships and hierarchy (a specific type of
>relationship) in the firm.

Unfortunately an Organisation Chart is seen by most organisations as a model for Organisation
Performance. In order to improve performance, they tamper with the "model".

IMHO the Organisation Chart (hierachical functional structure) is one of the root causes of poor
performance and disharmony in organisations. It supports competition versus cooperation. It
"contains" many bad messages the worst being, "In order to succeed, I must please my boss."

It is a power-based structure that undermines systems-based change if it is retained as a
performance/structural "model" or even as a "harmless" relationship chart.

Alfie Kohn writes (Punished by Rewards): "There is a time to admire the grace and persuasive
power of an idea, there is a time to fear its hold over us. The time to worry is when the idea
is so widely shared that we no longer notice it, when it is so deeply rooted that it feels to us
like plain common sense. At the the point when objections are not answered any more because they
are no longer raised, we are not in control: we do not have the idea; it has us."

Bryan Frew
Global Strategies Australia
Tel: +61 2 970-7566
Fax: +61 2 970-7510