Re: "Org Chart" for a Learning Organization

Mon, 14 Nov 94 14:29:16 pst

Folks, for those who responded I really am going to fax a copy of
SCE's org chart today. In some ways it is not too different from what
Richard Karash describes here. At least on one side of the chart. I
know org charts are a vestige from a past era but the reality is there
are 16,000 people in this company, many have worked 30, 40 or more
years here, many don't have computers, and there has to be some way to
figure out who does what. We can't have total anarchy or there
wouldn't be much progress, just a lot of activity. (Of course there
are wags who make such claims anyway, but that's another matter.)

To the others whose curiosity I may have piqued, let me describe the
org chart to the best of my ability. In the center is the Senior
Executive Team (SET), a sort of steering council made up of the CEO
and other company officers. The right side of the chart shows the
functional areas each officer controls. The left side of the chart
shows other corporate cross-functional teams, which work with/for the
SET. The membership of these teams changes, and new teams may be
added, or existing teams disbanded, as business needs dictate. Some of
the business units of the company have similar structures, in some
cases they are even more flexible (the cross-functional teams are far
easier to create or eliminate than a functional organization).

We haven't gotten to the point where outside groups are shown, but
then again things change pretty quickly around here these days. I
would expect to see something with customers as part of the picture in
the near future. We are fairly new to this, you must realize. As an
public electric utility, customers to us were somewhat different than
to most businesses. We had a monopoly franchise for an essential
commodity. Our customers basically had two choices: take what we gave
them, or live in the dark. My, how things have changed. We are going
through the same thing that our friends in airline, telephone, and gas
companies did before us. Society will be healthier in the long run but
there is a dark side to cutting fat, which is the loss of all those
steady, high-paying jobs that were due to "social engineering" which
is no longer popular. This is a very painful process for us but for
those of us who plan to be among the survivors, a growth period in
many ways. We are looking for the best ways to be competitive in
business that will work for us. Changing the org chart is part
substance and part symbol, both parts are important to achieve the
change in attitudes and behaviors that are critical to our future

Sean Gawne, Southern California Edison (speaking for myself, not SCE)

"All opinions expressed are solely the author's, which is more a
reflection of the company's timidity than the value of the opinions."

on 14 Nov 94 Richard Karash wrote:

I saw a remarkable org chart from one of my clients recently. This was an
important part of a large oil company. The chart was not hierarchical, but
showed circles for the different functional units. The circles were
arrayed on the paper to show the most important interdependencies, how
much each group *related to* other groups. And, the chart included
external groups (in particular, suppliers). The links did *not* show who
reports to whom.

So, the big question to me is, "What do we want to show on the chart?"

On 9 Nov 1994, Gezinus J. Hidding wrote:

> What does an organization look like that has adopted (or is adopting, if
you will) a "learning organization" model? ... see what the learning
organization might look like, in terms of organization chart.