Organization of a LO LO7614

Don (
Sun, 26 May 1996 09:23:52 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO7509 --

Marilyn Darling wrote:

> Does anyone have examples of how the org chart can stimulate
> organizational learning.

I have recently facilitated the re-structuring of a large library ( 600
folk, 34 branches). As part of this, the role of the people at the
circulation desk was changed, so they would work as a team with
accountability and authority for a number of "manging" functions such as
staffing, planning, controling, visioning ... . Their importance as being
at the front line was emphasized.

As a way of facilitating discussion about these changes, I redrew the org
chart with the public at the top of the page, circulation staff at the top
of the organization and the CEO at the bottom (for those with a lot of
time in this strongly hierarchial organization, this was heresy). This
resulted in an inverted triangle. I then drew two diverging lines from
each position to indicate the width of the "span of discretion" for each
of the managing functions. This illustrated that those lower in the
organization (the CEO) performed the same functions as those at the top
who were stamping books, but the span was much much different. An
interesting discussion ensued about:

. the need to balance consistency with responsiveness and immediate service
. how their position fit into the larger picture and the importance of those
who deal with the public;
. an appreciation of what those folk "up there" need to deal with and
what could be done to facilitate a new working relationship
. the complexity of the organization
. the authority they have for each of the "managing functions"
. the power of the team.

An aside: in fact after this discusison we were discussing the
timing for the next staff training meeting. The only time that worked for
the team was the time the CEO was to have a meeting with the staff at the
branch. One of the team members called the CEO to inform her that her
meeting would need to be re-scheduled. The CEO was elated that a team
meber would take the initiative and was happy to adjust her schedule to
facilitate the development of the team.

Don Siddall
Management Consultant
City of Toronto
City Hall
M5H 2N2


Don <>

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