Sunday, January 27, 2013

Turning the Pyramid Upside Down

I have been in Toronto/Guelph/Waterloo where there is snow and a touch of cold weather.  There is also some cool in Long Island finally.  I love it and think it is healthy.  Kills the germs and the bugs - or at least that is what I think.


I read a leadership book by Marilyn D. Jacobson. Turning the Pyramid Upside Down.

It is a book about leadership.  The gist of it is - the most important person is at what is normally the bottom of the org chart.

It talks about leaders inspiring people:

“How would you like to be lead?” The most overwhelming responses were more autonomy, empowerment, support, access to viable resources, opportunities to collaborate on projects, and the ability to fully use their skills.

When organizations are flatter and synchronicity is achieved, pyramids and hierarchies will be history."

The gist of this is - old fashioned command an control no longer work. 

 I have seen this in action.   As a (partially) reformed micromanager, I have learned how inspiring it is for people to have autonomy.  As I ran a larger company, I had to constantly tell myself - coach on culture but let others make decisions.  Especially where they were competent to do so.

I developed a relationship with Mitchell Martin - President of SYNNEX Canada over time, where I trusted him to do a great job and tried to stay out of his way.  And it worked.   One of my mentors once said "what is the point in having good people if you do not let them do your job".

The upside down pyramid is particularly important in customer facing organizations.

It is a good read for any leader.


 I was interviewed by Nadar Mahmoudi from Coldad for his blog.


And of course the one and only Josh.


At 12:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

It is interesting to think about what a world without bosses would be like. It would certainly require a responsible population. I know of one company, Valve (a tech-based firm), that is currently using an entirely flat hierarchy model. Employees recruit fellow employees to work on projects. If an employee cannot find other employees willing to work on his/her proposed project, then he or she can pursue the idea alone or dump it. The employee's time spent at work is entirely up to them. It is a neat concept. I guess we will see how it works when Valve releases their Steam Box video game console (similar to a ps3/xbox 360).


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