Org Charts: Avoid the Mistake of the Rake Org Chart

Video Transcript

Every time I ask people, “Do you have an org structure?” They always say. “Yes.” They are always able to print it and show me.

But once I start really diving into the organization, talking to people and saying let’s roll the tape and see how it’s really behaving. This is what the organizational structure really looks like:

This is a rake org chart.

You’ve got a leader and you’ve got several people that are responsible for doing the work. This is what the org structure all the sudden looks like. Once again, no one draws it this way, but this is the way it’s actually functioning

We call this a rake organization because it performs like a rake.

Remember: structure drives behavior.

The person at the top is very technically-oriented or very talented in their field of expertise. They are dominant in that way or they’re really good at sales. They have incredible ability to just sell and develop. But what they are typically not great at are being really effective managers.

Managers are people that really try to get results through people. People are just the conduit. Managers select people with development potential.  They put in systems and processes. They’re really the ones that understand the technical requirements of executing on the vision and the strategy.

What does this rake structure do? This structure forces this person at the top to become a manager. It actually causes them to start playing to their weaknesses, when we are in our fastest point of growth.

Oftentimes when I talk to leaders, they feel this.

They say, “I feel like i’m working in the business…I can no longer work on the business.” So what they do? They plug somebody else in, right below:

What the leader wants this new person to do is start running the organization. What do the people below do? They’re not quite sure what is and what is NOT this person’s responsibility.

What happens is we just unintentionally moved the Rake somewhere else in the organization.

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