The Shaky Pyramid of the Hierarchical Organization
July 17, 2011
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Looking at the Hierarchical Organization from the Outside
When I first started to learn about, and think about, alternative organizational forms, one of my explorations was to have an artist produce some images that I used in public presentations. This is one of illustrations which the artist generated, and that got me thinking about the hierarchical organizations that I had worked within.
The guy at the top has a great view. He can see further out than anyone else, but his head can be in the clouds. He really needs to keep everybody else in line or his position is at risk. The folks at the bottom are well grounded, but have very little freedom. If they should all decide to leave at once, the pyramid is in jeopardy, which is why unions are so powerful, sometimes.
Some people look like they can only deal internally with others in the pyramid, while others might be able to see or communicate with people outside the pyramid. Moving forward is a real challenge of coordination otherwise things could get very shaky.
What other thoughts does this illustration generate for you, based on your experience in hierarchical organizations?