The Upside Down Pyramid

One archaic tradition that has survived the era of corporate dominance, is the standard organizational chart in the shape of a pyramid.  Traditionally, the highest ranking employee stands alone on top of a smaller level of managers that reside above the next level of managers and so on and so on.   In most cases, the front line employees that deal with the actual customers are on the bottom of this pyramid.  This would include, retail sales people, cashiers, customer service reps, all overseen by some manager residing above them on the pyramid.

Academically, this is a descendent of management’s view of the world.  Companies with a marketing orientation would start with the customer and in essence, turn the pyramid upside down.  A modern day company should reorient themselves and reverse their conceptual pyramid of importance.  The front line employees work for the customers.  Their managers work to make sure that the front line employees have the training, empowerment and culture to properly satisfy the customer’s needs.   Middle managers work for those managers and so on and so on.  A great CEO, needs to consider themselves the servants of the CMO, CFO, CIO, etc. to make sure that they have all that they need.  The CEO is actually on the bottom of the pyramid and must work to balance

From a entrepreneur’s perspective, this doesn’t seem to matter when the org chart is one box with titles ranging from President to accountant to operations manager.  However, from the day that the organization begins to add employees, a great entrepreneur will build their pyramid upside down.


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