🎚️ Hierarchy

Updated at 2024-04-11 21:51

Flat organizations are a myth. There is always a hierarchy, you like it or not. It's better to make structure explicit than to pretend it doesn't exist. Chaotic hierarchies will sneak their way in either through social status, salary, equity, or skill.

The best way to manage a team is to have a clear hierarchy.

But "flat" can mean different things to different people so avoiding all kinds of "flat hierarchy" is unwise. The most common component of is "self-management."

Self-management allows making decisions quickly. But having less management is both a blessing and a curse.

You start to avoid difficult conversations. If you don't have a manager, you need to talk to the issue person directly and most people don't enjoy conflict. This can lead to postponing "the talk" and causes unnecessary tension.

Especially if the issue is something minor that person does without meaning any harm. It's better to have a manager to handle these situations.

Employees can find it hard to find guidance on their job. When you need advice, you don't instantly know who to ask. You need more rules and structure to make it work.

People can feel overburdened by the added responsibility. Especially if you are in a startup barely surviving month to month, you shouldn't force this strategic responsibility to your workers.

Shared responsibility; nobody's responsibility.

No hierarchy scales without a clear structure. To decentralize processes, you need to have a lot of rules how to act in various situations. Communicating and enforcing these rules is a full-time job. And that's what managers do.