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workplace practices and approaches

Let’s start with the structure we have all come to know and love…the hierarchy.


I’ve talked about several workplace practices and approaches that are quite out-dated and the hierarchy is one of them. According to Wikipedia, “possibly the first use of the English word “hierarchy” cited by the Oxford English Dictionary was in 1880, when it was used in reference to the three orders of three angels as depicted by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (5th–6th centuries).” This model was quickly adopted by the military as a way to show a chain of command and of course we have all seen and experienced this within our organizations (and most still do).

This type of a model makes sense for linear work where no brain power is required and where the people who work there are treated like expendable cogs. However, as the war for talent continues to become more fierce, organizations around the world are quickly trying to figure out alternatives to the hierarchy. In fact, every single organization I speak with, work with, and research, is looking to flatten out their structure. Nobody ever tells me they want more bureaucracy and more layers.