Understanding the Paradigm Shift in Organizational Structures

Understanding the Paradigm Shift in Organizational Structures

Power is one of the hardest things to overcome. I know because in my own professional development I’ve struggled with the need to have power. Over the last few years as my mentality of leadership and management has changed, so has my desire for power. However, our human nature still desires power. It’s the reason why people of power lie, cheat, and steal, so they can maintain being on top. It’s one of the instrumental challenges we face as leaders of any size organization. You probably still have managers within your organization that struggle with their need to come across as powerful and uses tactics to show their power within the organization.

Don’t get me wrong. An individual’s confidence and ability to speak their mind is completely different than being on a complete power trip. We want leaders within an organization to be outspoken and take stances on subjects opposed to sitting quietly and allowing things to just happen. It’s how we interact with your fellow co-workers and your employees that determine what kind of leader you are and whether or not you’re a power-hungry individual looking to show your wrath in order to look powerful.


As you can see from this historic way of looking at organizational structure, it makes sense. The pyramid shows the leaders on top making decisions and funneling them down to your front line employees then to your customers. This has been the structure organizations have lived by for many years and it hasn’t been until recently we’ve seen the chart flipped. We have to rid the notion that leaders and managers dictate the organization’s future. Are they in charge of strategy and planning for the future? Yes. But the strategy is directly correlated to the feedback provided by the individuals in the trenches communicating directly with who is the most important person, the customer.

In recent years, the organizational structure has shifted or better yet, flipped upside down. Blame the new workforce of managers (aka millennials) if you want but things are changing and I believe for the better. The organizational structure should now look something similar to the picture below.


All organizations still have those managers that look at this structure and is terrified of it. They’ve spent years building their position of power and now we’re saying you’re not in charge anymore. You’re simply here to support the individuals that are instrumental to the organization’s success. The butting of heads will continue within any organization that has the mentality of both structures. It takes the leaders (now at the bottom) to organically change the culture of an organization’s structure by not playing into the power of the “managers of old.” We need to continue to build and train the frontline employees at top so the organizational structure will change in time.

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