Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hierarchy vs. Hierarchical

Samuel A. Culbert from UCLA along with John Ullmen from Earthlink researched and published how relationships up and down the chain of command affect organizational performance. They differentiate between a constructive hierarchy which can establish accountability vs. the destructive hierarchical relationships which subvert and demoralize operations.

Are you mapping for everyone's inclusion?
When an estate staff collaborates toward their goals, does differentiation of these two approaches hold value for how the team will ultimately function?  What could be developed to ensure the healthier relationships for domestic service success?

The researchers noted:

At the core of the problems created by hierarchical relationships is one individual's domination of another. This is what blocks people with knowledge from making a contribution; this is what enables people with power to isolate themselves from resources that could help the company. People on top set the structure and compose the chart believing that this provides people below them sufficient security and authority to speak their minds openly. But they don't. In fact, most lowers feel that leveling and straight talking comes with such perilous consequences that they have little recourse but to play it safe.

It's a dumb situation that needs changing. More than ever, you want to see responsible parties exercising their decision making authority with maximum intelligence and 360-degree perspective and this requires input from the ranks.

- From Don't Kill The Bosses! Escaping the Hierarchy Trap (Berrett-Koehler, 2001)