Most of my clients no longer use the Org Chart, replacing it with the Accountability Chart – a more powerful tool that clearly depicts the structural needs of the organization.
At first glance, the Accountability Chart (AC) may look like an Org Chart with a similar hierarchical feel, but that’s where the similarities end.
Organization vs. Accountability
The Org Chart highlights job titles inferring one’s stature or “place” in the organization, while the AC leads with structure first, people second. When you have figured out the “right” structure for your organization, the only thing left is to make sure you have the right people and processes in place to run a strong organization.
With the AC, you can easily uncover organizational weaknesses and address them swiftly. This is not as easy with the standard Org Chart, since organizational weaknesses can easily be masked by subtle shifts in the placement of people.
For example, I had a client ready to add a new position called “Client Advocate” to make sure all their clients were happy. On the surface, it sounded like a good idea but in reality they were creating this position to compensate for inconsistencies within their operations. They ultimately decided not to add this position and instead conducted IDS to get to the root of their operational inconsistencies.
5 Advantages of Using the Accountability Chart vs. the Organizational Chart
1. Depicts Clear Accountability: Everyone knows their part in building a great organization.
2. Promotes Alignment throughout the Organization: Not only does everyone understand what their accountable for, but they also see how it contributes to the success of the organization.
3. Discourages Ego: With the AC, there are no job titles, just functions that must be managed and owned by individuals.
4. Addresses Structure First: With the right structure, you can focus on getting the right people in the right seats with the right processes in place.
5. Change Only When the Needs of the Organization Change: As your organization grows, your structure may need to alter as well. The AC helps lead these changes.
Though it may be hard to eliminate your Organizational Chart completely, you’ll find the Accountability Chart makes it easier to understand who’s accountable for what and how that translates to building a great organization!
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