When Dr Alan Watkins told me on a podcast that “the organisation chart is dead” I was thrilled. I have long thought that hierarchies are a mis-match for true employee engagement and customer service. Those pyramid style charts represent authority and accountability channels, but not creativity and connection.

Dr Alan offers a replacement: network maps. His organisation has a whole process to assess employee interactions to see where the influence hubs are. These are not always the managers! It’s valuable information for influencing positive culture: look after and nurture the influencers. Give them the tools and skills they need to grow as leaders.

Here is my suggestion for reinventing the organisation chart: put your CUSTOMER or CLIENT or STAKEHOLDER at the centre. Now map all the people who support them to get what they need and want. Draw the connections between the different services.

When we map our services in this way, we start to see the nodes of interactions and how interdependent we are. This helps each individual see how they fit in the big picture. This is a critical ingredient for building engagement.

This is one of the first exercises I do with CEOs and their teams when we are looking at boosting employee engagement and building culture.

Your turn! Map out your organisation services. Where are the critical hubs? Are these nurturing? Where are the friction points? How can you reduce the blocks and tension?