Change Management Week

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The organization chart they never showed you

The organization chart they never showed you

The organization chart they never showed you. Most organizations have developed around the following paradigm: predict and control.

However, today’s dynamic markets require companies to be more adaptive, learn, relearn, unlearn, and involve more stakeholders.

Trasnformation Skecth "The organization chart they never showed you" by María Anes. Ilustrated by Andy Baraja.

Transforming, after all

It’s not a simple path. Achieving this involves more than just training and renaming specific roles, meetings, or projects.

Imagine that a Scrum team, for example, meets at the end of the iteration with stakeholders and users to agree on the next steps, progress and changes.

However, a senior manager operating outside the team imposes requirements that, in their judgment, are more important.

How do we know if an organization has transformed?


One of the signs that an organization is starting to change is when it updates how power and authority are defined and exercised.

It is also when it makes explicit how it is structured and establishes who can expect what from whom or who can make what decisions within what limits.

In brief, the more traditional organizational design dies out.

If this does not happen, an implicit structure emerges shaped by personal relationships and politics.

This generates resistance to change and creates a dissonant culture that is detrimental to strategy. It also brings to life the organizational chart you were never shown.

A more relevant structure than the official organizational chart and job descriptions becomes the unconscious way things are done.

It neutralizes the impact of most launched initiatives and generates discouragement and frustration in those betting on significant change.

How could we influence people more effectively?

What if we differentiate the people who work in the organization from their functions? What if teams have a voice and have the opportunity to do something with it?

Let’s define and document the organizational chart we would always want to see with explicit roles and duties that help us incorporate learning and align with the current context of change.

Most of the time, the organization and you just need to know what you are there for.

Join our #AlwaysLearning Community

About the Author

Maria Anes

Maria Anes

Maria Anes, Netmind Business Development Manager in Lean and Agile Instructors, helps teams to drive, promote, and lead the digital transformation of the organizations she works with by transforming their work culture, developing their digital competencies, and promoting continuous learning. She enjoys digging in to understand the needs of each client, defining their strategy, designing each solution, disseminating knowledge, and learning from her experiences. Maria’s work with Netmind is centered around Lean and Agile strategy, People and Culture development, implementing Agile frameworks, designing change and learning programs, promoting innovation, and facilitating a remote work environment. She is also passionate about football (soccer), art, music, and learning. Maria holds a degree in Psychology and her list of accreditations includes Professional Scrum Master, Kanban Management Professional, ICAgile Certified Instructor, Change Management Practitioner, SAFe Agilist (SA), Collaboration Superpowers Facilitator, Lean Change Agent, Lean Practitioner, and Lego® Serious Play® Method Facilitator. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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