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Flipping Organizational Structure

Updated: Aug 26

The amazing Paul Boos is chair for agile coach camp worldwide, as he has for many years, this time in the virtual space. Paul wanted to change the common North America-centric focus and brought a polar view of the world to our icebreakers over the weekend.


That made me start thinking about what forms connections with really successful distributed teams. It’s a flat structure. Safety to speak within your team. And a really important reason to work together. Something that’s going to make someone’s life better.


Think about the companies who shifted from making beer to sanitizer. The automakers who now make respirators.


Take that one step further and consider what many ways of working based on Agile and Lean values and principles recommend. Flat structures.

So agile says get rid of all the managers, right? Not at all.

Agile says flip the typical organizational structure. Not upside down or sideways, but like looking under a tree with the branches exposed.

Can’t picture that? Think of the last time you hauled one of these outside. Minus the dogs of course! You saw the structure of the trunk, the branches and the leaves or needles.




Why would I ask you to do that? Because a company is like a tree. It has roots to find footing, a central trunk that supports the branches of knowledge and teams that need both to survive.

A team needs nourishment to flourish. It needs protection from the storms. It needs guidance to go in the right direction.


This is what a great leadership team provides. If they do, their organization will flourish. If not, it will wither faster than your last $150 Fraser Fir.

Imagine how that will impact your teams?


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