When you start to differentiate between hierarchical to horizontal organization the problem is all of us grow up instinctively thinking hierarchical, you usually go into an organization and immediate assume that there is a structure to follow, I report to the director that reports to the VP that report to the president, so most companies are instinctively hierarchical. Horizontal organization are counter-intuitive, you have to create them.
1. The Leader
in a hierarchical organization the leader is the patriarch or the matriarch, they are the benevolent despot who basically makes all the rules and the decisions. In a horizontal organization they are more like the chief role model, they are coaching people so that the people on the organization on the top team become a managing board of directors, where they take an enterprise level view, rather than a hierarchical organization is far more silo ed. Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.
In terms of leadership in a hierarchical organization leadership becomes more in a hierarchical classic leader follow paradigm ” I make the call, you follow the order “. In a horizontal organization we are a team of leaders, we all take a level of ownership or accountability for the results that the team produces.
In a hierarchically is traditionally based on position authority, again in a horizontal organization it is based on competence, it is based on whether or not you add value.
4. Accountability Five levels of accountability
a. I´m primarily accountable for me, and the people that report to me.
b. In a horizontal organization that is a given.
c. I take accountability for my pears, that is the beginning of a high performance team.
d. The fourth level is that I take accountability of my leader success, if I feel like my leader has a blind spoor I have a conversation with him.
e. The fifth level I take accountability for the enterprise.
So when you have people in a hierarchical organization saying that they take accountability for the entire organization and they are not willing to do the third level of holding your pears accountable, or providing feedback to their leader it´s really just happy talk, it is not real.
The last point is that in a hierarchical organization usually is a don ‘t make wave type of syndrome and the last thing I want to do is to give feed back above. A horizontal organization prides itself of transparency and candor so it requires a much greater level of emotional intelligence to work this way, the reason it is superior is because the days of having a single star at the top making all the decisions are not real anymore, we have now multinational companies who work asymmetrically, so when it comes to working horizontally, it very much accelerates the decision-making process rather than having decision-making bottle necks it very much accelerates issue identification and resolution and finally accelerates design to market time, so you get a competitive advantage.