Top down, sideways or bottoms up….

Today I am simply continuing the topic from monday. I want to focus on how companies are run and how to deal with the problems that are inherent in them.

You know my opinion on corporate structures and corporatism in general, so I will not delve into that today again.

Its common knowledge that the general culture of a company and ways of the employees tend to reflect the company’s CEO. Even in pastor’s they say that the spirit of the pastor is evident in the flock. Right?

What I find very strange, is that when there are issues and difficulties, the first people they try and “fix” are the employees (in a church it will be the members). If the employees are reflecting the CEO’s ways and issues crop up in the company, does it not make sense to look at the CEO? Since the whole company reflects his/her vision.

I simply cannot understand why people get down on the workers, when all they can do is work. They do not come up with the vision, therefore the issues (unless of course they are relevant to the work only) stem from on top and certainly not from the workers.

That said, what would be the ideal way to run a company if the top down approach has such limitations. My short answer, I don’t know.

Top down only works well if you have really good people at the top. Sideways (communal) only works if you have fully mature people all wanting the same thing. Bottom up (collective deciding for the leader by vote) systems do not always work since the collective tend to think they have the say on the leadership, yet ultimately it will got the top down way. Since listening to the masses does not men the masses will be happy.

Seth Godin says it well in this post of his. (click the highlighted words to take you to the original post)

I think we expect too much from organisations. We should focus more on the people in them. I know we all believe that, but I mean in real action not just words. I feel like I have jumped all over the place here, but I am sure you get what I am saying. personally I do not think any one system can fix all problems. But the people involved can certainly help the process.


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