November 8, 2016

The Eye Chart Analogy Of Corporate Org Charts

If you look at this graphic I mashed up long enough, it begins to make sense.
If you’ve ever been to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist and had an eye test, chances are you were asked to view a diagram like the one above on the left. You close one eye, and the doctor asks you to read out the letters one line at a time. The process repeats with the other eye.
The problem is–if you have issues seeing things far away like me–as you venture down the chart, you begin to have difficulty reading out the letters. Dependent on your vision, you may not even recognize the final row of letters. It may even be lines of letters before the final row. According to the Vision Council of America, 75 percent of adults use some sort of vision correction like glasses, contacts or corrective surgery.
It donned on me that this is a significant and parallel issue with leadership.
Senior leaders can easily make out the letters at the top of an organizational chart. These are the people they come into contact with somewhat regularly if not daily.
But what about those employees way down the eye chart? Do leaders see them? Do they even make an attempt to sort out what/who they are?
If a leader discounts that there are letters toward the bottom of the eye chart, no doubt it will become a recipe for employee disengagement.
My advice?
Don’t treat your org chart like an eye chart.
Get corrective surgery, glasses or contact lenses if you can’t see those that are on the far rungs of the corporate ladder.
Everyone in the organization deserves 20/20 vision.

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