Following some small but intensive (armchair) research on its origins to authenticate it I found the source (allegedly) to be an employee handbook.
While looking around at org charts from a few decades ago, I also found this one:
Here’s their current one:
Has there been progress between then and now?
What is it about org charts that offer the viewer such a comfortable sense of knowing something about an organisation? If I describe a business or department as a matrix of 7 interconnected departments that report in a hierarchy or show you this: which feels the most insightful?
But organisations exist to fulfil a purpose. For many it is to make money, one hopes with an intent and path they are confident will create the result desired. For Walt Disney (then) it was to make awesome films.
Here’s a forum debate I came across while looking at mission statements on Disney’s intent.
Strategic intent – whether a not-for-profit social enterprise or a global oil giant should be the driving force for organising resources optimally. Equally important is the need for cultural alignment and buy-in, does every individual in the organisation have a genuine opportunity to contribute and feel fulfilled? Maybe this isn’t possible for most, I’m pretty sure the closer you get to it the stronger and fitter the organisation.
An interesting note on the Walt Disney chart – it clearly states at the bottom it is not an organisation chart that reflects reporting lines. It is a visual representation of the creative work flow. What I think it illustrates better than most is the remarkable closeness of thinking between the creative process (strategic intent – to produce brilliant movies), business process (the mechanics of how to achieve the intent) and resources (the teams / roles that are involved).
With OrgVue we are championing the return to a joined-up, system-wide view of our organisations.