Up and to the right: organizational structure brand concept / by Candi Luciano

Could this be the next generation of the flat org?

Before I accepted my last position I was asked to read, Flat, a free ebook by Chad Little. I embraced the request. It is a quick read, well-written, logical and I greatly appreciated the intentionally designed, digital only format. I read it over and over again. I could not put my finger on it, but my gut sensed something was off.

But I was not sure what it was. Coming from the role in Leadership Design, was it the title Flat - The eBook How to fuel innovation, speed, and culture without managers that had my brain in a bundle? Had I been overdosed with leadership training, was I choosing not to fully embrace this model?

Quickly learning a co-worker from my previous employer had gone to work for Chad, I was excited as I needed to know more. Over lunch, I learned more about the characteristics of a flat org. I was on the edge of my sushi sticks with interest for the deeper, rich, meaningful context. And then it all came full circle. He shared after years of living the flat org model, they had recently studied its impact and made the choice to abandon it. "People want leadership clarity and a progression path," he shared.

Silence, shock and a sense of relief. That's when my brand muscle kicked into high gear. I frantically took notes as soon as I landed at the nearest coffee shop. And I called my potential new employer, shared my story rambling with excitement (I am pretty sure she did not share it with the same vigor) and accepted the offer as VP of Digital Brand. Wait, what? An executive title in a flat org model? I quickly learned Flat was not practiced by the book there and this felt like a good thing to me.



Having been the Oreo cookie filling between a 600+ person leadership culture (but not really) organization and a 12 person flat (but not really) organization, I believe I have a unique perspective and gut instinct which says there is a formula / an opportunity somewhere Up and to the right.

I would love to hear from you. All of you—those I have worked with in the past, those I work with now, those who have lived in a leadership or flat org structure, anyone contemplating what's next for org structure innovation and anyone living and breathing and willing to engage?

Go on, please share this. Let's get this conversation started / #Up2Rt