What’s your organization like?

Is it all about speed, teamwork, or just helping clients? Does it balance work performance and growing the business, or focus more on building relationships inside and outside the company? Knowing your organization’s structure can help you do your job better and spot any issues that might need fixing. When I first started working in a large company. I found out that not knowing how the company was organized made it hard for me to make good choices. It was like I was working in the dark because I couldn’t see how people were connected.

Organization structures are the systems and processes that shape how you work. They can include things like organizational charts, how work gets done internally and externally, and the standards a company wants to keep. Some structures have one main decision-maker with different channels of influence spreading out from them. Others have a leader with groups of people and teams around them, each responsible for different parts of a project.

How you deal with these groups might change based on what you want to achieve. If there’s just one decision-maker, you can go straight to them for information. But in a decentralized structure, you might need to chat with several people to share ideas or get the green light. Linear structures are all about following specific steps in order, which creates a cause-and-effect chain.

Before diving into a problem, take a look at the organizational chart to avoid any unexpected surprises and figure out who the key players are. This will help you find your way around the organization more easily.

What’s even more important is knowing if your organization is rigid or flexible. A company that seems hierarchical with one main decision-maker might actually be fairly adaptable. On the other hand, a decentralized organization could be sticking to strict rules that limit how flexible it can be. Rigid organizations have tight rules and don’t allow much room for thinking outside the box, while flexible ones let you be creative and explore beyond your job description.

It’s important to recognize these differences when you’re taking on a leadership role or starting a new position. Figure out how much freedom you have to push boundaries and whether you’ll be stuck in a narrow lane or allowed to mix things up. This is especially key for leaders who are in charge of multiple teams or people since everyone can be sensitive about their assigned tasks. Being aware of your organization’s flexibility (or lack thereof) will help you navigate and lead more effectively.

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