…..or how to ignore the hierarchy level in your company when an abstract fire burns!
I recall well the minute I was sitting at my desk in that huge corporate company I was working for about 24 years in total. Again we had trouble with our production plant in Europe and that meant we won´t meet the daily customer needs for their next weeks. Actually it was the customers behaviour or reaction which originally caused this trouble. I knew.
I was sitting between both chairs and both “pulled the trigger” at me. I was supposed to tell my boss that we were facing a severe bottleneck situation. I was asked to respect the hierarchy and that meant, tell the one above you and he will pass it further on. But that meant for him to reach out to another 4 hierarchy levels above and I knew it could take a while (weeks) before there was a result or clear reaction. I didn´t like that leadtime at all.
I decided to skip that hierarchy level trap. I never liked it. It was time to talk about this immense urgency which seemed to be trapped in a hierarchy maze. For both, the customer and our plant we had to get it clear. I needed a decision. Now, I had to “pull the trigger” to be noticed and heard. I talked to my boss what I planned to do and he said: “do it rita, call.” I only asked and invovled him because he was “in” that day….
This is my message for you: SKIP the hierarchy level when “fire is burning” in your company!
Corporates show their hierarchy levels to show their structure as a visible strength. Good! No, that´s even great! But when emergency shows up on the lowest level, where the business gets done, and this emergency burns like fire (high costs involved and fast burning) make sure that the employee (you, probably) is allowed to skip the level to reach the most important decider right away.
If you´re the boss, please make sure that your company offers a “fire alarm process” for your team. It´s about the advantage for all. Just think of the time- and cost-consuming challenge you are able to skip! The advantage is to solve the problem faster than before. Install bridges to cross so that the relevant boss is reachable! If your companies inner structure is too stiff, it´ll break apart. If your company grows, make sure every year to adjust rules.
Have rules to live by the rules!
Make rules to break the rules!
BE A DECISION MAKER. BECOME OUTSTANDING.
rita jaskolla – Leadership Architect –
p. s. I used the analogy of “pulling the trigger” in this post because it describes best when we feel we have to do something we don´t like to do but it became a must to underline the involved urgency and make people move and decide –