Don’t Forget the Overlap.

One of the best and most usable graphs I have run across in all the books and reference materials is the graph below. This graph is full of information, so lets pull apart a few areas that will help you know and in the future. Each department, division or company must depend on having the right people in the right place, doing the right tasks, and controlling their area of assignment. In the best companies, people are providing work that corresponds to the future and direction of the company. Front-line staff work on daily tasks that affect a week’s worth of work. CEO’s must look into the future, at least 10-15 years, and decide on the vision and direction of the company. If someone in the line-up is missing, you can see what short or long-term assignments will be missing. The best running companies ensure that great minds are aggressively pursuing daily to multiple year activities and written visions. Progress comes at all levels, so each is extremely important to the overall success.

An important visual on the graph is the small overlap that occurs for each position. Think about your current job and how you learn from the person above, or instruct to the person below. Wisdom, experience, and personal growth, let alone the company flexibility, all extend from this area. As I have said before, it is everyone’s responsibility to teach or mentor. This graph shows the connectivity and importance of doing just that.

1. Review the graph and think of organizations that have or not have people situated to encompass daily thru the long-term. Can you think of gaps in their strategic initiatives?
2. How does your organization line up with the graph? Where are you and what knowledge and thought process will you need to move up?
3. Once you find “you” on the graph, ask yourself if you grow with the overlap to your supervisor/mentor? And, do you develop those below you?


3 thoughts on “Don’t Forget the Overlap.

  1. How does this theory translate to a smaller organization? In our department, the front line workers are also supervisors and the CEO/Chair is involved in the day-to-day operations as well as the 5-year strategies. It seems hard to isolate areas for delegation and development when the lines between roles are blurred due to individual preferences and/or organizational demands

  2. Thank you for the reply. First, you are correct with the smaller company question that many in both directions can be responsible for a greater latitude of time/priorities. On the positive- you can have staff that enjoy and appreciate the flexibility in doing multiple levels of work and see that it relates to their growth and development. Also, the organization benefits from having the worker “flexibility” in performing many roles. The organization needs to be carefully that everything that is a priority (strategically) gets done and on-time. Management of this scenario will be crucial, leadership needs to understand the roles and duties each person takes on and help influence and prioritize often, making sure that if something gets dropped/not done that it is not essential to the organization.

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