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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Understanding the Undercurrents of Your Organization

Every organization has a formal and informal structure of which the later might be more important. The structure culture is codified in the rules, regulations, procedures, and official position of the organization. The informal structure is based on the way information flows and moves throughout the organization regardless of formal position and procedures.

Consider a person with formal power who has some control over resource and decision making outcomes. This position, and the list of duties that go with it, are written into a job description and then part of the formal structure that helps the company complete its daily task. The organizational chart highlights each of these positions and their importance.

The informal structure may be more important than the formal structure. These are the "movers and shakers" of the organization that help ensure that things get done. They may have formal power within the organization but don't rely heavily on that formal power. They are often persuasive, charismatic and driven.

To truly understand any organization it is best to understand the undercurrents that are moving throughout it. Understand where the information flows, how decisions are made, and where people associate. The opinion makers and decision makers are often different than the one's listed on the organizational chart.


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