Is Flat the Right Hierarchy or Just the Right Gimmick to Attract Talent? – Opinion by Adeeb Malik

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4 minutes
Featured Image - Flat Hierarchy Columns

In today’s progressive startup world, leaders, managers, etc. pick many strategies to effectively capture business objectives, multiply success, and of course, retain the talent. One such strategy is adopting a flat hierarchy.

As we push towards an AI-enabled era, GenZs are becoming the new face of the active workforce. Let’s face it, we’re getting old, like our predecessors did, passing everything to us, trusting us to take it ahead.

It’s time that we start preparing ourselves and this generation with a talent attraction strategy to hold the chalice of objectives, aspirations, and success!

Now, time to address the elephant in the room – Flat Hierarchy.

What is a Flat Hierarchy?

In the simplest sense, flat hierarchy refers to the freedom of personnel to pitch ideas, take initiatives, and action.

Of course, supervision is there, but more as a guide, as a mature friend who knows stuff, someone who has experience, someone who wants to see them grow.

What it does is that it creates a personal connection within the team, fading away the sense of hesitation, and enabling fluent communication and collaboration.

The benefits extend beyond this, as personnel becomes more active, personally vested, and dedicated, why? Because who doesn’t love to be heard, to be given responsibilities, and of course, appreciated!

What I Feel Needs to be Done!

A flat hierarchy, or an open-door policy should be made visible by the leadership and management, right from the start.

I’m not saying establish seniority of roles, etc. but, more like a chain, through which things get done and move ahead.

Think of this like a production unit, where each machine independently operates to work on a single product. Every machine freely operates, contributing to one single output.

With people, you get to expand capabilities, explore opportunities, and innovate!

Imagine this happening in your organization, sounds cool right?

And the thing is, it can be done, and what I feel is that it should be done!

As the machines work under supervision, calibrated for maximum performance. That’s exactly what’s required in an organization.

Not supervision, but a vision, which enables the personnel to chart their course, take initiative, lead, and put perspective into action.

This way, you don’t create a team, you create future leaders, who become so adept and efficient in their work, that they can not only lead team(s) but also scale their capabilities to meet and exceed the business objectives and goals!

Flat Hierarchy is not the Only Way…

There are many leadership strategies around, it’s all about what suits you and your style the most. Your personality plays a key role in your creating effective leadership strategies.

I’ll say it loud and clear, there is no precise formula for effective and effervescent leadership.

It is you who’ll bring out the best in yourself and your team. Now, to achieve that you can read strategies, try them out, or use a mix of strategies.

It all boils down to how you perceive and visualize leadership. It’s the image in your mind that will guide you to becoming a leader!

This will take time, but, I believe with the right start, you can climb that learning curve faster. And flat hierarchy is one of the most effective strategies you can use.

If it works, great! If it doesn’t, great!

One for the Road…

Being a leader is simple yet complicated in its own way. We’re dealing with the same devils (issues/challenges), just at different levels.

You just have to go the distance. Find time to strike a balance between personal and professional. Stay healthy, eat good, and live for the day, not the next one.

How you want to be perceived is in your hands. Remember, your juniors are looking at you, to you, up to you. Baking the hopes of becoming the next you, or the better version of you. Don’t hinder their growth, enable them!

Leadership is not about finding the right strategy, it’s about finding what suits you and your working style.

There is no secret ingredient, but You!


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