The Anatomy of a Small Business

So here’s my view of what the anatomy of an organization really looks like. In my opinion, every company organizational chart should be set up like this since it more accurately depicts the roles of each department:

It’s pretty obvious what the role of CEO/President is: he/she is the head of the company, providing strategic direction, vision, and leadership.

Administration is represented by the neck and spine. It provides support and is the basis for the channels of communication.

Customer Service is pretty obvious as well. It is the heart of the company. It provides the lifeblood of the company and is responsible for the continual flow of the company’s mission. It shows love to the customer and circulates back to the rest of the company all of the customer’s needs.

Human Resources is the solar plexus of the organization. It is the core. It stabilizes the entire team acting as an internal customer service department. In the human body, the gut is the center of the immune system. It is also true for HR in any organization. HR is tuned in to the needs of the team, anticipates problems, and acts accordingly to protect the system. It keeps everyone happy and healthy.

Direct Labor represents all of the individuals in the company who produce whatever goods and services you offer. Obviously very important.

Finance is represented not only by the knees, but by all of the joints. It allows flexibility and movement by controlling cash flow. Without this flexibility, there can be no movement at all – the company would become arthritic.

Finally, Operations and Sales share each foot and leg of the organization. They are equally responsible for the forward motion of the company and the balance that is required to maintain steady motion. There is an age-old argument between the two departments – which one is more important? Some business owners make the mistake of paying more attention to one over the other, depending on their views and who has their ear. But in fact, both are equally important. You cannot invest heavily into sales if you do not have the infrastructure to support what you’re selling. Conversely, you cannot invest heavily in an infrastructure without the sales to support it.

Looking at this diagram, imagine just one of these limbs or functions being eliminated. The entire system would shut down, wouldn’t it? This is a lesson in valuing each person as an important member of your team and it should humble every leader into realizing that you can’t do this alone. You can fancy yourself a leader all you want, but if no one is following you, then you’re just out for a (lonely) walk.

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