We tend to think of organizations like a ladder because they have a natural hierarchical structure. It’s an apt comparison — but one that’s completely misunderstood. Why? Because with a ladder, everything important is at the bottom, and the hard part is getting it to the top. It’s a bottom-up effort.
Many organizations operate as if the reverse was true; information and guidance flow from top to bottom and only move in one direction. That kind of approach makes sense when a company needs to rally the troops or articulate a bold strategy, especially during times of crisis. However, it’s the wrong approach for leadership, communications, and company culture to take at all times. Like a ladder, things must move in two directions — otherwise, the structure falls apart.
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