To The Flexible Go The Spoils
Flat management style companies have been around for awhile. Companies where there aren’t a lot of managers or layers are called flat management style. They differ from traditional tiered companies in the sense that they generally can react a lot faster to marketing changes and react to changes in things.
It boils down to levels of complexity.
In a traditional tiered company, you have a Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Board, the company president, a dozen vice presidents, and then the officers or staff. This particular style of management has been on the way out because it leads to bloat. It also tends to slow reaction time to changes in the business marketplace. If somebody from the rank and file staff goes on and tries to introduce something that will save customers money or a suggestion to manufacture something differently, it may take a long time for it to go up the totem pole, get ruminated on, and then back down with a yes or no.
More and more companies are going to flatter management because it saves them money and time. With less layers of management, ideas can be reacted to directly and the stakeholders for the company, if they are serious, can establish a protoype of the new product , throw it into a test market and see what happens.
In traditionally tiered companies, there are a lot of ways to try and react like the smaller companies and the easiest way is to delegate to one’s subordinates and trust them.
That is where good project management skills, directing and leadership come in. A good leader can let go enough of the reins to let his staff get the project done. He gently prods the flock to the grass and tries to keep the wolves at bay. Wolves in this case could be market conditions, other division chiefs giving some of the staff grief for putting their projects on hold, things like that.
It doesn’t matter which style of company you are – what matters is what kind of results you can get and how flexible you can be in reacting to the market to maximize your profits and if need be, cut your losses.