Use a Top 4 Org Chart™ to get your people in the right seats

I have written about how to get the right people in the right seats in your business, and the benefits of doing so. A great way to simplify the process of evaluating if your people are in the right seats is to create a Top 4 Org Chart™ for your business. 

Creating your Top 4 Org Chart™ allows you to get a quick snapshot of the accountability structure of your business, both in terms of relationships/reporting and what each person in your organization is responsible for. Everyone in your business—your leadership team and other employees alike—will appreciate the added clarity this provides. 

Simply put, your Top 4 Org Chart™ plots every job/position in your business in an organization chart, and for each position includes the top 4 duties/roles of the position. The purpose of doing this is to distill each position to its essential duties. Often job descriptions are so long, with so many duties and responsibilities listed, that they are nearly impossible to keep track of, much less evaluate if a person is actually accomplishing all of those duties. The old adage “if everything’s a priority, nothing’s a priority” applies here. Plus, if your employee isn’t taking care of their top 4 duties effectively, does it really matter if he or she is good at the others? 

Here’s a simple template for your Top 4 Org Chart™:

Here’s how to create your Top 4 Org Chart™:

  1. Identify the core functions of your business. (In this article I have listed the core functions common to most businesses, but you need to adapt this for your business.)
  2. Plot those core functions horizontally in an org chart.
  3. Add in whoever’s in charge, i.e. the CEO, President, etc., and any layers of management that you currently have, i.e. COO, CFO, etc.
  4. While your business likely has multiple positions in each core function, for the template I’ve kept it simple and assumed one person/position is responsible for each core function. You can build out yours to suit your needs.
  5. Now for each position, add in the top 4 duties for which the position is responsible. Notice no names are inserted at this point – the idea is to describe the duties of the position, not what the person holding the position is currently doing. You will see examples of Top 4s for some of the positions included in the template.
  6. Once you’ve completed the org chart with Top 4s for each position, plug in the names that are currently in those positions. 
  7. Evaluate if the person currently holding this position is actually in the right seat. Does that person consistently carry out the Top 4s of the position? If not, do they have the current capability, or reasonable ability to learn how, to carry out those duties? If the answer to either of these questions is No, then the person is not in the right seat in your business. You will either need to move the person into a seat more suitable to his or her capabilities and find someone more capable to fill the position, or you will need to downgrade the duties of the position. The first option is better.

You might find on the other end of this process that some of your people need to move seats or get specific training to increase their capabilities. Either way, this will benefit both the employee and your business.  

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