Flatter is faster, further reaching and most effective in a growing organization.
We know that in order for this organization to grow we need more people. We need more people owning the vision and moving us forward. As a leader this is invigorating and frightening. We want to climb the next hill, but the more we people involve the more "chefs we have in the kitchen". We fear that leaders will start off misaligned and eventually go rogue. We fear that eventually all we will be doing is fixing other people's mistakes and putting out fires. Not very exciting for you and me. Not really what we signed up for.
So here is the trick to going faster, further and being most effective when your organization is growing: flatness.
The secret to flatness is information and boundaries. As you've probably already experienced, one of the difficulties in running a volunteer organization is the balance between control and speed. We feel responsible for excellence in our organizations but how do we accomplish that promptly and appropriately? Over the last number of months I've been experimenting with a tool to help flatten our volunteer organization structure and it's working. It's called Azendoo (link).
Azendoo groups all your teamwork in one place so that you can plan, share and get organized, together.
Azendoo has proven to be a fantastic tool for sharing information and engaging our volunteer teams. We've put information in the hands of high capacity volunteers so that they can make the best decision on the ground. There is one essential ingredient necessary when you push decision making to the lowest possible level in your organization. You've got to be absolutely sure you are playing from the same playbook.
Azendoo also won Evernote's Best Multi-Platform App
Why do we exist?
How do we behave?
What do we do?
How will we succeed?
What is most important, right now?
Who must do what?
All 6 questions are important, but most important to what we are trying to accomplish is number 5. As a leader, you need to be able to point back to what is most important right now. In fact, as you manage a team, your most important job is to engage and energize you team to accomplish what's most important right now.
Give you team the information they need to be the fastest, furthest reaching, most efficient team they can be. Then, get out of the way...
To get you started, I've put together a list of 5 tips to getting the most out Azendoo. You can download it for free below.