Organisation charts are hierarchical diagrams usually showing “upper management” at the top and then branching down to their direct reports, and so on. The CEO/boss makes all the big decisions and the control flows down. Does this sound right to you?
While this is perfectly accurate, it doesn’t promote a healthy frame of thinking for employees at any level. It promotes the idea that to grow you have to climb on top of others, rather than to support others.
This is where the upside-down organisational chart comes in. It flips the frame of reference. All employees sit above the CEO/boss! With this view it’s also possible to add customers (who sit at the very top), and products into the chart to show the full hierarchy of support.
The upside-down organisation chart promotes the idea of growing strong enough to get behind and support others, rather than climbing up over them.
An example of this in practice is the Australian supermarket giant Coles, that instead of having a ‘Headquarters’, have a ‘Store Support Center’. This implies that everyone’s job in the support center isn’t to oversee and direct the hundreds of supermarkets (to sell more), but rather to support the stores, so that each can then better support customers in their grocery shopping (to buy more).