For many leaders and organizations, facing the effects of globalization and hyper-connectivity, it is time to rethink their operating structures from a top-down pyramid approach to a different system. In the inverted pyramid employees closest to clients or production processes are placed at the top and managers at the bottom. The employee is empowered with greater decision-making authority and freedom of action. The team leader or manager becomes a facilitator and coach to empower the team members to take more ownership and responsibility. The overall performance becomes more efficient with organizational metrics to support it as organizations such as Cisco and Marriot who adopted this model can attest. The inverted pyramid leader adopts a mind-set of coaching team members toward more being more effective. A typical question to a frontline employee would be: “What do you need from me to be as effective as possible in your position?” It is then important to make sure those resources are available. The effective leader learns to trust subordinates and rely on their ability to achieve organizational goals. This may include further training and the development of new skills. I was fortunate to meet the founder of Mary Gober International (MGI) recently. They specialize in training, coaching and consulting services to develop customer-focused cultures in organizations worldwide. Their training is based on a proven methodology, the 'Gober Method'™ which has been developed by Mary Gober, a leading authority in customer service. Quantas, an international airline based in Australia showed their highest customer satisfaction ever in 2013 as a result of their training with MGI, while Bank of America won four awards, including best achievement in customer satisfaction.
Container Store’s CEO Kip Tindell who is highly successful in applying the upside-down pyramid said: “If employees aren't happy, customers aren't happy and then shareholders won't be happy.”
Do you consider trying that?