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Don't Kill the Bosses! by John Ullmen, Samuel Culbert

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11

imageRecognizing the Hierarchy Trap

Whether we’re talking the boardroom at Procter & Gamble or the board of your PTA, you can count on hierarchy to screw things up. It’s a paradox. On one hand, hierarchy provides people a basic orientation—it defines accountability and who has to answer to whom. On the other hand, it perverts relationships, bleeding candor and quality from almost every discussion that’s held. As a feature of everyday work, hierarchy is a dimension people can’t do without, but one that causes them not to do very well.

There’s little question that hierarchy is the backbone of almost every well-functioning organization. It provides ...

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