9. Challenge 7: Breaking Down Silos

When Moses led his followers into the desert, they were unorganized—a truly unruly mob. To organize them, Moses conceived of a hierarchical structure many modern businesses copy. A pyramid in shape, this structure has at the top what we today call a president; under the president are vice presidents; next are assistant vice presidents; then come managers, then supervisors, and finally, under the supervisors, there are workers. The hierarchy wrought miracles for Moses, but managers today debate whether what worked for Moses in the desert is the best organizational model for modern businesses.

So what’s the debate all about? To find out, let’s look at three departments typically found in a simply structured business ...

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