The “Chain of Command” in an organization is important, but it isn’t always effective.
It is useful when rapid fire decisions are needed, because chain of command specifies who makes a decision when urgency and speed of reaction is needed. Chain of command gives everyone clear rules of engagement on how the decision will be made.
But chain of command can hurt relationships when misused. Under pressure, decisions are made without listening to advice from other members of the team. Chain of Command can obtain fast decisions, but may not lead to the optimal decision when information is missing. If time is not a factor, better answers come from point-to-point communications and discussion that ignores “rank”.
The best organizations are able to do both. They understand the chain of command and embrace it under pressure…yet they still encourage point-to-point communications when posisble.
The worst organizations rely completely on one or the other. But, neither one by itself is sufficient to operate a high-impact organization
Thanks for listening.