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It’s Time to Future-Proof Your Org Structure

Author: Greg Boles

Problem: An org chart is the building block of any organization, yet it often fails to provide employees and leaders the clarity they need on real-world roles and responsibilities. A standard org chart often lacks detail and devolves into a reporting hierarchy and nothing more. On the other extreme, job descriptions are usually far too detailed, often outdated, and not accessible to all staff. Not to mention – no one wants to read them all!

Solution: A truly valuable org chart is one that not only provides job titles and hierarchy but one that includes the top 5 job accountabilities for each role. After all, a business cannot thrive without everyone understanding the mission and how their work contributes to the overall North Star.  Future Proof Advisors took the best of an org chart and the actionable essence of a job description and created the Top 5’s – an org chart that delivers many benefits such as employee role clarity, growth planning, career-pathing, and more effective employee onboarding. 

The “Top 5’s”

The “Top 5’s” is a simple one-page template that helps to simplify the org chart process, hold your management team accountable, and improve organizational efficiencies. 

Fill out the one-sheet by listing the 5 most important functions that each role at your company is responsible for. These should be the areas where you would like the vast majority of the employees’ time to be devoted.  Each should be very specific to the role and level of the position. It is also important to focus on quantifiable outcomes, not just the task itself. For example, highlight tasks that are tied to generating revenue, enhancing margins, lowering costs, improving efficiencies, innovating new products and services, etc.  If done right, every management member and key department lead can fit on a single page.

While you aren’t limited to just five, we have found that being forced to drill down to a small number of accountabilities helps prioritize important focus areas and is much easier for managers and employees to quickly read and digest. 

To help get you started, we’ve created a template that you can adapt for your own business needs and use for each key role. You can start with leaders and department heads, then expand into roles within a department.  Ultimately, the goal is to put the Top 5 Accountabilities for each role directly on the Top 5 Org Chart. Click here to download sample Top 5 Accountability worksheets you can use for each role (i.e box on the org chart).

Benefits of “Top 5’s”

Once you have outlined the “Top 5’s” for each role and employee, you can expect five key benefits from the process:

  1. Role Clarity. Each team member will understand what they are responsible for and what they are expected to accomplish. This will increase efficiency cross-department.
  2. New Hire Training. This one-sheet is a simple “who does what” guide which is more helpful than a standard org chart and much easier to read than a slew of lengthy job descriptions. 
  3. Career-Pathing. The Top 5’s will help to simplify expectations on how to get promoted and what the core differences are at each role level (Mgr, Dir, VP, etc.)
  4. Decision-Making Clarity & Authority. Top 5’s will make it easier to map decision-making autonomy to a role and can clarify who decides what, streamline internal ops, and empower employees.
  5. Growth Planning. A simple org chart done in this way can often identify holes in the current org structure and how they might be addressed with existing staff or over time with new hires. 

Small Adjustment – Big Impact 

Future-proofing your org chart will ensure that it stays updated and actionable. It will increase operational efficiency and improve the productivity of your entire team. You will be surprised how seemingly minor adjustments can make the biggest impact.

For more information on how to future-proof your org structure or if you have questions – contact me at 

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