Your org chart shouldn’t look like an octopus

“Make an organizational chart?” He asked me. “But that’s so 20th century, do businesses still do that?”

Only the good ones. 

The problem was never organizational charts: the problem was always bad organizational charts. And in small businesses, org charts are even harder, because so many people fill multiple roles. Pretty soon they look like an octopus pointing back at itself. 

Why you need an org chart

But even a small business needs structure to function well. Structure means freedom and freedom means better work. 

A well-made organizational chart will describe how the business works. 

Division of functions

A lot has to happen in your business for it to be successful. An org chart tells you what has to happen. It makes the list and division of functions simple and clear. 

Areas of responsibility

And then it describes who does what. Or, more specifically, who is responsible for what. This is a high-level view of the business, which doesn’t include specific tasks or actions. It only wants to say “this team is responsible for this function, and they can use whatever tasks or actions they want”. 

Balanced workload

One of the more enlightening elements of an org chart is seeing the distribution of workload across a business. More often than not, there is an opportunity to re-balance. 


People understand what is expected of them, who they should interact with, and who to talk to when they need to escalate something. This improves the relationships your team members have with one another. 

How to write your org chart

You can do it right now, in this 30-minute window to work on your business. 

  1. List what has to happen in your business for it to be successful
  2. Take the list and group the items into fewer categories
  3. Give each category a title. Don’t go straight for the jargon, instead make it short but descriptive 
  4. Explain what contribution each title makes
  5. Draw the lines to show who reports to whom

And voilà: you have an org chart

What next

Want some assistance? Or to discuss the correct plural of “octopus” (octopi, octopedes, octopuses… I have my opinion, what’s yours)?. Let’s hop on a 30-minute discovery call