Every New Layer Is Fat

A man’s capacity to add meaning to any virtual concept is potentially limitless. I wrote about this in an earlier entrywe love to create worlds. Corporations are often flooded by committees, sounding boards, functions and matrices. In one case, I encountered more than 40 (sic) committees in one such entity. Decision-making? Try making decisions in such an environment. Or perhaps… try putting words into actions: developing products, creating value, improving processes, reducing waste (well, at least there’s plenty of material to work on).

A safe assumption — every new layer is fat. Be it horizontally (silos, communication nodes) or vertically (e.g. organizational structure). Reduce, rather than add. Embrace, confront, rather than evade. Do not water down your decision-making ability by meddling with the two key organizational components:

  • communication
  • responsibility

It should be army-simple to be transparent and trustworthy. There’s no time to make it otherwise.

In a 1975 classic, The Mythical Man-Month, Fred Brooks discusses communication channels. Instead of using a thousand words, let me show you a picture:


Every new node increases the number of communication channels exponentially. When we reach ‘C’, problems are about to begin…