The Human Pyramid

Neil ButlerUntypical Thoughts

Last week, I posted about the equality of importance within an organisation or team and I was surprised by the level of feedback I received. It seems that there are many businesses where the implied (if not, stated) importance seems to be directly proportional to how close someone is to the top of a organisational diagram.

Sure, the level of responsibility associated with roles tends to increase the further you travel up that diagram but, typically, so does the remuneration. They sort of balance each other out, don’t they?

Unfortunately, the workplace is often like a human pyramid.

There are lots of people across the bottom, providing a stable foundation and sharing the weight. Towards the top, there are less people but each of these is afforded a great view of what’s ahead. Squashed in between are a number of people who simply can’t move – stuck in a rut, often feeling like they can’t do anything else until someone above them moves.

Does your organisation work like a human pyramid? Do the people at the bottom get recognised for their incredible efforts in keeping the structure upright? When those at the top jump up and down about something, do they realise the impact it might be having below them? Do those at the top of the pyramid come down and replace someone at the bottom every now and again to (a) remind them of what it was like down there and (b) to give someone below them a rest? Are those who are stuck in the middle feeling like no one knows they exist?

Think about where you are in the pyramid. Remember how important the structure is below you and recognise the people providing it. Without them, it all comes crashing down.

And you’ve got further to fall than they have.

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