Get Over Yourself: Your Org Chart is Irrelevant to the Public

A huge impediment to communicating with people is assuming/expecting they understand all of the nuances about how your organization is structured.  No one cares who reports to whom or what your strategic plan says about why this department reports to this one.

All they care about is what they’re looking for.

Miles Davis - Kind of BlueExperiment:  if you’re looking for Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” album – how do you find it?

  • What you probably WILL do is search for “Miles Davis” or “Kind of Blue.”
  • What you probably WON’T do is start at the top of the org chart and work down: the vast majority of sentient beings won’t go looking for it under “Sony Corporation” because they  don’t know that “Kind of Blue” was produced on the Columbia Jazz label, a division of the Columbia record label which is held by Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment which is a holding of Sony Corporation.  None of that matters.

Fortunately technology has been helping users navigate the institutional morasse for years (ie a search engine makes clear what your navigation menu does not), however organizations that are blind to this problem can still do untold damage to themselves by structuring their communication around these bureaucratic irrelevancies.

To this end, analytical data (everything from the search terms used to the path followed in browsing for information) from an organization’s website can be immensely valuable in understanding how the public thinks about that organization.  Best of all it’s free.   Use it.

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