As part of my legacy journey that I wrote about a couple weeks ago, I put together an organizational chart that was actually Dennis’ brother, A.J.’s idea. He told me that the way I am going to grow Bloomers Island on a shoestring budget is to convince all the people that work with me to buy into my dream, my mission, and the success of the Bloomers Island brand.
I’ve since become a wee bit obsessed with my Org Chart that I call my Bloomers Island Tree of Life. And since it is a Tree of Life, I decided to put it on a tree. And since I decided to put it on a tree, I thought I might as well make that tree the Mr. Banyan tree from Bloomers Island. It looks beautiful, as well as informative. (Some of the names have been blocked here.)
I never really had an organization chart, because I didn’t think I had enough employees. A.J., suggested I put together all the people I needed to help me move my dream forward … my dream of selling 10,001 Bloomers Island books. I immediately took to that idea. I expanded my chart to include selling all of the Bloomer’s products here and overseas. These people and companies are licensees, subcontractors, vendors, agents, friends, family, various and sundry contacts, and friends of friends.
I loved A.J.’s suggestion. It was brilliant and exactly the direction I needed at that time. We were in New York and meeting with my new publisher, Random House Children’s Books. We had many marketing initiatives going on, and as usual, I was losing track of what I was doing because I was trying to do too much. This Org Chart sent me and my books and products in the appropriate direction.
Part of the immediate and obvious value of setting up my org chart was that it showed me how thin I was spread and how I needed a more hierarchal structure. Even though I had made the call to prioritize selling 10,001 books, there was still so much legwork required to accomplish that. You know, just saying you want to sell 10,001 books doesn’t mean it will magically happen.
The next noticeable value of the org chart was to see how many people and companies had signed on to Bloomers. I was immediately touched by the level of support I was getting. Whole chapters in business books have been written about how to ignore the naysayers and push forward on your dream. I had the opposite. I had supporters and not naysayers. But that imposed even more pressure on me to prove them right. To show them that their support was not misplaced on me.
The most important thing though, is that I saw exactly what I needed to do and accomplish to continue to bring my dream to fruition. It became my roadmap in my legacy statement that I wrote about in my last blog post. It started with the question I had to ask everyone on that chart, everyone I met with, everyone whose help I needed, to sit down in front of them and with my shoulders back and a smile on my face ask those special people:
What can I do to make you look good?
On Wikipedia, they credit Daniel McCallum for creating the first organization chart of American business around 1854. An org chart is really a graphic example that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Some of the organization charts I found were beautiful. My favorites were the 1930 League of Nations and the Tabulating Machine Co., (precursor to IBM) from 1917 (above). I studied that one. Thomas Watson was the President of the company at that time. Putting together my Org Chart illuminated the importance of each part of my company, helped emphasize my priorities, acted as a checklist on everything I needed to do, and so much more. Yes, it is a simple concept, but with many layers of complex details. Thank you Mr. Watson. Thank you A.J.
Do you have an Organization Chart? What will you call it?