This is a subscriber-only article.

Save 33% on Entrepreneur+ during our Memorial Day Sale

Use code SAVE33 at checkout.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Falling Flat? How flat is too flat when it comes to management? You'd better find out before it's too late.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bill Gilmer runs his 16-person commercial printing company withas few managers as possible. "We're an extremely flatorganization," says the owner of Wordsprint Inc. inWytheville, Virginia. Gilmer, 48, has made big investments intechnology to make sure each of his press operators and other keyemployees has all the information he or she needs to make decisionswithout a supervisor.

"Everything is in the system, from schedules to the latestbreaking news about a job, so every worker has access at theirkeyboards to the same information as management," Gilmer says."So why have management?"

Why, indeed? The answer is that an organization can be too flat.Sometimes managers are necessary. The key is to make sure yourorganization doesn't have too many managers-nor too few. Whenyou have too little hierarchy, decisions don't get made or aremade wrongly by employees who lack experience, accountability ormotivation to do the work of the missing managers.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In