Lessons from the Unofficial Organizational Chart

Posted on February 16, 2023 by B2B CFO

Leading a business comes with high pressure and high stakes. How do you respond when everyone is leaning into you for answers, directions, and advice?

Being at the top can be lonely, especially when the urgencies of the day are competing for your attention. Do you feel you have limited time to focus fully on the vital strategic issues that impact the company’s performance and future? Those business leaders who struggle with safely delegating tasks or relinquishing decisions to a trusted employee will find themselves in perpetual cycle of excessive work, limited personal freedom, and declining profits.

What’s the Solution?  Avoiding the Dangers of Your Business Running You
Looking at most organizational charts today, there exists a top-down hierarchy of the company’s teams and their roles. They display a linear flow of high-level management to the lower level positions. But, did you know that businesses also have what is called an “unofficial organization chart?”  It is often created by default and unconsciously happens as the company evolves. 1

Every company’s unofficial organization chart is comprised of three types of employees:

The Finders are entrepreneurial focused, innovators, and are future thinkers. They have a knack for networking and turning relationships into new business.  Increased sales are the result of a Finder’s leadership, vision, ideas, and direction. Finders are strong at delegating tasks to employees or associates and generating sales and cash.

The Minders typically manage the administrative and managerial tasks of the business. They live in the past by relying on historical information that they can use to help improve the future performance of the business. They spend their days working with clients/customers and keeping their teams busy and on track. They make sure the business is operating smoothly and efficiently.

The Grinders are the worker bees– the employees who are doing the physical work of the company. They are the ones who typically build and ship the products or deliver the services. Grinders work in the present, typically do not delegate tasks, and like to handle one specific job function.

This B2B CFO® Finders, Minders & Grinders™ visual illustrates these different roles that exist within a company and how each should flow within the organization to achieve optimal success.

Each role is critical to the existence and evolution of the company. However, the point is, when a company experiences growth or a crisis, it is common that the Finders stop hunting for new business opportunities and spend most of their time doing the Minding and Grinding activities.

Gradually, we see a business owner being dragged from Finding activities into Minding or even Grinding activities. The Finder then changes their core focus over time.  Since the entrepreneurial business owner is usually the number one Finder in the organization, this dilution of the critical Finder’s role can lead to a downward spiral where growth declines, expenses increase, and cash is hitting a shortage or runs out.2\  The Finder is not focusing on increasing sales, personal wealth, time away from the business, and a successful exit strategy.

To avoid what B2B CFO® calls, The Danger Zone, know your company’s unofficial organization chart, understand who is in each role, and follow the B2B CFO®  golden rule: Let the Finders find, the Minders mind, and the Grinders grind.3

Without the visionary, sales-driven, and innovative mindset of a Finder it’s impossible to create the time and focus needed to keep the company growing and prosperous. These intentional and proactive steps will help Finders avoid this situation:

  • Delegate tasks when you can to trusted and valued employees.
  • Hold members of your team (key players, managers, tax specialists, independent auditors and contractors, and attorneys) accountable to ensure you are equipped with accurate financial, market, and competitive information.
  • Cast a vision of your company your team can rally around.
  • Set lofty goals, communicate often, and be strategic about accomplishing them.
  • Hire people who understand your core values, goals, and vision of their company to avoid misaligned talent and future distrust.
  • Eliminate the products, processes, employees, customers, and partners that may be preventing the company from successfully flourishing.
  • Seek the advice and guidance from a trusted business and strategic advisor, like a B2B CFO®.

Our Partners can provide answers to difficult situations and devise a game plan for growth. You will be equipped with the wisdom and experience of people who have been where you are—successfully leading and growing a thriving and profitable business.

It is easy to rationalize why many Owners get stuck in the Minder and Grinder role. But as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, many business owners find themselves trapped. A B2B CFO® Partner is ready to help you go from stuck to unstoppable.  Get in touch today, email ArtBottoms@b2bcfo.com.



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