Reporting Hierarchy and Communication Network

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If you’re a leader, or you’re working towards becoming a leader, and you work in a complex hierarchical organization, here are some tips for thriving in the organization. These tips come from John Halamka, who – among other things – is the CIO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

John Halamka’s five tips for thriving in complex hierarchical organizations.


  1. Assess your peers and your superiors frequently.
  2. When you run a meeting, play to the characteristics of each person you have assessed.
  3. Determine the information flow needs of your superior.
  4. CEOs last about 4 years. (In other words, when the leader of an organization is hard to work for, consider waiting it out.)
  5. Recognize that 10-20% of your work life will be spent on non-value added activities.

A note about tip 2. Assessing a large number of people takes time. Start by focusing on your immediate superior, his or her superior, and those of your peers who have the most influence in your part of the organization.

The full article is at http://geekdoctor.blogspot.com/2015/07/managing-up.html.

You should read John Halamka’s blog…

If you don’t read John Halamka’s blog, you should. Halamka is the CIO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, sits on a number of influential committees, is a faculty member at Harvard – and with his wife Kathy runs a farm in rural Massachusetts. His blog is a refreshing and inspiring mixture of analysis of IT, insights into the difficult and contentious work towards interoperability of health-care information systems, how the mission and focus of a CIO is changing, and reports on making hard apple cider and monitoring the birth of baby alpacas. geekdoctor.blogspot.com

Photo credit

(c) 2010 Jurgen Appelo, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurgenappelo/. CC BY 2.0.

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