The Executive Director of Metro’s largest charity has just released her 27th organizational chart this year. Joanna Snidely says she is somewhat certain this latest version of the Metro Community Foundation’s corporate structure is the right one.
“I’ve finally got this thing licked. I knew I shouldn’t have put Sybil in charge of annual giving and events last time. That’s where I went wrong last week. This time, I’ve accounted for everything,” said Snidely. “At least, I think I have.”
Earlier this year, Snidely decided that the Foundation wasn’t performing as well as it should. She made a major organizational change and shifted events from communications to annual giving and spun major giving into its own department. That’s when the trouble started.
“I thought it was perfect. I mean, Judy in communications is really quite disorganized and events was suffering. So, I gave the two event people to Sybil in annual giving where they could make more money,” she said. “But then, the communications for our events took a nose dive.”
What made the decision worse was that Snidely had to select a new manager of major gifts to run the department. She tried to solve the problem with a new organizational chart.
“I asked all six fundraisers that I had to promote one of them. But no one wanted the job. I heard that they met and selected among themselves who was going to apply. That was pretty dumb of me.”
Snidely then made another organizational chart where she was the manager of major giving and brought in a new manager to run annual giving.
“Steve was terrible. He never did anything. I had to do his job and mine. So I made another chart.”
This time, Steve was sacked and Sybil was made head of all development – annual giving, events and major giving.
“But when I made Sybil director of development Horace in finance demanded that he be made a director, too. So, I had to change the chart again.”
The changes went smoothly until Snidely fired Judy the communications manager and replaced her with a communications coordinator, Mary-Kate, who was paid half as much but did three times less work as Judy.
“I kind of forgot what Judy did. So, I made a plan to get rid of Mary-Kate after one year and hire a new manager of communications. I changed the chart again.”
In the course of the year, the Foundation underwent 27 organizational changes, let go one-quarter of its staff and hired several new people to replace them. Hemmings solved the problem of keeping staff current by printing labels that tells each staff member which department they are in and who they report to. Labels are printed every day and stuck on each staff person’s clothing or forehead for easy reference. The problem of staff reviews was handled with equal ingenuity. The staff members who have not been terminated have sometimes worked for five or six supervisors over the review period. Now, Snidely does all the reviews herself. She uses a pre-determined formula of “finding at least 20% bad things” in each review.
The new chart, which has been operating for a week, seems to be holding. Snidely is confident it will be a real game changer.
“I just don’t know why we aren’t productive enough. I’ve changed the organization 27 times and there still doesn’t seem to be any improvement. It’s a mystery,” she said.