How to trial or adopt Cleararchy?

Before going ahead with a trial, make sure all key stakeholders are aligned as to why. What are your motivations? As this article points out, typical motivations are:

  • Egalitarian ideals: You want to create a truly great place to work, not just some certification. You may believe that hierarchy ought to have no place in the 21st century. Or that trusting employees is better than controlling them.

  • Practical reasons: You recognize that linear plan-and-execute approaches supported by a strict chain of command are ill-suited to excellence in the digital-age. You also recognize that an old-school work culture does not help the cause of recruiting and retaining talented millennials and Gen-Z.

Once you are clear on the why, there are two ways to about this: dimension-wise (top-down approach) or after an assessment (bottom-up).


Adopt Cleararchy in one of the three dimensions of reporting, communication, and decision-making. Starting with the communication dimension might be a bit superficial and starting with reporting might be too big of a change. The area of decision-making is a good candidate but even here, it is best to plan a gradual adoption.

Begin by identifying the first category of decisions that you'd like to bring under Cleararchy. Resist the urge to go with the most or least contentious or high-stakes category of decisions. Choose something in the middle. For the chosen category, identify decision owners and circles of input. Brief these people about the proposed approach and assess buy-in. Although 100% buy-in is not necessary, we still need a critical mass of the willing. Conduct a mock session or two to help people understand how it is supposed to work before moving on to using the process for real.

And feel free to ask for help by writing to Help is at hand for socializing the approach, designing change, change management, and rollout.


The hierarchy in effect (as perceived by people) might be different from the hierarchy on paper. It might help to start with an assessment of the current state of hierarchy in your organization and its good and bad effects. The assessment includes a confidential survey of the different elements of hierarchy in your organization. It helps highlight the areas of improvement and provides a basis for further action.

Get in touch to avail of this kind of assessment.