The first time I met with my new inbound marketing consultants, Digital Firefly Marketing I was immediately struck by something. No unnecessary corporate hierarchy here. When we meet, my project manager and the company president are obviously at ease with each other and this leads to positive interaction and free exchange of creative ideas. This kind of environment puts me at ease and beyond that, stimulates my own creative thinking. Most companies talk about their innovative qualities or their initiatives to become more innovative. But too many companies are just talking the talk. Small companies, like Digital Firefly or my own company, Kidbilly Music, need to be genuinely innovative to thrive.

Corporate Hierarchy and Malarky-archy

In order to be innovative you must be willing to make a mess. You have to be willing to brainstorm without fear that you’ll be denigrated by your bosses or your colleagues. Everyone on my team has a hard time staying on agenda during our company meetings. When we plan a one hour meeting, I generally assume it will last closer to two hours. I know, I know…that can be a problem. But the overflowing, free flowing meeting pays off. Every organization has to have some kind of ‘archy’. It’s inherent and can’t be avoided. But within the framework of seniority and responsibility there needs to be freedom to flow. I refuse to name a corporate hierarchy within my own company. Our structure is one we call malarky; or more formally, malarky-archy.

Malarky-archy means that we allow nonlinear thinking, digression and lots of what ifs. What if we did this next time? What if we tried this and failed? What if we don’t try this and fail? The last question should be your catalyst to risk taking. Playing it safe works for a while, but ultimately leads to stagnation, loss of market share and failure.

The picture below is from one our team building through song® programs. Our clients hire us to bring malarky-archy to their corporate experience. Our programs help organizations appreciate the value of non-linear problem solving that always solves the problem at hand. Simply put; this is the creative process!

corporate hierarchy

I’m not an anarchist. And hierarchical structure is an inherent part of every organization. But integrating a bit of malarky-archy into your corporate structure will inspire innovation and increase engagement. It will encourage creative contribution across the board. Be willing to play.

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.