A simple metaphor for corporate resilience

Given that an organization is ALWAYS a composite of individuals, and that each individual person is organic, a tree serves fairly well as an organization structure metaphor/picture.


Fist, note that it is relatively upside down as compared to a traditional organizational chart, with the bulk at the top, and the leadership at the bottom. This supports my the view of servant leadership nicely.

The roots of the tree bring the nutrients up through the trunk into the branches to produce fruit – which is a great analogy for how values work in organizations.

The fruit is the vision – the compelling reason to commit to the mission of growing the tree in the first place. We SEE (enVISION) people eating the fruit.

The branches of the tree are the various employee departments, and the trunk of the tree is leadership and management of the organization – strength to support, flexibility to adapt and, as stated above, function as a conduit for nurtients.

There are likely many other aspects to this metaphor – write to let me know what you see.

David E White - Expanding Your Leadership Resilience