Forbes' org-chart wiki: What it doesn't tell

Stephen Baker

I was eager to click away on Forbes' org-chart wiki (ex Buzzmachine). It turns out not to be exactly what I was hoping for. (More about that below) But I think it's a very useful initiative, and I'm sure it will be good to have on record. Who reports to whom in all the big companies, hopefully with daily or hourly updates.

Why was I disappointed? I'm more interested in the informal structures of companies. OK, sew-and-sew is supposed to report to this person, but she actually has most of her interaction with that one. And in fact, there's a whole cluster of people who appear to be under the influence of... Is that an outside contractor?

Those are the sorts of relationships I'm looking for. The org charts in the Forbes Wiki outline the sidewalks and flagstones of corporate world as they're designed from on high. But how about the short cuts people take, those pathways where the grass has been worn away? Those show where people are really walking. They point to real power inside a company. How do we get that information up on a wiki?

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.