Photo credit: Cork Spider by
I am the Editor-in-Chief of Temple University‘s undergrduate yearbook, the Templar. In our reading of The Starfish and the Spider, by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom, I have come to realize that this organization is very much like a spider. My reasoning can be found below.
The organizational structure of the staff is very rigid and top-down. I, as Editor-in-Chief, am at the top. Below me is the Production Manager and the Section Editors. Under them are the writers and photographers. Without the level above, everything below would just fall apart and “die”. This is very similar to a spider in that without the head, the rest of the spider is dead and not functional.
With this organization, there is a central command and everything stems from there. Nothing is done without the approval of the Editor-in-Chief. This type of control and linearity in operations again makes this similar to a spider. A starfish is the complete opposite where each part can function on its own if separated from the rest. Not so in our program.
Additionally, we operate out of a centralized location. We have one office where all of our work is done. Without the office, we couldn’t be the program.
These are just some of the insights that I have realized based on reading this book. Makes me wonder if there should be some restructuring to make this organization more sustainable.