The Balanced Triad Organization
A summary of structure and its flaws (from Enlightened Management )
by Robert Campbell, 2001
- Happy Employee─Happy Customer─Happy Stockholder
- Six domains in three pairs define the triad
- There is always a triad
- There are always six domains and only six domains
- Two structural constraints─only two
- Two kinds of Balanced Triad flaws─one horizontal─one vertical
- Triad flaws can be fatal
One Level Companies:
- The triad works in one man’s mind─the Managing Director. Partnerships must work by consensus.
- Domain work is delegated only at the function level in four domains at most
- The CEO also works at the functional level concerned primarily with task cycles
- Functional Partnerships work by mutual consensus, or by separate division into two triads under one
nominal company name. The partnership relationship is loosely defined and flexible with partners
working either separately or together by consensus, or both, depending on context. Functional level
work can be delegated with complete flexibility.
- Triad flaws come when too many levels are inserted at the functional level, making the MD(s)
Two Level Companies:
- The triad works in one man’s mind─the MD
- Work is completely delegated at the functional level in at least one production domain
- The CEO works at the supervisory level concerned with product cycles
- His work involves committing resources of material, equipment and labor to product cycles.
- There is work permanently delegated at the functional level in sales, accounting, and maintenance.
- Horizontal triad flaws come when two domains are permanently delegated to one person─the MD loses
insight onto one domain and the triad cannot be balanced in his mind.
- Vertical triad flaws come when too many levels are delegated. They can be of two kinds─a first level
flaw or a second level flaw. Both are serious. At the first level the functional chief with too many levels
under him becomes redundant. At the second level either the MD or the middle level becomes
redundant. Feedback is lost. The triad cannot be balanced in one man’s mind. Political dissention results.
Three Level Companies:
- The CEO works at the administrative level concerned with developing and maintaining the company’s
- There is work permanently delegated at the supervisory level in sales, accounting,
maintenance/production (under a common supervisor at this level), engineering (or research), and at the
functional level in personnel (or HRD) .
- Triad flaws can be horizontal or vertical, now at three possible levels, all of them potentially serious or
Four Level Companies:
- The CEO works at the managerial level as the embodiment of the company idea, keeping the triad in
- There is work permanently delegated at the administrative level at least in the production domain and
probably other domains such as sales or accounting.
- Triad flaws can be horizontal or vertical now at four possible levels.
- In companies of this size, up to several thousand employees, triad flaws are very common, very costly,
and potentially fatal in a competitive marketplace. Employee commitment, idea potential and overall
performance erode and ultimately fail.
The Balanced Triad Organization