A month or two ago i shared ‘Design Principles for the Socially Dynamic Organisation‘, an early sketch of where we could go next in organisational design. I feel we must move beyond a model of organisation that relies on vertical mechanisms of control, towards a principle of organisation based upon fairness, facilitation, innovation and agility. An organisation united around purpose, but fluid in it’s mechanisms of organisation and control.
This type of organisation will maintain the Dynamic Tension between the formal and social arms: it will thrive with strong formal leadership, and strong Social Leadership. It will have access to it’s deeply held tribal knowledge, because it has earned the right to hear it. It will be agile, not as a process, but a mindset and deeply distributed capability.
Today, with HR very much on my mind at a conference, i’m sharing some thoughts, a narrative, sketched around the original illustration. Sometimes i find it useful to do this to refine my own narrative around it, and sometimes simply to capture key descriptions and thoughts in one place.
The design principles are not intended to be final: as i continue #WorkingOutLoud on writing ‘The Change Handbook – building the Socially Dynamic Organisation‘, i will continue to evolve the model, and in any case, there will not be one unified model of Org design, so much as a series of behaviours and capabilities, a new mindset, that will guide the growth of an organisation that deserves to success, because it’s wiling (and able) to change.
I feel this quite strongly: things like innovation, fairness, strong leadership, these are emergent from a system that has evolved to deserve it. These are the prizes that we must win through a pattern of holistic adaptation.