Building out the work on ‘Big Loop Organisations’ today by exploring aspects of what it means to be ‘big’. The notion behind this is that legacy Organisations typically fall to ‘Diminishing Spirals’ of learning, as opposed to maintaining a momentum and energy around learning.
The four aspects i focus on here relate to ‘Learning’, ‘Failure’, ‘Interconnection’, and ‘Opportunity’ – it’s not intended as a definitive view, but rather a sketch.
Big Loop Organisations will utilise both formal, and social collaborative, models of learning, with a clear expertise in methodology behind both, and a recognition of the relative value and rewards of each. That expertise will inherently mean that they hold a distributed view of knowledge, with an understanding and pragmatic relationship with validity and evolution. This will tie into broader notions of agility and learning.
They will be expert in creating artefacts of failure: this idea is the central one that led me into this view – the idea that they are not trapped by the ‘Folklore of Failure’ – the endless repetition of Organisational memory. This will be held in an active process, as well as specific leadership capability, and distributed team capability. This may be the hardest part of the model, as it is also bound by culture.
Big Loop Organisations will be Socially Dynamic (i have yet to form a coherent link between this body of work and my broader work on the Socially Dynamic Organisation – beyond saying that there is a link!). The key connection here is ‘Interconnected’ – as part of an ability to be Big Loop, they must have open storytelling and trust connections between all divergent tribal structures. Hence they are ‘Unconstrained by Domain’ (that word ‘Domain’ is the one i use to describe legacy Organisations).
Finally: Storytelling leaders will identify and hold open space for opportunity. ‘Storytelling’ may be a distracting word here – the key concept is Opportunity. In all parallel strands of my own research we see that people desire freedom and opportunity, and this freedom will be relatively unconstrained by legacy power and consequence. Creating this type of space is a bet on Individual Agency e.g. the distributed strength of the Organisation.
I will continue to build out this work over the next few days.