New organisational DNA

I’m going to take some time off work and writing over the holidays, with perhaps a post if the mood strikes me. What really interests me at this time is how The Great Disruption may be opening up possibilities for change that did not exist even six months ago. I have come to the realisation that for training, education, learning and development initiatives to work we need real organisational change, meaning a change in the way we create and run our organisations. I have some opportunities to write on the subject as well as ideas that may develop into projects. These may be difficult times but they can also be exciting times.

Jon Husband sums up the real work to be done in developing the post-industrial workplace:

If I am not mistaken, the issue of centralised control remains one of the core issues in play … when it comes to considering whether and how to engage with or commit to a path towards Enterprise 2.0 architecture, applications and dynamics.

How can we have effective businesses without centralized control? Wirearchy is one potential framework but we need to seriously discuss this because our environment is far too complex for mechanistic models. Instead of tweaking the existing ineffective organisational models that many labour under I want to focus on the root causes of our challenges. Workers feel disconnected and disempowered especially when layoffs are the first corporate reaction in any economic downturn. We need more resilient organisations that can in turn foster a more resilient economy. There is much inspiration from the natural sciences:

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed – Charles Darwin

5 Responses to “New organisational DNA”

  1. Jon Husband

    There’s an interesting book about 5 years old that addresses this issue: “It’s Alive – The Coming Convergence of Information, Biology and Business”, by Stan davis and Christopher Meyer.

    And of course there are many many people and approaches to “change” now taking cues from natural processes and self-organizing systems. I noticed somewhere recently that one of the iconic figures of the brief moment in the sun had by the socio-technical systems” school, William Pasmore, has come out with a new book sometime in the last several years.

    No doubt this will be an area of ongoing enquiry for the rest of yours and my working life, Harold 😉

  2. Brett

    I’ve long found it interesting that while most businesses (in capitalist countries, anyway) operate internally as a “controlled economy” they all but demand they be allowed to operate in a “free market” to conduct their business.

    I wonder what a business that operated internally as a “market economy” would look like. Is such a thing even possible?

  3. Brett

    Ooops. I posted my reply above before following the link back to Jon’s post on “The New Management”. Needless to say, those two books are now on my to-read list!

  4. Kate Klingensmith

    I agree that this discussion is very exciting. It’s a nice view on *this* side of ‘The Great Disruption’, to have already begun to pick apart the web of tools and potential, to look ahead and see the value of what we’re already doing, and then to think of the transitions ahead as a puzzle that has yet to be solved.

    Harold, I think that you should run with it – you have the insight and drive to create a program, or many, to help guide organizations through organizing and mobilizing their strategies using web2.0. Go for it!!!


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