At the expense of being repetitive, I keep seeing this same pattern that Tom Haskins got me started on and which he summarized in reading situational responses:
Then I read Charles Jennings’ post on accountability for business results and saw a similar four part process, but Charles shows how the transition from one structure to the next is not linear at all when viewed from the perspective of the two axes of Autonomy & Strategic Alignment.
Charles’ C-Curve is a model in practice, based on his experience as CLO of Reuters. I see a parallel between this migration of the learning and development (L&D) department and the social order necessary to do certain types of group work:
- L&D Autonomous = taking action as a Tribe of its own
- L&D aligned with organization = coordinated with the Institution
- L&D with governance structure = able to work in a cooperative collaborative Market
- L&D strategically aligned = a collaborative co-operative member of (a) Network(s)
Note: I’ve re-thought my use of the terms co-operation & collaboration here.
I wonder if this curve describes other departments in different organizations. It is evident that there is greater freedom either as a tribe or in a network, while institutions and markets restrict freedom. Could it also hold that previously tribal organizations (1) may thrive best in networks (because they are used to more freedom) if they can successfully make the transition between the other two stages? I have noticed that it is difficult to convince organizations steeped in the institutional model (2) that the networked model may be better. Those who already have to respond to markets (3) understand the value of networks (4) much better, in my experience.