Clowns, Jokers, Rocks, and Hard Places
If you haven’t yet, take some time to have a read of Aimee Groth’s wonderful article on the self-organizing management schema ‘The Holocracy’.
To undertake a whole scale transformation of how an organization works - how decisions are made, and how power is distributed - is a complex and audacious task. But, it also struck me as somewhat simplistic at the same time.
What do I mean by this, I hear you toot?
What if we view the self-organizing model as the complement, the diametric opposite, of a completely designed model? Either we let the system decide, or we decide for the system. We manage to the extremes. Because, at the extremes we, have more clarity and that’s really all we want ever - is clarity, and as much as you can give us thanks very much.
My initial reaction to Ms. Groth’s piece I tweeted about:
Either/or is easy. It’s both/and that’s hard, and where the magic lives.— David Thompson (@dcthmpsn) February 18, 2015
I suspect it could be worse to just appeal to structures on the extremes - because sometimes you’ll need a blend of both approaches, and by not having them, you’ll be leaving value on the table. Being able to hold different patterns of work together long enough, in as stable and productive way as possible, is vital. Acknowledging this, and subsequently balancing it, are most likely two of the most challenging obstacles facing any organization, in any industry.
Thanks for listening,