After reading a discussion on the Systems Thinking list, it seems clear that there is a lot of interest on this topic matched by a lot of confusion.Firstly, systems thinking means approaching a problem from a higher-level perspective, much like economists look at the economy: detached and analytical. Unfortunately, it's prone to the same problems of that field: systemic errors amplifying to global problems due to incorrect premises (e.g. the unsolved financial crisis of the last decade).Secon
What our team found at this school in the Bronx is what we see in many intractable social problems. They spring from a complex constellation of ills, and the longer they last the more complicated they...
“HR isn’t just about holding people to rules, it’s a lot more than that. It’s about making sure your people are represented in the company’s decisions and live up to their potential. It’s about being part of something bigger and providing a great place to work rather than simply protecting the business.”
As human development practitioners, we have been talking a lot recently about how a changing world is demanding new approaches to development in the way we finance, implement our projects and measure the results of our work.
Zappos may have gained notoriety in recent months for being the latest company to move to the holacracy model of self-management, but when it comes to golden success stories, others are leading the way. If you're thinking about following their lead, consider these 6 cautionary points first.
New leaders don’t spend nearly enough time and effort being intentional about how they show up and how they spend their own time. The effort they devote to forming meaningful connections with the people in the organization is almost an afterthought.
Unlike the traditional hierarchy which typically sees one way communication and everyone at the top with all the information and power; a “flatter” structure seeks to open up the lines of communication and collaboration while removing layers within the organization. As you can see there are fewer layers and that arrows point both ways. Obviously an very simplified way to look at this type of a company but hopefully it gets the point across. For larger organizations this is the most practical, scalable, and logical approach to deploy across an entire company. This is the model that most large (and many mid-size) organizations around the world are moving towards.
It’s true, some form of hierarchy still does exist within this model but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case. In flatter companies there is still a strong focus on communication and collaboration, improving the employee experience, challenging the status quo around traditional management models, and the like. But instead of completely reinventing the entire company and introducing a radical new structure and approach to work, it achieves similar results in far shorter term and with much less effort and resource allocation.
Many people sense that the way organizations are run today has been stretched to its limits. In survey after survey, businesspeople make it clear that in their view, companies are places of dread and drudgery, not passion or purpose. Organizational disillusionment afflicts government agencies, nonprofits, schools, and hospitals just as much. Further, it applies not just to the powerless at the bottom of the hierarchy. Behind a facade of success, many top leaders are tired of the power games and infighting; despite their desperately overloaded schedules, they feel a vague sense of emptiness. All of us yearn for better ways to work together — for more soulful workplaces where our talents are nurtured and our deepest aspirations are honored.
The premise of this article is that humanity is at a threshold; a new form of organization is emerging into public view. Anthropological research suggests that this is a natural next step in a process that began more than 100,000 years ago. There have been, according to this view, at least five distinct organizational paradigms in human history. Could the current organizational disillusionment be a sign that civilization is outgrowing the current model and getting ready for the next?
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