From ‘Direct & Control’…
The way many companies shape their strategies and change initiatives still reflects a predictable world with steadily growing markets: based on predictions of market developments, long-term plans are formulated and translated into short term goals. These, in turn, are the directives for managers whose responsibility it is to ensure the plan is executed. Reporting structures and hierarchies are meant to create (a sense of) control. Hierarchies and practices for decision making are centralized in a cascading structure of authority and autonomy which decrease as one goes down in the ranks of the organization.
Organizing for control has become less effective. Information processing and decision making take up too much time. They diminish responsiveness and adaptability. Other than that, in an environment of ‘predict & control’ there is little creative energy unleashed, because too much energy is consumed by managerial processes. Different departments and layers in the organization often work separately from one another, because they are managed separately and have their own set of objectives and priorities. The organization operates from different compartments (‘silos’) rather than as a coherent whole.
…to ’Sense & Respond‘
What if companies could find ways of organizing and working together that would do away with the inherent inhibitions of hierarchies, structures and reporting lines? What if the workflows, information sharing and (team)structures become so fluent that the organization starts to ‘move as one’ – responding swiftly and effectively to market developments, while still adhering to the company’s purpose and objectives? How would the operation change if all parts in the chain of value creation work together seamlessly?
Organizing for succes
This time calls for rethinking how people in your organization work together, how workflows and teams are created that operate more fluently and can respond more effectively to what happens in the market and economy or society at large.