Reinventing Organizations

February 25th, 2015

How do you create organizations designed for human nature, based on the beliefs, that everybody wants to contribute, be responsible, innovative, perform well and do good? In the book “Reinventing Organizations” Fredric Laloux explores this topic in depth and give concrete examples from different organizations, which have succeeded in organizing themselves in a different way – creating great results while at the same time allowing people employed by the company to thrive and take charge, innovate and perform. There are no easy solutions, though, take for instance self managed teams, which seem to be a key ingredient in many of those modern organizations, which have tried to create a structure fit for free-thinking, responsible and creative souls. There is no such thing as an easy ride. It takes supervision, education, facilitation and constant self-evaluation to be part of a self-managed team. Yet, the results organizations get, when they dare to organize themselves differently and speak about/implement values like love, kindness and fun – are amazing.

Is it possible for all kinds of organizations to think this much out of the box and for instance base themselves on principles like “no boss”, bare minimum staff functions, no executive team and very few – if any – meetings? Are there limits? When will it work, when will it not? A colleague of mine mentioned companies, operating in highly competitive surroundings – in “wartime” – is it possible to operate this way under these circumstances? If so, why, if not, why not?

These are some of the questions I am highly concerned with these days. It is always interesting to work across cultures, and see how different leaders/employees from all over the world think about these things. In Kenya, for instance, where I just spent a week training facilitators at a local EMBA, trust is a big issue. Some leaders there have experienced employees stealing, once they gave them more responsibility and for instance handed them keys to their stock/asked them to be responsible for the stock. Fortunately, though, it seems to happen seldom, and the consequences of i.e. building on trust and giving employees access to key-informations, so that they can make decisions faster and without asking for permission first, seem to be positive more often than negative.

Watch this youtube video for more thoughts on this topic – Fredric Laloux, the author of the book “Reinventing Organizations”, nails it.