It’s the organisation’s aim, its “why”, its meaning, its force. An organisation without evolutionary purpose is condemned to work through transactions and price war, will hardly be really client oriented and fully engaged. An organisation filled with a strong and authentic evolutionary purpose, instead, attracts the right people, the ones filled with the same purpose, and when this alignment is in place organisations don’t need to be pushed, but can move by themselves, like living organisms, resonating internally and externally, so to facilitate the supply and demand intersecting. (Organizzazioni che si muovono di vita propria
). An evolutionary purpose strongly integrated with strategy let the organisations be alive, and creates internal and external spaces where business can evolve into a community
We considered for years people only from a competencies and aptitudes perspective. Isn’t that too little? What about the wholeness of our individuality, our passions, our belonging to a whole (even if we often forget about it), because we enliven many others communities in addition to the organisational one – professional, friendly, territorial ones -; what about our desire to leave something during our life, what about our vulnerability? Sure, vulnerability too, so dreaded, so concealed, is an extraordinary evolutionary source (We’ve to keep in mind that we gained the standing position because, as we had neither claws nor jaws, we were haunted among hunters…). Instead of using our purpose strength and to meet our clients needs with all ourselves, we consider socially necessary to wear a “mask” and we work in organisations where who thinks and decides is separated from who does the work. Won’t all this affect the business?
It seems “natural” to concentrate the power into the hands of few, as we’ve always done it in this way, and as we consider power a scarce resource (hence power games, lack of confidence, greed, resignation and resentment). Organisations invest in training projects to enhance employees’ motivation, engagement, and empowerment, not considering that often their widespread lack is due to power distribution terms. Indeed, few people, the furthest from the business, often tell all the others what to do, keeping the largest autonomy and resources portions under their control. So organisation becomes a machine (and immediately the problem relating to how to pus hit arises…). But, if we enlarge self-organisation areas throughout the structure, possibility to think and do increases and people can work to catch opportunities and avoid threats that they encounter everyday in their job.
This is not a revolution, is an evolution. Because power is not enough in our organisations. Especially where supply and demand meet: shops, branches, project-teams, and production teams…
Teal is the organisational paradigm linked to the evolutionary leap in front of us. Some organisations, studied and described by Frederic Laloux in his volume “Reinventing organisations”, have already implemented it some time ago. Both profit and no-profit, working in different industries, with important differences in their size (more than 10.000 employees), they operate through self-managed units directly in contact with the business, based on a equal relationships system, that doesn’t need any hierarchy. So they can decide and implement decisions really fast.
There are not leaders, but a shared leadership, delegations is not top-down but bottom-up. Few rules and clear processes give quality and profitability standards through a high social control and a steady stream of feedbacks. Not top-down “mission” and “vision”, but a strong evolutionary purpose moves teal organisations, guides people in day by day activities and brings together individual vocation and organisational vocation (what the organisation wishes to realize for its clients and their communities). Using their wholeness, all are called to seize opportunities and threats and to constantly adapt their actions to them, involving clients too. That’s why change management projects are useless: change happens “naturally and continuously, because it’s moved by a genuineness that strengthen the organisation, attracts people, allows them to express motivation and talent and to contribute to the business. So individual development intertwines with organisational one, and the paths to each own life project meets the way to the organisation aim”. (La svolta TEAL dietro l’angolo
U theory was born in prestigious Boston MIT and it’s now spreading all around the world thanks to thousands of change makers and most famous innovation and management experts, like Otto Scharmer, Peter Senge, Daniel Goleman. The U path allows us to connect with what is emerging in the present to “learn from the future”. It’s really a revolution, as we have always learnt from the past. U Theory, instead, helps us to let it go to connect (open mind, open heart, open will) with indications emerging from future but still not realised, letting it to be born and us to evolve with it (Leadership from emerging future). A powerful approach for people, systems, organisations.
We consider “horizontal leadership” the possibility for any employee to contribute to stakeholders relationships evolution with his own wholeness, empowering organisational purpose achievement in any moment of the day
It’s a structured social technology, born in IT context to simplify organisations and processes, and allow companies to work with more flexibility. The password of this approach is Getting Things Done.
To reach this aim, the holocratic approach is based on a Constitution, that defines ground rules, and on the allocation of the power in processes and roles (there are only the ones needed to realize the purpose), to solve problems locally, giving more autonomy to people and teams.
The organisation is considered as a system with sensors – people -, that impersonate roles and monitor the environment. The ability of feeling the tension (positive ore negative) between what it is and what it could be, and to consequently adapt to it, is one of the most precious for the human being. Each perceived tension shows the organisation the way to follow to best realize its purpose, if only perceived tensions can be translated into quick and effective actions. This “being open” to tensions makes evolutionary the organisation, while the standard model, based on “planning-centralized control-measures to avoid deviations” is intended to prevent tensions. When power is effectively distributed among people on the front line, performances improve, accountability and ability to learn from experiences increase.
Holacracy’s organisational structure consists of circles (singular “roles”, the organisation’s cells, but also “role systems”).
Circles are autonomous elements that, nonetheless, belong to a larger whole (like cells belong to organs that in turn belong to an organism). Each circle has the power to self-manage, but, as part of a larger ensemble, has to respect governance and operations rules, to guarantee the decision-making and to ensure the alignment with other circles.
People create real communities when they share needs, aspirations, passions they can respond to together, cooperating and enhancing each one’s competencies and resources. Real communities are spaces where trust and transparency grow, and while growing they develop a strong feeling of belonging. The creation of these spaces can be encouraged by an “enabler entity” -i.e. an organisation – that, in this way, makes room for openness, dialogue and co-construction to support business
Platform is a new way of matching supply and demand, and opens unprecedented spaces to give birth to unprecedented “producers”, and to buying-experiences and services that did not previously exist. Let’s take for example Airb&B, that turned people who simply had a spare room or a vacation home into “Hosts”, creating a travel experience that didn’t previously exist: living the places together with their inhabitants instead of being “clients” who stay overnight in hotel rooms. The logic of Platforms, born in periphery, is spreading all around the world. Many organisations are emerging from this model. They realize something that is always hard to obtain for organisations: integrating all the stakeholders in the value chain -producer, consumer, developer (for example, besides Apple, where developer and client connect, OSVehicle, InnoCentive, OpenDesk). Platforms are also changing our deep relationship with products and services: we don’t “buy” anymore, we “pool”. Many organisations based on sharing are emerging (Share&Charge, BlaBlaCar). Can organisations disregard this revolution?
Architecture is the art and science of building answers. Solid and visible answers in buildings, intangible but nonetheless concrete in organisations. In both cases, structure gains meaning if strongly meets its purpose (the question it was born for). A building structure highlights priorities. Pyramids, cathedrals, skyscrapers weren’t born by chance, but are answers to collective needs.
It’s the same in organisations, where the supporting structure tells us how people should cooperate. In an organisational “Pyramid” the main priority is to let hierarchy prevail over cooperation. So the architectural answer is always the creation of a space that influences what will happen inside it, as it enables or restrict the hosted life-form. In buildings as well as in organisations, the form coincides with the substance they want to create