The Way We Are: organisational structures to get the best out of people

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 18:30
Agile Outside IT

No longer are traditional (functional & hierarchical) organisational structures delivering the leanness & agility that is demanded by customers. Traditional approaches to patching these traditional organisational structures have given some benefits but they are treatments, rather than a cures. It is now time to seek a cure for the problem; to redesign our organisational structures & rulesets to deliver leanness and agility as an outcome. Prior to designing new, people centric, organisational structures it is essential to have a model for the people that the new structures are there to serve. Only in this way can we hope to get the very best out of “the way we are”.

PART 1 – The Way We Are

· The Irreducible Nature of Us & Our Environment – (we can’t describe ourselves in isolation)
· Our Way Of Being - (the immutable laws of nature & how we are described by them)
· Our Anxieties & Motivations - (motion away from chaos & motion towards order; how the 2nd law of thermodynamics, entropy, impacts us)
· Understanding the Nature of Hierarchies & Happiness - (social (belonging dominance), power (meaning dominance), competence (structure dominance), action (vitality dominance)
· We Are Driven To Be A Winner – (winner takes all & prices law)
· We Wish For An Easy Life – (finding the sweet spot of maximum order for minimum chaos)
· We Are Adaptive – (to an environment of our choosing)
· We Find Change Difficult – (the power of social bargains)
· We Easily Disengage – (the causes of disengagement)
· This Is the Way We Are – (synthesizing to create a simple model of the way we are)

PART 2 – Designing Organisational Models To Get The Best Out of “The Way We Are”

· Formalizing the Organisational Design Requirements - (from the “the way we are”)
· Methodology for Organisational Design - (a simple process, SAY, DO, PROVE)
· Tools to Help us Design Organisational Structures & Rulesets - (help in creating “to Be” models)
· The Systemic Nature of Organisational Design - (it’s a ball of string all parts touch all parts)
· The Design Process (the design for creating designs; a meta model)
· Chains v Rope models (individual accountability for outcome)
· Disintermediation increases happiness (direct feedback of performance)
· Designing the flow of resources; money…….etc (the role of resources in reinforcing mind-set change)
· The Game of Games – (playing the game sustainably)


Andrew Holm offers a potential glimpse into the future of work and organisational structures.

Featured on BBC Radio 4 In-Business, Andrew and his business partner are the founders of the world’s first truly self-managing organisation.

Matt Black Systems manufacture helicopter and aircraft parts in the UK in a highly competitive, regulated and complex business sector


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