Organizing retrospective 1

This is a post in my series on organizing “between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened since I started the series last week. The purpose is to reflect on the journey itself. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened since the start? What needs to be done?
I started the series with this post where I said that it’s necessary to move to an organizing “beyond,” which transcends the compromises of organizing “in between.” My point is that we need a major shift in how we view and organize work.

  • I need to go back to Bohm’s and Peat’s notion of “order.”1 They have, for example, interesting thoughts on “order” in relation to dialogue and thinking itself.

What I did next was to identify some “organizing questions” in this post.  These questions give direction to  the search for a “deeper order,” or an “organizing beyond.”

To get an overview, I started listing “existing orders” in this post.

  • I will add to the list of “existing orders” over time.
  • I also need to sort the list and keep the overview.

I realized, as I wrote this post, that the list of “organizing ideas” really aren’t  “generative orders.” To find the “deeper order,” it’s necessary to identify what’s behind the values and perceptions of each organizing idea. This is a huge, if not impossible, task.

  • I need to prioritize and select which “organizing ideas” to study deeper.

Then I went ahead to identify key assumptions in the CMM, PSP, and TSP, since I have personal experiences of them since 1996. As a starting point, I used a very interesting article2 by Watts Humprey where he summarizes his personal views and perspectives during 20 years. The analysis is in this post.

  • The question is how the conclusions “in-form,”3 that is, gives form the continued work?

I also took the opportunity to summarize the key assumptions, as I see them, in Sociocracy and Holacracy. This post is based on my previous posts on Sociocracy and Holacracy. For me, there’s nothing new here. I think the conclusions are correct.

  • The question is, again, how the conclusions inform the continuation of the work?

What was good? What can be improved?
I am very happy that I’ve got started.

Simon Robinson (@srerobinson) contributed to my exploration by proposing that I also consider this book by Tor Hernes.4 I will and have ordered the book. Simon also sent me this article by David Seamon with a Bortoftian critque of Christopher Alexander’s pattern language.

I also think that the combination of gathering and analyzing information together with reflections on the journey itself (this retrospective) is very good.

  • The challenge is to keep an open mind, and avoid jumping into conclusions.
  • I need to figure out how the conclusions inform the continued work.
  • While questioning my own assumptions, I also need to let my own experience guide the work.

1 The notion of “order” is from Science, Order, and Creativity by David Bohm and F. David Peat.
2 Watts S. Humphrey, Three Process Perspectives: Organizations, teams, and People (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Annals of Software Engineering 14, 2002), pp. 39–72.
3 This is a notion from David Bohm et al. Bohm’s proposal is that in-form-ation plays a significant role in quantum physics. See, for example, F. David Peat, Active Information, Meaning and Form, (accessed 2016-08-05)
4 Tor Hernes, A Process Theory of Organization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Published by Jan Höglund

Jan Höglund has over 35 years of experience in different roles as software developer, project manager, line manager, consultant, and researcher. This is his personal blog where he shares his reading, book reviews, and learning.

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