Ralph Stacey on rule-following

Ralph Stacey writes that we have to think of global organizational order as continually emerging in myriad local interactions,1 and that it is highly simplistic to think of human beings as rule-following beings.2 In our acting, we may take account of rules but can hardly be said to blindly follow them.3 The essential and distinctive […]

Principles for making organizations work

John Gottman writes about what successful relationships look like and how to strengthen them in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work together with Nan Silver. Below is a summary of Bob Marshall’s adaptation of these principles to organizations: Enhancing “Love Maps”. Flourishing organizations are familiar with their peoples’ worlds and needs. Nurture Fondness And […]

Taylorism in Druckerian clothes

Gianpiero Petriglieri argues that Technology Is Not Threatening Our Humanity — We Are in the 30 October 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review. Petriglieri writes that while “technology often augments leaders’ power … it is humanity that keeps power in check“, and that “we would do well to revisit a fierce debate that shaped […]

Book Review: Team of Teams

Teams of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Stanley McChrystal, with Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell, is a book about the restructuring of the Joint Special Operations Task Force from the ground up. The book is built upon the authors ”personal experiences”, together with their ”reviews” of ”published studies” […]

Dee Hock on control

Life is not about control. It’s not about getting. It’s not about having. It’s not about knowing. It’s not even about being. Life is eternal, perpetual becoming, or it is nothing. Becoming is not a thing to be known, commanded, or controlled. It is a magnificent, mysterious odyssey to be experienced.1 … I have long […]

Chris Corrigan on self-organization

Here are quotes of Chris Corrigan from an email to the World wide Open Space Technology email list September 1, 2015. (My highlights in bold.) Self organization works by a combination of attractors and boundaries.  Attractors are things that draw components of a system towards themselves (gravity wells, a pile of money left on the […]

What if control is inappropriate?

My conclusion after having read Brian Robertson’s new book on Holacracy and Gerard Endenburg’s first book on Sociocracy is that neither Holacracy nor Sociocracy replace Command & Control (C&C). Both use C&C within limits. This triggered feedback from Holacracy people that the Lead Link Role doesn’t manage day-to-day work and doesn’t manage others, but that […]

Metaphor: An organization as a tree

Daniel Mezick posted my Holacracy book review on Facebook . . . . . . and Michelle Holliday replied with the following metaphor of an organization as a tree. Here’s an excerpt of Michelle’s reply (my emphasis in bold) : … If we think of an organization as a tree, the roots can represent the […]