Reinventing organisations is one of the best books we have read in a long time.
We are working with a lot of organisation on their staff development, which invariably gets combined with innovation, strategy and change management.
This book takes a complete counter-intuitive approach. This is engagement by being completely self-organising. With a clear sense of purpose, passion and values. It describes a wide range of companies, which if you could compare them with human beings, are close to being enlightened. Fully aware of their mission in life. Being close to themselves and others. Applying ancient techniques, which include meditation, being grateful and kind, talking sticks, tingsha bells and going back to nature.
We are not talking about flower power or Woodstock. These techniques work and make the companies that apply these self-organising businesses extremely successful. With staff that is engaged, happy and content. With a complete alignment with the company. They are the company. It is what Kotler dreams of in “Marketing 3.0”.
Next generation organisation
It is what “Employees first, costumer second” aspires to. It is how “The connected company” suggest you organise your business. But this goes a lot further. It is the next generation organisation. Or organisation 4.0.
What does self-organising mean?
Everyone decides for themselves what they want to do, when they want to do it, who they want to do it with and how much they get paid. Fully decentralised. There are no job titles. There is no CEO. There is no organisation chart. There is no HR department, finance department or marketing department. There are very few meetings. There is a lot of emphasis on training, particularly in group dynamics, decision making and conflict resolution. There is complete transparency. There are very clear guidelines. There is a lot of focus on cultural fit, feedback loops and a very clear understanding of why the company exists.
Because everyone is so engaged, everything is sense and respond. Which makes companies very quick, truly utilising the collective intelligence of the organisation.
The questions to ask
What is the right thing to do? Is my heart at work? Am I in the right place?
No need for change management
When everyone is clear about following the purpose and are defined by it, competition, profit, innovation, strategy are all part of the ecosystem. Everyone is doing strategy, everyone is selling, everyone is doing market sensing, everyone is budgeting, everyone is training and because everyone is engaged, there is no need for “change management”
We always warn our client of the Pandora’s box effect. Once you open up the minds of your people, feed them with quality information and ask them to engage and think, it is difficult to go back to the old ways.
And we are increasingly scratching our heads. How do you get an organisation to embrace these new, age-old principles?