Do not build hierarchies

In a recent blog post, I write about the way we organize for Innovation. With an emphasis on avoiding the construction of hierarchies I return to some of the central challenges for Innovation

  • Big demands big: When we can only engage our organizations around large scale projects
  • Management lacks strategy and resources: When we are indecisive around the risk and balance in our portfolios
  • We chose structure over entrepreneurship: Intrapreneurship is not fostered and considered an asset

I believe that ”..when we find ways to delegate responsibility to teams, ask for achievements not reports, we’ll see accomplishments improve as well. Look at the start-up structures. They can’t afford big failures, they can’t afford management structures, they can’t afford inefficient structures. Their natural organization around this is the agile team structure. We can use this in our large organizations as well. It will bring creativity to value creation. Innovation will be reached.”

As we fight the Taylorian teachings we have to dare come up with alternatives. I say that we should embrace the creativity, engagement and capacity of the full work force. I say management should support the organization with the right structure to optimize the capabilities of the organization. I say we must work hard to embrace the entrepreneurial teachings, even in our large organizations. Lack of growth doesn’t worry me as much as the inability to adapt to change, urge to be proactive and the rigid and numb structures we spend so much time to protect. Growth programs can always be initiated, cultural change is a bit more complex, however it is never to late. No, we truly need to let our opportunities brake free and come to value creation, hence the reference to the swedish movie ”Släpp fångarne loss, det är vår”.

I suggest in the blog post, that there are a number of factors to focus on, amongst them:

  • Fight to decrease cost of failure, not to avoid failure
  • Gain team experience to parry unexpected events
  • Look at the start-up structures and build like them
  • Do not let risk aversion lead to inability to taking daring initiatives
  • De-organize. Not reorganise

Read the full blog post and the full list of suggestions here.

– Dariush Ghatan


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