In today’s world, the need to crack the code of innovation to get into Continuous Learning Mood (CLM) is patently evident. The problem arises when most of your organization’s energy is used up fixing daily problems, leaving little time/energy, if any, to prevent new ones from occurring, i.e., to become proactive.
This seems to be the case with most organizations that feel impotent to break free from this recurring daily nightmare, thus becoming easy prey to some organizational consulting companies who have focused on this highly profitable business practice.
You see, when you feel impotent to break free from daily problems, you obviously welcome, without much questioning, any possible help or solution. The real problem arises when the “solution” only solves the symptoms, leaving the malady intact or, even worse, creating an ever-greater dependency on the “solution” provider and, in effect, making things worse than what they where in the first place.
This seems precisely what has been going on for the past two decades with most companies and their “solution” providers who have been quite creative devising all sorts of “new & improved methods and remedies,” after all their previous ones have provided little, if any, help at all, in an attempt to maintain their credibility.
All these “New & Improved methods and solutions” have been based on all sorts of workshops or gimmicks to create a new culture by reshaping the existing organization into very creative forms such as “Holacratic,” “Chaordic,” “Matrix,” “Cellular,” “Flat,” “Horizontal,” etc., etc..
These are all phenotypes, i.e., shapes and forms, and do nothing whatsoever to change the restrictive genetic makeup of the organization and, therefore, its culture.
Some of these “solution” providers have even dared to sell their “solutions” to gullible independent consultants who try to find a way into the highly profitable business of organizational consulting, especially regarding OD and Change Management.
The fact of the matter is that the malady is in the genetic makeup of the organization, not in its shape or form, and this is what needs to be addressed. The malady is a Restrictive/Tropophobic Dominant Hierarchy, better known as Bureaucracy.
Even if you think your organizational structure is a “Flat Hierarchy” it does not make any difference, you can call it anything you want, it will not matter at all.
Regardless of the shape or form, unless you deliberately change the organizational design principles, you will continue to have a restrictive/tropophobic dominant hierarchy, namely, a bureaucracy.
You may also think that it is a matter of having “too many people.” It is not, for you can have only two people and still remain a bureaucracy, i.e., a restrictive/tropophobic dominant-hierachy. This is where most people get lost, even HR people, who have been confused by all the shapes and forms created by the “Solution” providers.
Unless and until you change the dominant hierarchy with a non-dominant hierarchy, your organization will remain bureaucratic. This is the same structure that about 200 years ago gave rise to the first industrial revolution thanks to its organizational design deliberately structured to restrict human behaviour, appropriate 200 years ago but quite inappropriate since the 1950s!
Back in the 1950s, this dominant hierarchy began to show its anachronism and to prove it was no longer able to deliver what the new times required, namely, a learning organizational structure, or non-dominant hierarchy. In other words, just the opposite of the bureaucratic structure that, instead of restricting, it would enhance human behaviour. Thus, releasing the power of innovation in every person.
This is precisely the solution that was developed, refined over six decades, and offered absolutely free of charge by Fred Emery and his wife Merrelyn who dedicated their entire life for the benefit of humankind by helping establish organizational design principles that liberate the infinite power of the mind and heart!
This solution to the infinite nightmares caused by the also infinite pathologies of bureaucratic structures has only two phases. The first phase is called the Search Conference, and the second is the Participative Design Workshop.
Through this beautifully simple, yet extremely profound process, the workers redesign their workplace themselves in just a single day turning any restrictive/tropophobic/dominant hierarchy into an enhancive/tropophilic/non-dominant one.
To The Health Of Your Tropophilic Organizational DNA!
JC Wandemberg Ph.D.
President & Founder
About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.