So what are the lines for then?

“We use the word ‘organization’ to mean both the state of being organized and the groups that do the organizing.”
― Clay ShirkyHere Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

People are overly obsessed with the boxes in an org structure.  Particularly if your name is on one (or you are aiming for it!).  That is most unfortunate.  This chase only feeds our “lowest common denominator” hunger as Machiavellian operators.

The lines between the boxes do not simply mean “this is my span of control”!  Or, They are my direct reports.  That illusion gives bureaucracy its “evil” – and largely undeserved – label.

My readings have shown me that the lines are pregnant with information, or ought to be!

Image

The writings of following three thinkers will be visited in some upcoming posts:

  1. Stafford Beer, the (Managerial) Cybernetics explorer
  2. Elliott Jaques, the Requisite Organisation pioneer; and
  3. Ralph Rowbottom, an associate of Jaques who went “deep” with hospital organisation!

Here is an idea of the magic possible with “lines” (from Rowbottom et al’s 1973 book)!

Image

p.s. The “triangles” above loosely remind me of Beers’ VSM (viable-system model) diagrammes!  Chance?

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