The Agile Organization
In a fast-moving competitive environment, where new technology can disrupt everything overnight, is Adhocracy nimble enough? Do we need an Agile Organization?
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The Nature of Organizations
This video is part of course module number 6.1.2
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 2: Organizational Models
Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures – https://youtu.be/9C64CXJw83E
🎬 Henry Mintzberg’s 4 plus 2 Organizational Types – https://youtu.be/JmvYcskjh3E
🎬 Charles Handy’s Gods of Management – https://youtu.be/yClxu7dzmB4
🎬 Charles Handy’s Shamrock Organization – https://youtu.be/dGGKT0Mr_HA
🎬 Charles Handy’s Federal Organization Model – https://youtu.be/69AYxCvT7m4
🎬 Charles Handy’s Triple-I Company – https://youtu.be/gFRXiMkIg6k
🎬 The Matrix Organization Model – https://youtu.be/hJ9wbFgmtKM
🎬 Peter Senge’s Learning Organization – https://youtu.be/k1k2h1l2VO0
🎬 Adhocracy – https://youtu.be/7QKm0Y3_Hr0
🎬 Brian Robertson’s Holacracy – https://youtu.be/hz3khhOLT5E
🎬 Virtual Organizations – https://youtu.be/Hsovj2jPNPA
Mintzberg: Machine Bureaucracy is a traditional hierarchical process-driven organization. And he adopted Bennis’s term ‘Adhocracy’ for the flexible structure – often within a wider organization – that morphs to meet present needs, serves them, and morphs again.
Is Adhocracy enough?
Perhaps constant flux is a better model. Consider the metaphor of a living organism. See Morgan’s 8 Metaphors: https://youtu.be/a60rsgbmw2c
An Agile Organization can respond quickly to changes in the marketplace or environment.
– It is highly customer-focused and aims to create customized products and services.
– It can react successfully to new competitors, technology advances, and sudden shifts in overall market conditions.
– Agile enterprises need to be largely non-hierarchical with limited central control.
An Agile Organization is a network of teams
Each team is fully empowered to make decisions within only the framework of a wider organizational strategy, purpose, and vision. Instead of working on complete solutions to well-formed problems, the teams take rapid steps forward in small increments to make things better, before re-evaluating the best next step – or, indeed, if another step is justified in a cost-benefit assessment.
Team leadership is either dispersed or, if concentrated in one individual, often follows a Servant Leadership model. At the end of a series of incremental improvements, team members may move on, to join a new team and work on a new problem.
This makes the organization agile in its ability to respond quickly to threats or opportunities. What matters to a team is making things better, within each cycle, than they were at the start. Cycles are typically two weeks but can be anything from a week to a couple of months.
Embedded in the Agile Organization are many of the attributes of other models, like:
• The Learning organization
So, we tend to see a culture of:
• Serving customers
• Professional competence and pride
• Informality and collegiality
• Transparency and reduced political pressure
1. Few organizations are truly agile yet. How agile is yours? What characteristics support your assessment? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. In what areas might greater agility make your organization more effective? What changes would you propose to support this shift? (4 MC CPD Points)
– Understanding Organizations https://geni.us/oB774Do
– Images of Organization https://geni.us/hrOemEs
– Inside Organizations: 21 Ideas for Managers https://geni.us/YwwL
– Gods of Management: The Four Cultures of Leadership https://geni.us/bpPeC5
Managers Need a Basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)
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