Apr 18 - May 8Phase 1May 8 - 27May 28 - Jun 5Jun 7 - Jul 1Phase 2Jul 2 - 14Jul 17 - Aug 14Phase 3Aug 15 - Sep 16
Here are some signs of a rigid organizational structure:
A centralized 'command and control' style of leadership prevails.
Hierarchical organization with many layers of management between 'top and bottom'.
Small spans of control.
Functional silos that operate independently.
Very little movement of talent around the organization between silos.
Oliver Great hand book, I cam across Norstrums hand book simplicity is best! http://37signals.com/svn/posts/2632-nordstroms-employee-handbook-mdash-s...
Paula makes an important point - the RIGHT THINGS are rigid, and other things are agile and flexible. If I understand Paula's point correctly, I'd propose that the “right things” are best defined by the work - what kind of work (workflow or business processes) is being performed. Some work, like systems design or other engineering design or creative work, benefit from high levels of creativity, individuality and adaptability. Other work, like many manufacturing tasks, may need greater rigidity and control (although one could argue that workers participating in Kanban or continuous improvement activities can add improvement insights which can change the way work is done). In the former work environment, a greater degree of adaptability is needed, while in the latter, greater control is likely best. One size does not fit all – at least not in the same timeframe. In the medium to long term, even manufacturing will have to become more adaptable as design, manufacture and go to market cycles shorten.
Thanks for these contributions to the debate and I look forward to having a look at the handbook.
I'm struggling a little to get to a clear position in my thinking on the subject of rigidity.
As presented by Keith, I can definitely see the downside - and I guess the one that most resonates for me is rigidity between different silos (or in language I quite like in exploring behaviour within organisations - hard boundaries between independent interest groups or 'tribes').
At the same time, some rigid structure clearly has useful purpose - I'm thinking both of the analogy of the usefulness of a rigid skeleton to enable human beings to walk upright and the many ways in which my life is made safer and more convenient - as well as more constrained - by living in a country with overall high respect for the 'rule of law'.
Perhaps it's critical that the RIGHT THINGs are rigid and to the right extent - otherwise, following the analogy, the skeleton suffers arthritis (as somone else in this part of the Hack put it) - and similarly if we're living with bad laws, then the rule of law becomes much less comforting.
We recently created & released an Employee Handbook that embodies our way to empower individual & collective freedom, breaking away from pyramidal alienation. This is pretty much our conception of adaptability. If you have 1 min or 2...have a glance here https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/39302859/EceteraEmployeeHandbook/Ece... and tell me what you think.
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