A new key realisation about organisations

Updated: Aug 31

People come up with all sorts of reasons why organisations don’t deliver the expected results. Yet most CEO’s agree, these reasons can all be brought back to the three main success factors for any organisation: Innovation, Cultural Adaptation and Connection. Now let’s assume these convictions are correct. Then what influences these success factors? And how can we improve them?

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In the last 75 years, business managers have developed many theories, methods and systems to improve the performance of organisations. For those familiar with the subject, theories as presented by Fayol, Taylor, Weber, Douglas & McGregor, et al, will definitely ring a bell. In recent years several new models were added to these, like McKinsey’s 7s model, Management by Objectives, the Learning Organisation and ideas that revolve around new ways of Leadership. And although all these ideas have definitely been of help, they also seem to have one thing in common. They all more or less focus on improving topics around hierarchy, formal structure, central leadership and control. In other words, they all try to ‘repair or modify’ industrial age organisation models to fit the organisation requirements of the digital age.


Yet modern times require organisations that are capable of reinventing themselves on the spot. And this capacity is generally not prominent in traditional organisation models. This however doesn’t mean that these capabilities are not available in the essential resource of any organisation: Human beings.


We often forget this simple fact. But the ONLY reason that humans have become the dominant species on planet Earth, is because of our nearly unlimited capacity to connect, innovate and adapt. This is what sets us apart from all other species on the planet. Now some of you may believe that we have lost these capacities but that’s not the case. Just look at young children under the age of seven. Young children have received very little conditioning. They see no obstructions, communicate directly from the heart and have no capacity for planning. Yet no adult is more connective, innovative and adaptive than young children. A down to earth conclusion of these observations may be that the adaptive capacity of any organisation doesn’t necessarily require all the impressive theories, methods and systems that we’ve developed over the years. Or even more revealing, it is very possible that all these great theories, methods and systems do the opposite of what we need and make our organisations less adaptive and future proof.


Sometimes we just have to accept that what was great a while ago, is our biggest problem now and that it’s time to leave the old behind. Luckily, it’s clear what we need to do to solve the problem: Be like young children.


Watch our free SWARM videos https://www.swarm-organisation.com/videos, to learn more about developing a future proof mindset. Or sign up for one of our masterclasses or courses https://www.swarm-organisation.com/academy.


See you there!


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