Organizational forms of the future

Traditional organizations are typically characterized by inefficiency, informal power structures, political tactics and tedious meetings that often are nothing else than a waste of time. The capabilities of the employees are not utilized, or only to a small degree. Everybody probably has asked oneself which alternatives there are to the hierarchical pyramid-type organizations.

There are case studies of companies that virtually have no hierarchy levels whatsoever, and in spite of that, or exactly because of that, they are very successful and highly profitable. But how have these companies solved issues such as decision-making, exchange of information, remuneration, incentives, and meeting structures?

There is surely no generally accepted formula for this, but there are various approaches, authors and thought leaders whose approaches go into the same direction.

The movie “My wonderful workplace” by the French-German television network ARTE from 2015 showed companies that have been following the approach of self-organization for many years now, such as Favi, Poult and Chrono Flex. The movie illustrates how employees who work in a non-hierarchical organization feel activated and relieved.

Alternative approaches such as Sociocracy (1968) or Holacracy (2006) provide the answers to questions how decision-making, exchange of information and defining remuneration can be solved without hierarchy levels.

The three pillars described by Frederic Laloux represent, in my view, the most comprehensible visualization: self-management, wholeness and evolutionary purpose.

If you take these three values as guidelines for company management, a hierarchical, pyramid-type organization is not an option; you are automatically pushed to a modern organization that is characterized by innovative capabilities and resilience.

  • The concept of self-management increases the accountability of every single employee within an organization, thus strengthening its intrinsic motivation to make a contribution.
  • Wholeness means to abandon the “professional” self and to put aside the ego. You won’t believe how efficient and focused meetings can be when the participants’ personal egos remain outside.
  • Managing according to the evolutionary purpose is about the concept that corporate management no longer focuses on pure economic decisions, but rather takes into account environmental or social aspects – based on the confidence that what makes sense definitely cannot endanger the company’s success.

In doing so, a company or an organization is established based on being human, trust, wholeness and environmental responsibility. Such an enterprise needs a brave CEO and employees that are willing to help shape the organization and to get involved as a whole human being.

Andrea SchmittInnovationstrainerinAm Mittelpfad 24aD 65520 Bad Camberg+49 64 34-905 997+49 175 5196446
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