Are Hierarchical Organisational Structures a Thing of the Past?
Is there a new way for organisations to structure themselves? What happens if the pyramid is flattened out?
In 2014, Frederic Laloux gave a great talk on the future of organisational structure and practice. He outlined examples of how some companies are restructuring themselves around three principles:
3. Evolutionary purpose.
He suggests that the way we manage our companies today is out of sync with where we are at in society and that it’s time for a radical shift in structure and focus.
His research has flagged up disengaged, exhausted employees; people who bring their bodies to work, but not their hearts; people who are tired of the rat race; endless meetings, bureaucracy, internal politics; over focus on targets and budget cycles; and a lack of a sense of meaning and purpose.
He suggests that something new is about to emerge – a flattened structure where empowered staff across the board are self-regulated and self-managed. There is much evidence to back up the theory and many organisations who have already put it into practice with powerful results. This article in the Harvard Business Review outlines some of the successes and reasons why this is working for so many.
Whether you are a leader within a traditionally structured organisation or one that operates a flat, non-hierarchical structure, or perhaps you just have a sense that a different focus of priorities are becoming necessary to address stumbling blocks for and your staff, I really encourage you to watch Frederic Laloux’s talk. It may just open up an enquiry that could make an incredible difference for how you choose to work.