top of page

Is Your Organisation Organic and Cooperative? Transform Your Organisation to be People Centric (PCO)

By Bob Larcher and John Thompson

What is ‘transforming your organisation’?: Much organisational change is actually about changing the organisational chart; merging sales and marketing, renaming customer services, creating a new business unit, etc., all, supposedly, focused on meeting the changing needs of the company’s clients but, at the end of the day still operating in a fairly classical, hierarchical and cascade manner.

What’s wrong with current transformation mindsets?: The classic organisational structure has been around since the dawn of the industrial revolution; we all know that its mechanistic and bureaucratic structure leads to narrow spans of control, centralisation, specialisation, and formalisation with departments designed, and permitted, to do only certain things for the company. However, whenever change is in the air, we seem to be unable to imagine something that is a means to an end (a continuous process of evolving a living organisation) and not an end in itself (a final statement or picture of the organisation).

What’s wrong so far with new stuff?: New organisational structures are starting to emerge, self-managed teams, learning organisations, project organisations, networks, etc., all with their strengths and weaknesses; however, the new structures are again, often, seen to be an end in itself rather than a means to an end (a continuous process).

What’s needed?: Organisations of today need to be more people centric with more employee involvement, enabling those closest to the customers to have an input to the desired outcomes of the system.

These organisations need to be more organic (think living organisms) and more cooperative (think holistic thinking). Organic - to be able to adapt to fast changing rules and regulations, within a business world with increasingly blurred boundaries and ever-changing norms (VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous). Cooperative - to take advantage of synergies, collaborations, networks and economies of scale (does not create fiefdoms).

There clearly needs to be a move to flatter and less centralised organisational structures, with less emphasis on management and more emphasis on leadership;

- - - - -

hint - leadership is in everyone and leadership development facilitators know how to shine a light on everyone’s leadership.

- - - - -

The faster decision making, the faster problem solving and the resultant acceleration of innovation benefit the entire workforce through increased engagement and purpose. The shrinking management population will be less burdened with making decisions based on second-hand information and their specific expertise and skills can be refocused to maximize their own contribution to both organisational and customer success (think: no ‘multi-tasking’ expected - allow humans to focus, which produces better results).

The move to these “newer” alternatives is often seen as something only for new start-ups or very small companies. They are perceived as lacking the rigor needed to run an established business effectively; however flat doesn’t mean creating anarchistic chaos. Structure and discipline are still needed, people will need clear roles and accountabilities and decision-making processes need to be understood by all.

What’s needed: Undertaking the transformation to a more people centric organisation will require clarification and, maybe, redefinition of your organisation’s purpose and the redesign of roles and decision-making processes. People, individually and collectively, will need to develop new mindsets and skills throughout the organisation. None of this can happen overnight. You will need a roadmap for systemic change.

‘Redesigning roles’, ‘mindsets’, ‘throughout the organisation’, ‘roadmap’, ‘systemic change’.

Big themes that sound like big projects far from my specific role in the organisation.

Here’s the part that may be surprising to most: In spite of all the big words above - it’s very simple and can be done almost anywhere in the organisation. Like dropping a pebble in a pond, it’s ripple effects spread across the whole pond.

Others have already undertaken the journey and there is much best (and worst) practice that you can benefit from to transform your organisation into one of engaged teams, fulfilled individuals, and full diversity and inclusion. We have studied and practiced what works in creating a living organism from your organisation. Like a living organism, it quickly adapts to its needs in an autonomous manner. For example: If there is any lack of inclusion being felt in any part of the organism, it adapts in the part that feels the need.

If you would like to know more about how we, at PCO, can help you implement a people centric system that nourishes and accelerates the emotional intelligence (Ei), social intelligence (Si), and leadership intelligence (Li) needed from your people to handle the VUCA world better than your competition:

You can also follow us on the PCO LinkedIn page to get notified of updates as they are published.

57 views0 comments


bottom of page