The 4 Practices of Successful Flat Organizations

Successful Flat Organizations

As more organizations are becoming flatter, the looming question is whether it’s possible to “do more with less” or whether it’s necessary to rethink the distribution of power and control as described by Peter Drucker, Peter Block and Gary Hamel among others.

Emergent Leadership Topples the Pyramid shows what a non-hierarchical view of leadership looks like. But these four practices are needed in order to self-organize successfully and prevent spiraling into chaos.

These practices provide the vehicle to move forward, and without them, your flat organization will end up with flat tires.

1. A Shared View of the Big Picture.

Agreement on the organization’s purpose (reason for being), values (what guides people’s behavior and decisions), vision (what it looks like in action), and strategy . . . → Read More: The 4 Practices of Successful Flat Organizations

Manage The Challenges of Working In a Matrix Organization

Do You Work In a Matrix?

Do you work in a company that requires you to coordinate across reporting lines to accomplish your goals? In order to complete work, are people dependent on others who report to a different boss?

Matrix organizations are becoming more common as organizations grow larger, become more complex, and/or enter global markets. They offer the advantages of increased information flow across boundaries, deeper development of expertise and knowledge, and greater flexibility and responsiveness.

However, the disadvantages will quickly outweigh the advantages if leaders think this is simply a matter of restructuring or drawing dotted lines on an organizational chart.

Leadership In a Matrix

Everyone must provide leadership and assume responsibility for success. A matrix simply will not work with . . . → Read More: Manage The Challenges of Working In a Matrix Organization

ASPIRE: The Characteristics of High Performing Organizations

High Performing Organizations ASPIRE

What does it mean to aspire to greatness? Our research revealed six characteristics of high performing organizations – organizations that sustained high levels of productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction over time. The acronym ASPIRE depicts these traits.

Aligned around a shared vision

Having a clear vision, that illuminates a compelling purpose and core values and which is understood and passionately supported by all, creates a strong, focused culture that drives the desired business results

In high performance organizations, affirming the purpose and values and reviewing the vision is an ongoing process. People think strategically as they make decisions, are flexible in response to challenges, appreciate diversity and creativity, and there is a higher level of trust because they know they share the same vision . . . → Read More: ASPIRE: The Characteristics of High Performing Organizations

Five Easy Ways To Tell If An Organization Is Really Values-Driven

What do Zappos, Ben and Jerry’s, and Southwest Airlines have in common? They are all financially successful, values-driven companies.

A lot of companies claim to be values-driven. They publish their values and use them in marketing messages. However, this does not necessarily mean their values guide decision-making and behaviors company-wide on a day-by-day basis.

To know for sure, you can investigate whether leadership practices and company policies are aligned with their published vision and values. But there’s a simpler and quicker way to tell: pay attention to your own experience as a customer.

Here are five quick ways you can tell if an organization is really values-driven.

1. Employees remember what the company’s values are.

Ask three employees what the values of the company are.

. . . → Read More: Five Easy Ways To Tell If An Organization Is Really Values-Driven

Four Views in High Performance Organizations

In our studies of high performance organizations, (organizations that sustain high levels of productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction over time), my colleagues and I found that although these organizations have their own unique and distinct culture, four views are widely held in all.

Systems Thinking

Leaders in high performing organizations keep a big picture perspective. They see their organization as a complex system, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. They look for patterns of interrelationships in a series of events rather than seeing them as isolated snapshots.

Leaders consider both the long-term and short-term impact of their decisions. When solving problems, leaders are willing to take the time to get to the root of a problem rather than settling for . . . → Read More: Four Views in High Performance Organizations