The Re-invention Wave

Reading the business press it’s hard to miss articles that cover a growing movement towards creating new more humane ways of working. The shift in attitudes to work and new opportunities created by technology are clearly adding momentum to the growing wave of systemic change. Also, it doesn’t take a huge leap in logic to imagine the spate of “big corporation” disasters around the global economic downturn, may also be fuelling the drive to create new improved models.

It might seem as if some of the “new and improved” models are leading from the bleeding edge of organisational development, but a closer look tells a different story. In Fredrick Laloux’s book “Reinventing Organisations,” Laloux studied twelve different organisations that have re-created their working environment. Laloux noticed some patterns in the way they chose to re-organise, noting three breakthroughs that each had in common:

  • Self-management – no managers but distributed authority.
  • Wholeness at work – co-workers turn up as themselves rather than just roles they play.
  • Evolutionary Purpose – powerful drive to do work that has meaning and purpose.

Laloux’s analysis is thought provoking and inspirational to be sure. But perhaps equally interesting is the fact that many of the organisations in his study have been working very differently and very successfully for many years. It’s encouraging to know that there are some good examples out there that have stood the test of time. In the UK, there is a history of innovators when it comes to organisations, with groups like the co-op, john Lewis partnerships. So it’s not surprising the UK companies are contemplating far reaching change rather than small management development tweaks.

One key difference between traditional organisational change and reinventing your organisation to align with the three breakthroughs above is that reinvention requires people to change. To embrace a new way of being. True, it’s a more joyful, productive and creative way of being but still change can be challenging.

Is your company considering reinvention? If so we would like to hear from you. Contact Morya on 07894-218048.