06/2012 對話訊息: 有機的組織設計 |Organic Organizations


今年9月14-23日,朝邦文教基金會邀請到約翰‧米爾頓 (John Milton)來台,在離台北不遠的陽明山和花蓮國家公園引導我們進行《Way of Nature》研修。2011年9月的朝邦對話新訊息中,曾經刊登米爾頓的文章「身處當下的12個原則」,他是一位力倡「存在於當下」概念的權威,也是U型理論作者奧托‧夏墨 (Otto Scharmer)和彼得‧聖吉 (Peter Senge)的精神導師。就如聖吉所說,有許多「領導人物,特別是企業界的領袖,都經由米爾頓
的引導,透過大自然的體驗找到更深層的目標,並釋放潛在的創意,幫助他們達到這些目標。」即將舉行的研修,就是希望在內心與外在層面與大自然產生連結,催化出個人的改變,和大自然融合為一之時,直接觸及真實創意的泉源和人生的真實目標。對此工作坊有興趣者,請先保留9月14-16, 9月21-23日周末。如需要更詳細資訊,請與基金會聯絡。

因此從這個月起,每期的對話新訊息將談及一些從大自然中學習管理內在的重點。本月為各位分享的是一篇Gina Hinrich的文章,名為「有機組織的設計」,清楚地解說了組織設計的演進過程。Hinrichs注意到組織透過目標導向的方針、開放的態度 、整體思考、局部聚焦和賦權的做法、分佈式/網絡式的結構、彼此連結、多元化、成長和改變,因此逐漸從機械式的型態演變成有機的型態。全球有越來越多有關這方面的訊息慢慢形成,讓我們更瞭解如何設計出促成變革的有機過程,可以展現協調、平衡、整合、持續性的進化,這樣的過程也更有效,效果也更有彈性、可續、強韌;這樣的變革涵蓋「內在」與「外在」,在深層都因個人而有所不同,但同質性也很高。

Hinrich的組織模式形狀如軟體動物,也在下列的文章中詳細介紹:「有機的組織設計」( “Organic OrganizationDesign” (Hinrichs, G. (2009) Organic Organization Design. OD Practitioner, Vol 41, No. 4.).

「型態配合功能」是設計的核心概念。就如任何的組織架構,一個組織在設計上必須要能夠滿足它的功能(目標)。如果組織是獨立運作,或是外在的環境相當穩定,那麼組織的設計應該是一個不太複雜的任務。但是組織通常是開放式的系統,處於一個不斷變化、越來越複雜的環境中,組織的設計就變得更有挑戰性。除此之外,我們的世界也正處於關鍵期,逐漸從工業時代轉化成知識時代,這樣一來,面對的挑戰又更多。

知識時代之中,思考的模式出現一個很重要的變化,就是生物的隱喻取代了機械的隱喻。焦點凝聚於整體的狀況、不同元件之間的關聯性,而不是逐一檢視不同的個體。過去在工業時期,大家普遍的認知就是組織會有明確的框架結構,自然會形成一個權威式、如金字塔式的組織階級結構。這樣的做法在當時相當有效果,可以回應非即時性的變化,畢竟當時資訊較不發達、勞工的教育程度有限,所以決策的過程主要是由高級主管來負責。這樣的權威式階級模式很清楚、一致、有掌控權。

在今天的世界裡,資訊科技、全球化的運作、越來越多的顧客的要求,加上工作階級受教育程度的提升,都促使組織變得更有彈性、回應性強、以成長為導向,也催生了較為有機的隱喻,希望組織即組織所處的環境都能兼顧成長與永續的發展。有一些趨勢已經慢慢形成,可以說明為什麼需要更有機的組織設計:

在一個多變且無常的世界,相較於工業時期當中的較有效率、但較無彈性的機械式模式,較自然、演化式的模型較為適合。
集中式的管控很容易自我侷限,當人們擁有力量和資訊,多元的特質和創意也更能充分發揮,也更能完成顧客重視的創意。

穩定/改變;競爭/合作;自由/自治;個人/社區並非對立的兩面。當我們從「兩者兼顧」,而不是「兩者選其一」的角度來思考,就能產生更多的正向效益,也可以各自貢獻出彼此的優勢。
社區因為目標的力量、共有的理念與歸屬感而凝聚、成長,不須藉由外在的力量來激勵。

讓一個組織更能有效地在成長導向、複雜環境中展現效果的要素,在此以圖形來比較和說明。
一個有機的組織設計 (Org2)共有六個面向 (請看螺旋體模型),是有點順序的漸進式步驟 (目標、原則、練習、參與者、元件和流程),而且絕對反覆進行,探索整合過的組織/社區的本質,是一個開放式系統的組織,可以支持組織的成長、充分回應各種狀態、也賦予足夠的權力。這個模式特別適合因為彼此瞭解、理念堅定而凝聚在一起的當地和全球性的社群。

Org2 組織設計的六個面向 – 高層次的說明

  • 目標:追求真正有意義的事物,存在的理由就是這個目地的基礎層面。聚焦於內在、長遠的思考。目標是一段清楚且簡單的文字,值得大家的努力,而且可以凝聚大家、結合社群(穩定的層面)。受到外在因素影響時的回應,就是組織的策略。
  • 原則與價值觀:清晰、大家理解並同意的文字,說明指引參與者為了達成目標而進行的行動背後的原因 (是什麼)。組織的原則和共有的信念(也就是這個「什麼」)是內在的價觀,整合並協調彼此關係的內在價值觀。
  • 練習:有關如何運作、如何一起成長的明確說明 (該如何做) (例如:權力/權威的歸屬、作決定的過程、負責任的機制、資源的分配與取得、知識的分享、肯定)。當參與者預先知道其他人運作的模式,就更能建立起組織內的互信。當組織內有最低限度的共識,就能有所創新。
  • 參與者:組織社群的成員,也就是參與的人,他們在組織內的貢獻與做法會如何得到重視。這過程涵蓋角色的訂定、責任、技巧、職能、學習、進入和離開組織。參與者就是各種技巧凝聚的地方,可以透過合作來執行組織的目標/策略。
  • 元件:組織的結構/概念、成長的模式、關係、以及和整體的關聯性。這些「元件」就是經過整合和協調的參與者小組,負責執行組織流程、運用資源和資訊來進行組織的目標/策略。組織結構的穩定性取決於支援技巧和職能增強的功能性結構。變革/回應性的層面則是讓計劃團隊和網路可以回應策略上的變化、從中找出機會。
  • 流程:創造出價值的工作和資訊流程。有兩種主要的流程:創造顧客價值的流程和支援性的流程。流程中具有一種張力,可以讓組織穩定/呈現一致性,但是也有彈性。

要真正瞭解組織,就必須不斷實驗,同時彼此針對所有層面以及創造出的組織/社群進行對話。

請各位繼續鎖定接下來的對話新訊息,將會為各位介紹biomimicry模擬生物體 – 如何從大自然學習、模仿大自然,藉此解決人類的問題,並創造出更永續生存的組織結構。


Organic Organizations


This September 14-23 the CP Yen Foundation will host John Milton in Taiwan to lead a Way of Nature retreat in the Yang Ming Mountains near Taipei and the Hualian National Park. Milton’s “12 Principles for Presencing” was featured in our September 2011 newsletter, he is a spiritual teacher on Presencing to Theory U authors Otto Scharmer and Peter Senge, and “leaders, particularly in business, are finding that Milton’s capacity to guide them into an encounter with nature both allows them to find a deeper purpose and to unleash the creativity needed to live that purpose,” comments Senge. The upcoming Way of Nature retreat is designed to facilitate a personal change process through deep authentic connection with inner and outer nature which in turn enables a direct connection with one’s source of real creativity and true purpose of life in harmony with nature, if you are interested in attending this retreat please reserve the dates September 14-16 and September 21-23; and contact the Foundation for more detailed information.

Starting this June, each Dialogue Newsletter will highlight aspects of managing one’s inner nature by learning from nature. This month we present an article by Gina Hinrichs titled “Organic Organization Design”, which offers a good synthesis of the evolution of organizational design. Hinrichs observes how organizations are moving from mechanistic forms to an organic forms characterized by being purpose driven, open, whole, locally focus and empowered, distributed/networked, connected, diverse, growing and changing. Increasingly more know-how is emerging in the world about how to shape organic processes of change that demonstrate harmony, balance, integration, and ongoing evolution; are more productive and ultimately more resilient, sustainable, and adaptive – such change subsumes “inner” and “outer” and is both deeply individual and inherently collective.

Hinrichs’ organization model – shaped as a mollusk – is introduced below is her article: “Organic Organization Design” (Hinrichs, G. (2009) Organic Organization Design. OD Practitioner, Vol 41, No. 4.).

“Form follows Function” is a core design concept, and an organization, like any entity should be designed to effectively deliver to its function (purpose). Organizational design would be a relatively straightforward task if organizations operated in isolation or if the external environment was stable. But since organizations are open systems that exist within an ever changing and increasingly complex environment, the task of organizational design becomes a more challenging task. To add to the difficulty, we are in the midst of moving from an industrial age to a knowledge age that challenges existing structures.

A significant shift in thinking in the knowledge age is the use of biological metaphors rather than machine metaphors. There is a focus on the whole and the connection of the parts rather than on the parts alone. From our industrial age roots, organizations were thought to have clear boundaries and assumed an authoritarian, hierarchical pyramid like organizational structure. This was effective for the time since the need for responding to change was not as immediate. Since access to information was not easy nor was the workforce as educated, decision making was concentrated at the top. This authoritarian hierarchical model provided clarity, consistency, and control.

In today’s world, information technology, globalization, increasing customer demands, and increasing workforce education push organizations to be more flexible, responsive, and growth oriented, causing a shift to a more organic metaphor that focuses on growth and sustainability both for the organization and the environment in which it exists. Some of the emerging themes that justify a more organic organizational design approach are:

  • Nature and evolution are better models for a dynamic and unpredictable world than the efficient but inflexible machines that shaped institutions throughout the Industrial Age.
  • Centralized control is self-limiting. Diversity and innovation thrive where power and information are located and where the customer value creating work is done.
  • Stability/change; Competition/collaboration; freedom/selfgovernance; and individuality/community are not opposites. The greatest benefit comes when we think in terms of both/and rather than either/or. This allows each concept the distinctive strength that each has to offer.
  • Communities are held together and progress by the power of purpose, shared beliefs, and identity – not by force.

Factors that make an organization effective in a growth oriented complex environment are the following organic attributes captured in the comparison chart:

An organic organizational (Org2) design considers six facets (See Mollusk) somewhat sequentially (Purpose, Principles, Practices, Participants, Pieces, and Processes) and absolutely iteratively to gain perspective on the nature of an integrated organization/community and is well suited to support growth, responsiveness, and empowerment in an open system organization. It is especially suited for both local and global communities where members are drawn together by shared understanding and deep conviction to the purpose of the organization/community.

An organic organizational (Org2) design considers six facets (See Mollusk) somewhat sequentially (Purpose, Principles, Practices, Participants, Pieces, and Processes) and absolutely iteratively to gain perspective on the nature of an integrated organization/community and is well suited to support growth, responsiveness, and empowerment in an open system organization.

It is especially suited for both local and global communities where members are drawn together by shared understanding and deep conviction to the purpose of the organization/community.

Org2 Design’s Six Facets – High Level Overview

  • Purpose: Pursuing what is deeply meaningful; the reason for being is the foundational level of purpose. It is internally focused and long term. Purpose is a clear and simple statement of the worthy pursuit that identifies and binds the community (stable aspect). The responsive aspect of purpose that is externally influenced is strategy
  • Principles & Values: Clear, commonly understood and agreed upon statements of what will guide the behavior of the participants in pursuit of purpose. Organizing principles and shared beliefs (the What) are intrinsic values that create alignment and coordinated relationships.
  • Practices: Specific agreements on How to operate and grow together (e.g. location of power/authority, decision making, accountability, acquiring and distributing resources, knowledge sharing, and acknowledgement). Trust is created in the organization when participants can anticipate how others will operate. Innovation is created in the organization when there are a minimum amount of agreements.
  • Participants: Members of the organization or community. It is who is involved and how he or she contributes, is valued, and valuable. This involves roles, responsibilities, skills, competencies, learning, and movement in and out of the organization. Participants are where the package of distinctive skills is located that allows collaborative execution to the purpose/strategy.
  • Pieces: Organizational structure/concept, patterns of growth, relationships, and connection to the whole. The “Pieces” are the aligned and coordinated groupings of participants executing the processes and utilize resources and information to further the purpose/strategy of the organization. The stable aspect of the organizational structure involves the functional structure that supports growth in skills and competencies. The changing/responsive aspect involves project teams and networks to respond to strategic changes and spot opportunities.
  • Processes: Work and information flows that produce value. There are two main types of processes: customer value creating processes and supporting processes. There is a tension in processes to provide stability/consistency yet responsiveness/flexibility.

Real understanding of the organization is gained by experiencing and having conversations about each facet in context of each other and the organization/community that is being created.

Stay tuned to future newsletter to learn more about biomimicry – the practice of learning from and then emulating nature to solve human problems and create more sustainable designs.

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