Welcome to my network……..

The good old days..

In the good old days where organisations were built on hierarchies and fear, people understood that when they were in a room and the braces wearing boss Mr Simmons walked in, they bowed and dipped there heads muttering Sir after every word.  This massively predictable, yet strict business model, then rippled down the hierarchical chain where everyone know what they had to do and who they had to tell to do it.  However, in our new user centric age of people empowerment, does this model really work?

So, for a minute, I want you to think of a whole new world of business structure.  To start, I want you to forget everything you know about how your organisation works.

A new start

If, rather than building a business on centralised authority, you built it on networks, suddenly a whole new world starts to evolve.  Imagine a business where regardless of who you are in the structure, people had access to your experience and skills without the fear of “asking a stupid question” or “but she is the boss”.  Imagine the ability of a business to respond, where there was no coordination overhead or escalation process for decision making, just the team decision.  Imagine the transparency that would be involved in a business that relied on staff networks, teams and information to make educated, quick and responsive decisions.  Strangely, this is exactly how some organisations work and have been working for years.

The start-up mentality

In a start-up, everyone knows everyone and everyone does what they need to ensure the success of the business.  This is why they can progress so quickly and define, design and build before the market can even think of a solution.  Generally, start-ups have access to all the information the company has, understand who everyone is and what they do, have beers with them at night but most importantly feel empowered to make decisions with complete accountability regardless of their position.  The information sharing that goes on within start-ups is the root of all of this.  Shared information enhances quality, context and increased transparency and will in turn empower people to make the correct decision.

Now don’t get me wrong, you still need a structure! People still need positions, they need to see career progression and understand where they can go and how to get there, but structure doesn’t make a team.

So next time you are setting up a project, try a new approach, build a responsive team, put everyone at the same level, open up the project information……..

Why not?!

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