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As we work toward building the Next Economy, organizational structure often comes up. No matter what stage of development an organization is in, it’s likely to run into some challenges that stem from aligning its actions, ethics, and values. Of course, when you have Next Economy ethics and values, you want to deliver needed goods and services to your community in ways that benefit all life. Needless to say, business-as-usual strategies don’t necessarily apply in flat, non-hierarchical, communitarian, cooperative, or familial organizations.
In today’s episode of the Next Economy MBA Series, we take a look at part one of our session on operations, which includes organizational structure, roles, and tasks. Ultimately, what we suggest is taking a both/and approach; in other words, consider both the vision, values, and impact you want to see in the world and find some clarity around organizational structure. Who is doing what? What is your team formation? How can you collaborate and ultimately achieve better outcomes to make the world a better place?
Tuning in, you’ll learn about the side effects of a typical hierarchical “chain of command” structure, the benefits of empowering and engaging the implicit intelligence of your team, how to structure horizontal organizations in a way that maximizes efficiency and functional collaboration, and more.
Key Points From “Organization structure, roles, and tasks in the Next Economy”:
- Common negative side effects of the business-as-usual organization structure. [0:05:30]
- Benefits of organizations that truly engage the potential of their staff. [0:08:58]
- Why we encourage the “go slow to go fast” philosophy. [0:10:00]
- Critical success factors for non-hierarchical organizational design. [0:13:05]
- Three organizational domains we recommend: design, revenue, and admin. [0:14:58]
- The value of creating detailed role descriptions within each operational system. [0:18:27]
- Challenges with task-based accountability in horizontal organizations. [0:19:40]
- The importance of clarity and transparency across the organization. [0:26:58]
- Rhythms to translate structure into operational reality and functional collaboration. [0:29:25]
- How organizational structure can positively impact outcomes. [0:32:35]
Tweetables from “Organization structure, roles, and tasks in the Next Economy”:
“What we’re suggesting and what we’ve seen working with all the teams we’ve worked with is [taking a both/and approach]—both the vision, values, and impact we want to see in the world and some clarity around [organization structure].” — @sd_berry [0:04:54]
“Power over a militaristic chain of command can be effective for achieving outcomes efficiently, however, there are side effects that are probably less than desirable given the Next Economy values.” — @kevinbayuk [0:06:36]
“If you’re noticing that you might have room for improvement in doing things the old way, [we encourage you to slow down, [take a] deeper dive, really examine it, create a new structure, and then on the far side, you’ll see efficiency and enhanced fulfillment.” — @sd_berry [0:11:56]
“For these types of horizontal organizations, the presumption about accountability when something doesn’t get done is that the person who is accountable for that task needs some form of support.” — @kevinbayuk [0:21:43]
“Structure really can affect outcomes. You can have highly functional, horizontal, non-hierarchical organizations where authority is delegated out and where there is accountability.” — @kevinbayuk [0:33:32]
Links Mentioned in “Organization structure, roles, and tasks in the Next Economy”:
Kevin Bayuk on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinbayuk/
Kevin Bayuk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kevinbayuk
Shawn Berry on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sdberry/
Shawn Berry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sd_berry
The Next Economy MBA: Redesigning Business for the Benefit of All Life: https://bookshop.org/p/books/the-next-economy-mba-redesigning-business-for-the-benefit-of-all-life/18948897
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Next Economy MBA
This episode is brought to you by the Next Economy MBA.
What would a business education look like if it was completely redesigned for the benefit of all life? This is why the team at LIFT Economy created the Next Economy MBA (https://lifteconomy.com/mba).
The Next Economy MBA is a nine month online course for folks who want to learn key business fundamentals (e.g., vision, culture, strategy, and operations) from an equitable, inclusive, and regenerative perspective.
Join the growing network of 350+ alumni who have been exposed to new solutions, learned essential business skills, and joined a lifelong peer group that is catalyzing a global shift towards an economy that works for all life.
Learn more at https://lifteconomy.com/mba.
Show Notes + Other Links
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Music by Chris Zabriskie: https://chriszabriskie.com/