We are vocal about different ways to motivate and organize people but what does that really mean? What are the better ways and how do we get there? It’s about time to make it clearer.
There are many organizational theories trying to promote and implement new ideas to motivate and organize people (Teal Organizations, Organization 2.0, 21st Century Organization and many others). Although they have different names, they all share three main characteristics that define how they are proposing to implement new ways to motivate and organize people.
In this post, we want to focus on those characteristics. Theoretically, one can break apart those characteristics as we did below, but in reality, the wholeness takes preference since they are all part of one change and they are dependent on each other for this change to take place.
In each 5th generation organization, you’ll find the following characteristics: distribution of authority and decision making, wholeness and purpose.
1. Distribution of authority and decision making: Vision, strategy and tactical decisions should be made by the closest role or group to the domain. This usually ends up with a self-management model with a flat or non-managerial structure. This model is different from the classical model where a relatively small group at the top of the organization defines vision and strategy and makes important decisions that will be disseminated for execution.
2. Wholeness: This concept has two aspects. Individuals in the team understand that they are part of a group and this group is a part of a bigger group and so on. What’s important is that everyone understands they are part of one “whole” and in order for this “whole” to operate correctly, everyone needs to perform well in coordination and with the understanding that they are part of one group.
The second aspect is the realization that the “whole” is created by different people with different personalities that share the same purpose. These people have different ideas, approaches and behaviors to reach the purpose. Therefore, having a different approach is neither right nor wrong, it is just different. We need to accept the fact that as a group we are made up of different people. Usually, wholeness will come with more investment in understanding different personalities so people can put their ego aside and learn how to work together.
3. Purpose: The entire group and each element in the group has a meaningful purpose that drives their work. The purpose is not to make money or generate revenue, it’s a novel purpose with which people can align. The end result may be significant revenues, but what drives the organization and all of its parts is a meaningful purpose(at least to the members of the organization). In this organization, the purpose will be well defined and regularly communicated to all groups.
Our mission is to create a platform and technologies to support people and organizations that are exploring this direction or are in the middle of implementing a transition to a 5th generation organization. We would like to collect and publish different concepts, implementations and best practices on how to turn those characteristics into reality. We want to help others successfully starting this journey.