A Structural Approach to Organizational Transformation

Not all organizations are created equal. It is their structure that decides their fates. Most follow a Newtonian view(inorganic-physics) of structure where the whole is a mathematical sum of its parts. Those organizations that emerge as exceptional follow a different approach. It is the approach used by nature in the building of organic structures where the sum of the parts is exceeded by the whole. Each level that emerges in an organic structure contains more. It is in the combination of the organic parts into new more complicated structures that creates these emergent properties. Organizations that follow this idea, or model, for organizational development have the potential of becoming more successful. New products and services along with new ways of working emerge when the design model used is organic. Further in organic structures ‘self healing’ takes place. This mechanism for fixing things that are broken is built into the whole structural matrix. The people that work in these structures are both integrated and differentiated. They integrate to make the team work while at the same time improving their skills and capabilities to differentiate. This means that they follow what Aristotle, Buddha, and Confucius call the Middle Way.  It is a way that maximizes the individual potential of each person and the whole organization. It is the way that the healthy human organism works. Organic organizations have a ‘life’ while the newtonian inorganic ones do not. The organically structured ones are growing and prospering. They are constantly transforming. You can feel it as well as see it.

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