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June 12, 2009

How we can recalibrate the notion of organization

Organizations come in all shapes and sizes, and ever since Charles Handy wrote 'The Gods of Management' in 1995 I've been fascinated by them.

Downturns are a good time to do a bit of stock-taking and to shake out issues we have with the status quo. Is there a case for commercial reform driven by the need to make more with less? I think so.

And, as corporate opacity goes out of favour, the declining value of established business models, together with corporate governance issues, prompt a fundamental reappraisal of the core purpose of organizations as well as a look at how they can work better.

It's time I think to go beyond the generation of shareholder ROI as we know it. In particular, it's time to look at what organizations collectively can achieve, in ways that benefit the entire ecosystem they operate within, for the many and not just for an elite management few.

As Alva Noë has said, we are not our brains and I believe the paradox is that technology affords us this understanding.

Business really has to be an organic, humane process to be sustainable and it has to have soul to be beneficial as a social activity. Together with the rapidfire awareness that technical diagnostics can provide it is these elements combined that give organizations a pulse.

This is my take on effective and self-propelling principles for management and operational development in the 21st century. You'll need half and hour and I hope you enjoy it.


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Hi Anne,

You did it again. Again your words (on recalibrating organizations) hit the nail on the head. Not only does the article reflects (the organic laws of) life, but life itself reflects back the ideas you express in the article. This should be read by all people, from every possible background and discipline, not just managers. Over and over again.

Chi miigwech, thanks


What a captivating read - and reinforces the value of not only staying open to collaboration with people extremely unlike oneself - but to look for opportunities to discover the sweet spot of mutual benefit where insight and value happen

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