Organization of a LO LO7509
Mon, 20 May 1996 12:44:47 -0400

Replying to LO7491 --

Gordon Housworth wrote:

>Certainly, org charts are wistful, even fanciful, abstracts of how an
>organization works, but I'd like to offer a tidbit that I adopted from a
>client years ago: This client had only one direct report on his org
>chart, yet he ran a substantive manufacturing operation -- the single
>report was the "Strategic Plan" and it had an interesting effect on his
>group. Anything that any of the "nominal reports" did or changed had to
>put through the plan, and that triggered a strategic thinking mentality
>where it was the thinking process and not the plan that was critical,
>consistent evaluation/approaches, and timely notice/communication to peers
>and others. Certainly this approach could be subverted, but in good hands,
>it served this client well.

Gordon, your example reminds me of the implementation of the US
Constitution in the form of the Supreme Court. In the case of the court,
the one box is represented by real people, but their very intentional
mission is to steward an idea, not to carry out the objectives of "their
boss." That mission involves a good deal of intellectual effort on their
part to really think through what the idea means and how it should look in
action. To me, this is a great example of and organization learning.

The org chart you describe institutionalizes the plan as an entity of its
own apart from the plan's "manager" and, likewise, seems to stimulate real
organizational dialogue and learning. This prompts the question in my mind
of what it might be about a normal organization chart, where people report
to a person and not an idea, that might not encourage such rich dialogue.

Does anyone else have any examples of how the org chart can stimulate
organizational learning?

Marilyn Darling
Signet Consulting Group

PS - Hi to everyone I've been missing for the past few unsubscribed months!


Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>