Organization of a LO LO7522

Gordon Housworth (
Tue, 21 May 1996 14:04:22 -0400

Replying to LO7509 --

At 12:44 20/05/1996 -0400, you wrote:

>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.

The key here was that the approach was genuine and the manager's verbal
and non-verbal signals were aligned/consistent. The process could have
existed on paper but have been subverted in practice -- and your example
of the implementation of the US Constitution brings immediately to mind
the Soviet constitution of the former USSR. Isolated from its Stalin era
context, no democrat could have failed to thrill at its ringing text; even
Thomas Paine would have [likely] thought well of it. But the text became
Humpty Dumpty words:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it
means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." "The
question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean different
things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -
that's all." (Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll)

So if you are assuming genuine implementation, then I have drawn a red
herring across your path and I apologize. The success of this "org chart
as the direct report" required sustained, consistent work on the part of
the manager to keep its vibrancy -- especially during times of stress
(quarterly and annual closings, new product launches, etc.) when it would
be all to easy to say, "OK, let's focus on the real stuff right now."

Best regards, Gordon Housworth
Intellectual Capital Group
Tel: 810-626-1310


Gordon Housworth <>

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