Organization of a LO LO7624

Michael McMaster (
Fri, 24 May 1996 15:31:26 +0000

Replying to LO7497 --

Bill, thanks for the response. I'm happy to see that, at least for
some, learning organisation has something to do with organisation.

I think that you've provided a workable frame for any learning
organisation. There are other models, some don't require any of the
type of hierarchy that you imply might disappear in generations and
some require none of what I'd call bureaucracy - and I'd agree that
bureaucracy can be very good. (We've blurred the distinction and
lost some possibility.)

The triad of formal, structured teams (permanent) and ad-hoc
teams (transitory) that you propose appear to me to provide all
the flexibility required.

I don't know that your requirements are necessary but they nicely
make the point of concern for something operating in a sufficiently
complex world at a sufficient size to be scalable to virtually all

There need not be a hierarachy to "manage" the organisation. I
assume from your use of "" around manage that you aren't quite sure
what that means in a learning organisation. (I don't know what it
means in a complex adaptive system therefore in any human
organisation.) What can replace "manage" is a system which is
maintained according to specs and a public display of information so
that the idea of "reporting to" disappears and the idea of
"accountable for" become stronger. I use accountability to suggest
contracts between real, individual people (or teams made up of them)
and no authority structure or hierarchy required.

It may be that "service teams" will form - such as you suggest for
facilitation - but these are simply more teams delivering services for
value under contract.

By making public the membership, commitments and accomplishments of
teams, the whole organisation has complete access to itself and
various informal and/or formal groupings can monitor results and
bring support to where it is required.

I think that manage implies force. My evidence is that we think the
work won't get done unless managers or someone brings some force to
bear and hence need systems beyond those descrebed above.

Michael McMaster :
book cafe site :
Intelligence is the underlying organisational principle
of the universe. Heraclitus


Michael McMaster <>

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