There is something broken about the way organisations run themselves—It feels exhausting at times.
Most company structures are inherently inflexible and create repressive places for people without realising; they are damaging their business performance and employees wellness by following either Hierarchical, Horizontal or even Flat versions of themselves: They are costly, confusing, unhealthy slow and in some cases unprofitable. Every business structure solves some problems but creates many others. Even worse, managers are prone to forget that their position is purely an imaginary exercise of power. Without realising, organisations have created environments which push us to wear masks; to behave and think according to what is acceptable—We are not allowed to be ourselves.
According to recent studies between 2/3 and 3/4 of all employees are disengaged with their work. They "come to work with their bodies but not with their hearts."
Every large organisation follows the same path of rules, byway of creating boundaries which people are not allowed to cross. Its worked for a long time, but changes in social and employee needs are moving people from passive to participation, and this is embedding a strain on the way business models operate.
Think about relationships at work—the people you report to and those whom you manage. No doubt feeling at some point the mindset of self-doubt, untrust and insecurity. Think about it, there is nothing inventive about the way most companies structure and run their business, yet they confess to being different and innovative at every turn.
Consider the normal state of play with design and branding: Marketing departments have long been the guardian of a brand. Generally, they manage the responsibility, while other teams passively contribute.
HR, Security, Product, Tech, Finance, Front-of-house—all of these departments have a significant impact on the business and brand, but it so often appears that Marketing departments are the only ones who care about the brand. Why is that?
If only one department owns and controls a brand, then other departments do not have to think about it because they will naturally have less devotion to it based on; It is not my responsibility' – huh? Does this sound sensible?
Now imagine: a decentralised business that shared responsibility and brand load across departments, how might the brand operate then? How might people's job roles shift? Potentially, when a brand becomes everyone's responsibility, then everyone becomes co-worker and customer-centric, and the business of brand takes care of itself in a community of people sharing a commonality. How do we get there?
First, we need to break down our business boundaries. The core challenges for internal culture are simple: learning about people on the other side and relating to them. However, simple does not mean easy; human beings have always struggled to understand and relate to those who are different. Yes, we can feel different, even within the same organisation – this is where 'us and them' syndrome kicks-in caused by departmental misunderstanding and loyalty.
Organisations are now required to shift their thinking from a traditional viewpoint of scalable efficiency, financial engineering, and resource optimisation. They are needed to move beyond the 20th-century version of themselves. From a time when the workforce was poorly educated doing manual tasks, and where hierarchical management practices first established themselves.
Indeed, modern organisations require a focus on the bigger picture, moving beyond individual leaders and egos—even beyond the success of the company. Brave, new organisations, have a powerful and clear sense of wanting to achieve something on a societal scale and are not governed by strategies, targets and KPI's.
Intelligent business models don't dictate their future—They have a wholeness to them, based on a common purpose that everyone, firstly, believes in, then, gets behind.