link to one of the best books I have come across in a long time – and it’s free! Luc Hoebeke’s Making Work Systems Better. Luc brings together the work of Checkland, Beer and Jaques – three people whom I admire a lot. Their work have had a profound impact on my understanding of the workings of organisations. Luckily for me Luc is terribly bright and his synthesis provides great insight into the practical application of the work of these three great authors.
link to paper by Toby Golsby-Smith from the Australian consulting firm second road. It is a great introduction and development of the concept of levels of work and how to work with it in a large organisation. Part of the issues of poor management that we are experiencing in organisations comes from work at the higher levels (IV, V and VI) is just not being done or not done well.
link to a conversation I am having with Jan Höglund on his blog regarding the need for management. There is a lot of conversations in my circles around poor management and the need to change our view of it to create better organisations. Many IT people using Agile for software development are bumping into constraints from the ‘command and control’ style of management. They are certainly not the only ones banging their heads against the wall and feeling frustrated with this way of operating. Having said that I think the move to a radical rethink and restructure like Sociocracy seems like a step that might be too big for most organisations, at least as a first step. Especially since there are alternatives that make use of a hierarchical structure AND provides clarity of purpose, roles, values uses devolved decision making at its core and when implemented does create positive organisations. http://tinyurl.com/nz3tuho
The link provides an overview of the consent decision making process used in sociocracy – a different way of thinking about organisational governance, leadership, and structure. It is a fascinating concept and one that I am excited to learn more about. The fact that it is based on cybernetic principles makes all the time spent getting my head around Beer’s work on the Viable System Model even more well spent.