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Five for Friday: July 1, 2016 / Organizational design
Illustration by Justin Alm

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Five for Friday: July 1, 2016 / Organizational design

Organizational structure affects most things in a company. Today we look at five articles that discuss the impact of organizational design.

We’ve been talking a fair bit lately about how we see a greater variety of organizational structures emerging into the mainstream. Organizational structure affects most things in a company. Structure informs priorities, agility, collaboration, communications, and customer service, among many other things. It’s often the defining characteristic of a company, and can be a great source of strength or weakness. We’re learning quite a bit about the strengths and weaknesses of various structures. Here are a few articles to get you thinking.

  1. A simple inventory of a few dominant types of structures from @jacobm.
  1. We’ve heard a lot about holacracy since Zappos chose it. It hasn’t been an unmitigated success. @juliaculen gives an easy to read explanation of some of the problems. Our favorite quote: "Holacracy feels like playing a game of Management Dungeons & Dragons.”
  1. @samspurlin explains that many organizational structures work against human nature, and that creates a lot of friction to getting great things done.
  1. Business management guru @MichaelEPorter says in an article in @HarvardBiz that, in effect, we build (smart) products, and then they build us.
  1. This video essay by @profhamel is a couple of years old, but remains an exquisite argument for why we're rethinking organizational structures in the first place.


Five for Friday is a weekly snapshot of ideas, research, and leading thinking around the web on the topics of corporate culture, internal communication, employee engagement, teamwork, and building better workplaces. Share, connect, and enjoy!


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Bev Attfield

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