Turn Your Company Outside-In!, part I (#08)

Part 1. How to build the decentralized network organization, putting an end to centralized command and control. A paper on Cell Structure Design

Published October 2008

Organization Design is a lost art. A troubled and somewhat abandoned grey space within the field of organizational theory. Nonsensical theory and advice abound in the sphere of Organization Design. And that is for a reason. In this paper, we outline the rationale for a different, non-tayloristic, way to structuring organizations – leading to the question of how to build organizations capable of  (1) accommodating human beings, and  (2) competing in today's dynamic and non-linear market-places. 

This is the first part of a 2-paper series. In this part, we… 

  • describe why previous ideas such as systems theory failed in creating significant momentum for change in organizational practice, and outlined the design principles that decentralized, networked cell structure organizations must adhere to. 
  • detail the ingredients of such structures, which include  (1) a sphere of activity, (2) network cells, (3) strings and (4) market pull. 
  • Finally, we describe some of the consequences of applying such a design, highlighting key advantages as well.

In the 2nd part of this paper, we describe two cases from our consulting practice,  in which tayloristic command and control organizations were redesigned as  decentralized networks. 

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