SOME BASICS - ANY ORG
Organizations bring people together to collaborate to achieve results not otherwise possible. Among new organizations we find simple structure and high levels of entrepreneurial spirit - willingness to try new ideas. If successful they get much larger.
To manage that large size and complexity they get bureaucratic. But mature ORGs face ever new challenges and need the ability to change, to innovate.
Bureaucracy restricts innovation. A core challenge!
Q: How can mature ORGs retain or regain that entrepreneurial spirit , while they still need to manage the large scale and complexity of their operations?
FYI: Organizational Learning (alias "The Learning Organization.") is an important attempt to answer this hard question.
Some new ORGs start out with a Learning Organization. approach. Others turn to this approach when they are mature and realize that they need to be more innovative. In the latter cases there are often serious difficulties with resistance to this attempt at organizational change - "the organizational immune system". ORGmuze will address this challenge later in the BOTH/And section.
The boat in foreground belongs to the large ship. The other small boat is independent. These nautical images can only suggest the barest, simplest options in the question we shall address here -
- how can large mature ORGs innovate with entrepreneurial spirit, without too much confusion ?
A cruise ship functions as a floating hotel, resort, and entertainment center. For most of the workers it is a floating sweatshop.
In a crisis a ship can switch missions - if permitted by Head Office. Cruise ships with their life boats could do rescue and evacuation work after climate catastrophe in limited area, etc. etc.
USS INTREPID. Former war ship. Now located in New York City and re-purposed as a museum and pleasure site.