Companies are configurable. They are nothing but constellations of organizational elements that are pulled together by a theme.
Have a look at the image below. It’s a representation of what an organization is all about in two dimensions: The ease of observation of organizational features (vertical dimension) and two levels of the organization, the individual and the organizational level.
The point is: Most companies focus almost exclusively on the observable. In other words, they address the rational, “Head” dimension to decide how work should be done. Then, they put those into structural and policy decisions- the “Hand”. The “Heart” dimension is rarely considered. After all, humans are supposed to bring their rational self to work and leave their heart, their psychological dispositions at home.
Therefore, most companies fail to deliberately configure themselves towards ways of working that really engage. Especially now, in the digital age, companies need to configure their work designs – to address the Hand, the Head and the Heart of the people. At Liberated Company we believe that Work Designs are critical to any companies configuration. Work designs regulate how people work together, they are a structural, systematic influence on how people experience working with another.
We think that experience (“the hand”) will not fail to get new thinking going (the head) and shape new mindsets (the Heart).
For more information read Part 2 and Part 3 of “Liberated Companies”. It contains methods and configuration examples of a traditional and three very progressive companies. Or have a look at our blog posts.