This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, October 9th 2019

When organization design meets technology


“Braided organizations are emerging to reinforce an important metamorphosis of organizations. From vertical, command-and-control, self-centered entities, companies are becoming more open, flexible, evolving and self-adaptative structures; driven more by human behavior and motivation rather than hierarchical rules and mechanistic processes.

From hybridization to digitization, there are 5 major shifts necessary for the metamorphosis of organizations for building a braided organization and reaping the benefits with which it is associated.

This Week’s Must Read is an insight piece from Michel Zarka in which he gives an outlook of the impact of technology on organizations.

Read on to Find out More: “Towards Bio-inspired and evolving Organizations | Michel Zarka, Theano Advisors.

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A five minute animated overview of the two core models in organization design: Galbraith’s Star Model and Kates Kesler’s Five Milestone Design Process.


  • The five trademarks of agile organizations: “A view of the world—a paradigm—will endure until it cannot explain new evidence. The paradigm must then shift to include that new information. We are now seeing a paradigm shift in the ways that organizations balance stability and dynamism.” Agile organizations consistently exhibit the five trademarks described in this article. They include a network of teams within a people-centered culture that operates in rapid learning and fast decision cycles which are enabled by technology, and a common purpose that co-creates value for all stakeholders. The article presents McKinsey’s approach to organization design and agility. | Wouter Aghina, Karin Ahlback, Aaron De Smet, Gerald Lackey, Michael Lurie, Monica Murarka, and Christopher Handscomb, McKinsey
  • Holacracy and Self-OrganizationZappos is still using Holacracy and we currently have no plans to change that. However, Holacracy is built to focus on the work, rather than the people, while Zappos is *all* about the people. So, we’ve evolved how we use Holacracy to find ways to layer our culture, core values, and focus of people into the system in a way that works best for us.” This article presents a completely different approach to organization: self-organization Zappos | Zappos Insights
  • A Distributed Future: Where Blockchain Technology Meets Organization Design and Decision-making– “Blockchain technology records and forever maintains data that cannot be changed. It also involves ‘smart contracts’ and consensus mechanisms that govern processes of automation, as well as the development, evaluation and execution of decisions.” The article presents the author’s take on how blockchain will change organization design and decision-making   | Dr Mark van Rijmenam, Datafloq
  • Matrix Organisation: “The organisational structure is extremely important for the success of any business. In this blog post, I will explore how an organisational structure built in the style of a matrix organisation can harm your company.” Here the author explains how an organizational structure built in a matrix organization can harm a company. The article is an interesting counterpoint to the matrix organization wins-it-all theory. | Luís Gonçalves, evolution4all



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Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.

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