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The Responsive Organization


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My talk from the Creative Summit 2015. #cresum15
Work sucks. Despite exponential innovation in technology, the way in which we work and organize haven't fundamentally changed in 50 years. What lessons can we learn from naturally occurring complex adaptive systems (cities, ant colonies, your immune system)? What practices should we take from the most responsive companies of today?

Published in: Business

The Responsive Organization

  1. 1. The Responsive Organization @vladimirpick / undercurrent / quirky /
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Vlad Belive that good work is getting harder to do Believe that it’s too hard to bring products to market
  3. 3. 5 This is an incredible time to be alive. >>>
  4. 4. 3D PRINTER INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS $500,000 ➤ $22,000 23x in 5 yrs DRONES $100,000 ➤ $700 142x in 6 yrs SOLAR $30/KWH ➤ $0.16/KWH 200x in 30 yrs SENSORS $20,000 ➤ $79 250x in 5 yrs NEUROTECH $4,000 ➤ $90 44x in 5 yrs DNA SEQUENCING 10,000x in 7 yrs $10MM ➤ $1,000 SOURCE: “EXPONENTIAL ORGANIZATIONS”, YURI VAN GEEST, HTTP://WWW.SLIDESHARE.NET/VANGEEST/EXPONENTIAL-ORGANIZATIONS-H EXPONENTIAL INNOVATION ➤ $40,000 ➤ $100 400x in 7 yrs
  5. 5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 20 8 5 4 2 2 22m 14m TYPICAL
  6. 6. Better Access Better Platforms Better Networks
  7. 7. 9 At the same time, the world is more complex and more uncertain than ever before. >>>
  8. 8. More Players More Innovation More Information
  9. 9. 11 Amidst all that change, you know what has been remarkably unremarkable? The way we design and run organizations. You know, the places where we spend over half our lives.
  10. 10. 13 Most companies don't get better every day. Some get bigger, and some get smaller, but precious few deliver better performance, better people, and better culture over the long arc of time.
  11. 11. 14 But the world certainly seems to be. Based on the work of Geoffrey West and Luis Bettencourt, when a city doubles in size, its inhabitants become 15% more innovative and productive.
  12. 12. 15 Bigger cities and organizations = more connections, more choices, more complexity. The question is how do these systems manage that complexity?
  13. 13. 16 Some, in an effort to predict and control the uncertainty, adopt structures and processes designed for a hierarchical world. In their view, the people at the top are kings and the people at the bottom are peasants. This approach slows them down, disengages talent, and limits their vision for the future.
  14. 14. 17 Others, as a reaction to the old way, adopt a chaotic approach, where anyone can do anything, and process is a bad word. This approach goes great for awhile, but as things scale, work becomes misaligned, balls are dropped, and the culture often defers back to its implicit hierarchy.
  16. 16. Profit Purpose
  17. 17. Silos Networks
  18. 18. Planning Emergence
  19. 19. Efficiency Adaptivity
  20. 20. Controlling Empowering
  21. 21. Privacy Transparency
  22. 22. 26 Instead of hierarchy or chaos, we’ve designed a third way - a way to operate that balances control and chaos. Let’s call this the Quirky Way. This “operating system” should give us a view of our current state (how work is done today), as well as a mechanism for progress and change at every level of the organization. This responsive approach requires a combination of principles and practices from Holacracy, Agile, Lean, Quirky itself, and other self-organizing companies.
  23. 23. 27 Roles and people are not 1:1. We wear many hats and our hats change. These PRINCIPLES help us balance autonomy, speed, and risk Consent is faster than consensus. Make decisions “safe to try” and move forward. Discussing the work ≠ doing the work. Go try something and come back. Nothing is set in stone. The rules, the roles, the structure… they wait for your improvement. Control is a fantasy. Embrace uncertainty (and beat it) with clear goals and iteration. Trust each other. Give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt (or get new colleagues).
  24. 24. 28 1x Week Action Meeting “What do you need?” 1x Month 1x Quarter These PRACTICES help us keep moving and evolving 30 minutes 90 minutes 3 hours Governance Meeting “What should change?” Strategy Meeting “What should we prioritize?”
  25. 25. Vladimir Pick @vladimirpick +1 917 596 8068
  26. 26. PURPOSE Are we in pursuit of something meaningful? NETWORKS Are we leveraging, growing, and serving networks of people and technology? EMERGENCE Are we planning too much and not testing-and- learning enough? ADAPTIVITY Are we over-engineering things? For efficiency, for control, or to preserve the status quo? EMPOWERING Are we pushing authority to the edge of the organization? Is it clear who has it? TRANSPARENCY Are we letting information flow? Is it improving our decisions? Are we tightly knit? RESPONSIVEFRAMEWORK
  27. 27. # ESTIMATE ACTUAL BUGS 1 2 3 4 5