Organizational Excellence

How it began

T

he very first time I came across the term ‘organizational excellence’ was when reading ‘Triple Crown Leadership‘ several years ago. There the authors emphasize that it is not enough to think in quarters and focus on numbers.

In and of itself, this was not revolutionary. But they continued painting the image of organizations that achieve the business equivalent to wining the ‘Triple Crown’ in horse racing.

Applied to business, the Triple Crown achievement is to build an excellent, enduring, and ethical organization. This idea struck a chord with me and has not left me since then.

From Orange to Teal

F

rederic Laloux’s book ‘Reinventing Organizations‘ was an eye opener for me. On the one hand he explains the evolution of organization models in a clear and insightful way. On the other hand he provides multiple examples of all kinds of organizations, who took the next step on this evolutionary path.

These organizations already went beyond what is nowadays the most common organizational form (hierarchical, top-down, etc.) to a more self-organized, more motivating and in the end more successful (in the long term) one.

Servant Leaders

T

he idea of having no managers in a company still makes most people wonder. Immediate associations range from ‘this would be complete chaos’ to ‘the company will fail’ to ‘but my job!’.

What people don’t seem to see or understand is that ‘managerless’ is not the same as unguided, unsupported, or unstructured. The most popular model for managerless organizations is Holacracy. Nobody, who looked at it will consider this to be unstructured. Personally, I find it to be over-engineered and – in its pure form – unpractical.

But the underlying ideas of having ‘servant leaders’ who guide, mentor, and empower people, of making decisions where the knowledge is, of trusting humans not to be complete morons or (self-)destructive by nature … these ideas are correct, good, and worth pursuing.

And so I do. It is never easy, always takes time and patience, but eventually pays off.

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