Organizational Positioning

Up or Forward

The following represents a concept for contrasting the purpose and function of several groups within an organization The organizational components considered are the Future Design Team, the Leadership Team, Individuals, Functional Teams, and Cross-Functional Teams. This contrast is between the current organization structure and the perceived structure of the future. And these labels were simply chosen for convenience. What the components are called is not nearly as relevant as what they do.

The future will happen. The question is whether the organization plans for and endeavors to create the future, or ends up being created by the future. If all portions of the organization spend 100% of their time focusing on the day to day operations, when will there ever be time to focus on next week, next month, next year, and the years beyond? Continuing to focus on the present will ensure the organization will be the victim of the future. To create the future time and effort must be spent deciding and planning how the future is desired to be.

Most current organization structures are hierarchical in nature and this produces a perspective of the organization having a "top." Yet the real nature and purpose of this "top" of the organization is to look more at the future than at the present, while constantly keeping the current in perspective. With this perspective, we can lay the organization on its side so the "top" is no longer a "top," but rather the "front" or the "forward" portion of the organization.

Those members of the organization that are responsible for designing the future of the organization look and think further and further in front of the organization. The intention is one of providing leadership for the portions of the organization that will actually create the future that has been designed. The difficulty associated with attempting to do this is that the further and further one gets into the future the more intangible it becomes, and the more difficult it is for those involved to feel like they are really accomplishing something. As such there is a rather natural tendency for individuals to gravitate toward a shorter term perspective and activities as it produces more tangible results.

Yet, if one gets out in front of this form what one sees is not the point of a pyramid lying its side. What is viewed is more of an amoebic structure as follows:

Within this diagram the organization is the integration of all the components, the Functional and Cross Functional Teams, the Leadership Team, and the Future Design Team. The Leadership Team encompasses the Future Design Team.

The "Stars" in this diagram represent Functional and Cross Functional teams which are considered to be the keys to the future success of the organization.

And, regarding membership in the various components, membership should be dependent on ones capacity to contribute to addressing the issues faced by the team, not their traditionally perceived position in the hierarchy, for there is no hierarchy!

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