Imploding CRT photographed with high speed air-gap flash. c 2012 Niels Noordhoek (CC BY-SA 3.0) Via Wikimedia Commons

Why Flat Organization Implodes

E. Forrest Christian Organizations Leave a Comment

As Mark Nichols describes in “Flat Will Kill You, Eventually: Why Every Company Needs Structure“, flat seems like such a great idea when we start out. It works so well and things go so smoothly. Then everything slides downhill on a runaway shopping cart into hell of recrimination, anger and mistrust. What in the world just happened? Why did the …

Winter night, looking down to Chateau D'Oex. (c) 2008 E. Forrest Christian. All rights reserved.

Does Requisite Organization really work over a weekend? (REDUX)

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Eight years ago, back when I was Google-ranked #1 or #2 for such things, I asked if the Requisite Organization of Elliott Jaques would really work wonders over a weekend, as Dr. Jaques implied in his book, Requisite Organization (2nd Ed.). Paul Tremlett had an interesting take from conversations with the late Dr. Jaques. My best recollection of EJ on …

Cup of Tea. By Mary Cassatt,1879-1880

What Is Real Executive Work? (That Executives Aren’t Doing)

E. Forrest Christian Managing 2 Comments

I got some strong comments regarding my post that executives are boobs. I probably should have said “worthless drags on shareholder value who ought to be golden parachuted into a live volcano that resembles the eternal hell they deserve for being lazy good-for-nothings.” But let’s not quibble. Let’s instead deal with what real executive work looks like. And, yes, I’ve …

At rehearsal of Oliver Twist (Broadway, ca 1912). Bain News Service via Library of Congress.

Job Role (Social Role) Defines Your Behaviour: Wilfred Brown & Elliott Jaques

E. Forrest Christian Organizations, Theory 1 Comment

Behavior is as much defined and limited by the role that a work inhabits as his personality and the quality of his relationships within the company. Lord Wilfred Brown, the Managing Director of Glacier Metal Company for decades and a major management thinker in his own right, was insistent on this point. You can even take this farther than he …

Wilfred Brown, ca. 1970. From the Glacier Institute of Management's film series

Exploration in Management: Free training by Wilfred Brown on requisite organizations

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The most important CEO management thinker you’ve never heard of — Lord Wilfred Brown, Managing Director (CEO) of Glacier Metal Company in the UK — gives you the lowdown on how organizations can be structured to create trust, democracy and shareholder value in this amazing management film training series from the early 1970s. This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky theory from an …

Trust Is Necessary To Society. The Glacier Model Builds Trust

E. Forrest Christian Change, Organizations, Theory 6 Comments

There’s a fascinating paper at the IMF by social capital guru Francis Fukuyama (Social Capital and Civil Society – Prepared for delivery at the IMF Conference on Second Generation Reforms) that covers his reasoning behind social capital being called “capital” at all. Besides being interested in how to create societies, I’ve always found him a lucid writer who discusses a …

Candle in stump holder. (c) J. Samuel Burner (CCA-2.0) http://www.flickr.com/people/lobsterstew/

Why Requisite Organization Will Not Survive (Or Will It?)

E. Forrest Christian Change, requisite organization 55 Comments

UPDATE: Ken Shepard, President of the Global Organization Design Society, has written a response: Perhaps Requisite Organization is going viral under the radar! I’ve been wondering lately if Requisite Organization (the ideas formulated by Elliott Jaques) will survive for much longer. The GO Society identified several years ago that most of their members were “gray” — retirees or close to …

Elliott Jaques’s “Intellectual Odyssey”

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Douglas Kirsner of Deakin University spoke with Elliott Jaques before he died, and wrote up the results from the perspective of another psychoanalyst. Jaques abandoned psychoanalysis but would later refer to that as perhaps going overboard. It’s an interesting read for those of you who are interested in what he thought of things at the end of his life. This …

My Google Failure, and Thoughts on Elliott Jaques

E. Forrest Christian Admin 6 Comments

It seems that I’ve done something here to upset Google. Back when I started writing about Dr. Elliott Jaques, my blog was #3 when you searched for “elliott jaques”, right after his own Requisite Organization and Art Kleiner’s excellent introductory article on the man and his stratified systems theory. Now it’s #76. It’s clear that somehow I’ve done something wrong, …

Adam names the animals

Name It to Change It, Because You Can’t Change What You Can’t Talk About

E. Forrest Christian Managing, Warren Kinston 1 Comment

If you want to succeed at a creative project — and all change projects are — you will need to be particular about naming. As Dr. Warren Kinston has shown in his (please oh please soon) to be published framework on Creative Team Endeavors, naming is key. Wilfred Brown and Elliott Jaques emphasized in their works about Glacier Metal Company. Management is full of bad, fuzzy terms. Real science knows that you have to get particular in order to get something controlled.

It was a ironical email from Warren that got me thinking about this again. He was looking for some copyediting of some of his documents. One of the replies was fascinating: