Category

stratified systems theory

Why Time Span of Discretion Works

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Timespan of Discretion is the biggest point of complaint that the old folks in the Glacier Metal related work (Requisite Organization, Stratified Systems Theory, Career Path Appreciation, work levels or worklevels, etc.). If you’re new, you may be scratching your head about this Time Span of Discretion.

Elliott Jaques claimed to have discovered that you could determine the complexity of a…

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

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

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 academic but…

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

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

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…

My Google Failure, and Thoughts on Elliott Jaques

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, for I have continued to…

Mine Your Ranks to Find Gold: Finding Untapped Potential in Your Company with SST

Judy Hobrough, BIOSS, on how Stratified Systems Theory helps CEOs

Judy Hobrough of BIOSS went into an organization and mapped the current capability of people with what their current roles were. She found something that surprised the CEO: there was a gold mine in their ranks!

Bonuses Backfire by Reducing Long-term Employee Performance

Etna eruption seen from the International Space Station

New research shows that bonuses backfire on companies, even blocking common sense. A summary.

Full Employee Participation in Policy-Making Through Representative Council (workplace democracy)

Wilfred Brown, the Managing Director and Chairman of Glacier Metal Company during Elliott Jaques’s work there, continued to believe that all employees had interest in changes to POLICY. He delimited that against the rights of managers to do their jobs within policy. What was policy was defined within the works council. Elliott Jaques abandoned this later in favor of trusting managers to represent their subordinates, in direct contradiction to his supposed value of creating systems rather than trusting people to be “good” as managers. Here’s why Brown was right and Jaques was not.

Wilfred Brown film series: Excerpt

I’ve been talking about how Wilfred Brown, management (heck, all-round) genius, made this series of films in the 1970s. Here’s an excerpt I pulled from the first film. This gives you a flavor of the series. The information is fascinating, especially when you know that Brown actually implemented these ideas at Glacier Metal Company.

Plus you get to hear Mr. Brown say “hear-ar-ky”.

Transitions Are Like Being Lost In The Pacific

Lighthouse at night, (c) 2009 Martin Belam. Via flickr. (CC BY SA 2.0)

Once we get past our teens, our cognitive capacity to handle complexity grows over time in predictable rates. This is similar to psychologist Jean Piaget’s ideas of Theory of Cognitive Development in children. We get set on a trajectory and without some serious intervention (and maybe even in spite of it) our ability to handle amounts of work complexity changes predictably. We get into a growt…

Why Work Levels Are Rejected: Others Are Selfish Fallacy

While reading the excellent and highly recommended book by Heath & Heath, Made to Stick, I came upon this passage about Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs:

Imagine that a company offers its employees a $1,000 bonus if they meet certain performance targets. There are three different ways of presenting the bonus to employees:

Think of what that $1,000 means: a down payment on a new car or that…

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