Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Branden Powell keeps track of aircraft using a SPN-43 radar screen during routine flight operations on board amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Tarawa is participating in a composite unit training exercise with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit off the coast of Southern California. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Niegel (RELEASED)

Perhaps Requisite Organization is going viral under the radar! (A Response to ‘Why RO Will Not Survive (or will it?)’)

Forrest Christianrequisite organization 4 Comments

My article, “Why Requisite Organization Will Not Survive (or will it?)“, recently generated some new discussion. Here’s a well-argued response from Ken Shepard, President of the Global Organization Design Society, which is a leading professional group for managers and practitioners interested in Requisite Organization and one that I recommend you joining. — EFC

The Global Organization Design Society’s response:

Perhaps Requisite Organization is going viral under the radar!

With similar concerns as you, Forrest, just after Elliott Jaques’ memorial service in 2003, a group of senior practitioners formed the Global Organization Design Society in an effort to prevent Requisite Organization (RO), a powerful, total system model for organizational effectiveness, from dying with its creator.

Since that time, our efforts have been steadfast. The Society has:

  • Hosted bi-annual world conferences with presenters granting permission for Society use of all materials for educational purposes.
  • Built a collaborative, cooperative culture with many joint ventures, and generous sharing of intellectual property by consultants and companies world-wide.
  • Created a rich web-site with an extensive collection of videos of CEO interviews and presentations, books and articles.
  • Developed a professional development program including E-learning and workshops.
  • Awarded scholarships to our professional development program and conferences for academics, doctoral students, and senior managers in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Published a multi-author book documenting RO use around the world: Organization Design – Levels of Work Complexity and Human Capability. (Free download after registering)
  • Assembled the Fifth Edition of Ken Craddock’s Requisite Organization Annotated Bibliography – 1800 pages – which has stimulated a resurgence of related research

How many practitioners have we developed? — a guestimate!

  • GO Society affiliated consultants have mentored younger associates in their small firms and trained thousands of managers in their client systems.
  • Requisite Organization International Institute affiliated consultants have done the same.
  • The Levinson Institute, the educational component of Levinson&Co., has trained thousands of executives, managers, and consultants in its five-day workshops since 1968.
  • Bioss, a global consulting firm using levels of work complexity, has a network of 300 plus practitioners training both its new consultants and managers in its client systems.
  • The Tata Group since 2000 has used work levels in its talent pool management across its over 100 operating companies comprising over 450,000 employees in over 80 countries. Tata Strategic Management Group (consultants) uses work levels in its consulting for Tata companies and for its non-Tata clients throughout the world.
  • Requisite Organization is taught in 26 university courses in Buenos Aires.
  • Please record your own efforts to train new Requisite Organization practitioners and your ideas for what the society should do.

How many organizations benefit from Requisite Organization?

We see only the tip of the iceberg of RO use and when we gather the evidence in one place, we are surprised that that “tip” is far larger than most of us would have believed.

The society’s list now includes 122 organizations that have gone public about their use of these methods. Please add others you know about. We invite the Requisite Organization International Institute, Bioss, and Tata Consultancy Services to publish the names of client organizations who have gone public about their RO use.

In the unseen base of the iceberg, we know that many organizations consider their use of Requisite Organization proprietary and others may not be aware of the methods used by their consultants.

Also unseen, RO concepts live unrecognized in the common acceptance of the five-level business unit and in broad-banded compensation systems throughout the Fortune 100 and many other organizations in many countries.

We believe Requisite Organization is alive and well. Will RO die? Not if we can help it!


Ken Shepard Ph.D.
Global Organization Design Society


IMAGE CREDIT: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Niegel (RELEASED)

Comments 4

  1. Pingback: Why Requisite Organization Will Not Survive (Or Will It?) - The Manasclerk Company

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  3. Listed under “How many practitioners have we developed?” is Bioss. As Jack Fallow said at the 2005 conference, that was where it all started. Bioss was founded in 1967, so it predates GO Society by almost 40 years and has in no way been developed by GO Society.

    I do hope our field of knowledge is developing and spreading. The main risk is fundamentalism and quoting Elliot as mantra. Rising in defence is often a sign of decline.

    The field needs to embrace the fact that organizations work in more networked ways, so accountabilities and lines of authority become blurred. Personal capability becomes more important than formal role. We need to be able to explain how the expanding “free agent nation” “self-organizes”.

  4. Paul

    I didn’t mean to imply that the GO Society caused Bioss, ROII, the Levinson Institute, or Tata Consultancy Services who are all listed…or was responsible for those trained in work levels over the years.

    The “we” meant us as a field – cooperating or not.

    For the record while many senior affiliates of the society took Jaques workshops, a minority uses the work as given by Jaques and time span in particular. Our membership is inclusive – and Bioss affiliates have traditionally attended our conferences.

    And perhaps 15 % of each conferences deals with related ideas – such as comparing methods of assessment including Bioss’s Career Path Appreciation, with managerial calibration sessions and research coding; research in cognitive theory or spiral dynamics or links to other methods.

    Our next conference features a session on hierarchies, matricies and networks with Ron Capelle, Jay Galbraith, and Stu Winby – an outstanding senior STS practitioners.— focused on articulating the interfaces between them. Another session will compare Galbraith’s approach to design with a work levels approach.

    I’m curious, is Bioss focusing its consulting these days on the free agent nation? or are you more generally referring to more lateral relationships – many of them outside organizational boundaries like outsourcing, partnerships.

    Regards, Ken

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