The Age of Unstructure

Networking in the information age will make it virtually impossible to sustain the boundaries, narrow institutional or disciplinary paradigms, beliefts, myths and social constructios common in today’s independent bureaucracies.  Every issue will present opportunities to develop new responses that are more effective than in the past.  The network, both internal and external, is the means.

The table to the right summarizes the dialogue on destructuring of our organizations, a process that has gone on for almost three decades.  The most successful corporations and non-profits exemplify this new more flexible approach and culture.  Government generally does not.

The contemporary leader or manager must revisit and rethink almost every business process to remove barriers to flexibility and innovation.  Regardless of where a team member fits on a chart, the effective organization will encourage and facilitate cross-function interaction; build temporary, interdisciplinary teams; add external expertise and experience to every major project team.  Project and network managers will be awarded the same status and compensation as functional administrators.

The central responsibility of the leader will be to engineer and facilitate a series of related workstyle shifts as the workplace enters the ‘age of unstructure’.  See table below.

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