The Global Organization Design Society’s response to a blog post by Forrest Christian:
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:
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
Thanks to Forrest Christian of Manasclerk Company for permitting the society to republish this blog that I had written for Forrest's blog.
While GO Society’s associates and fellows agree to support the Society’s purpose, we come to our organizational work from different disciplines, different sectors, different functions, different roles and levels of organizations, and different interests in improving organizational effectiveness.
What we hold in common is appreciation, knowledge, and experience in a systems approach to designing and managing organizations that is based on foundational concepts about understanding and organizing complexity in work settings developed by Lord Wilfred Brown and Elliott Jaques. This approach, over the years variously called “The Glacier Project”, “Stratified Systems Theory”, and “Requisite Organization” includes well-defined, researched, and tested concepts of levels of work complexity, levels of human capability, accountability, and effective managerial leadership practices.
We recognize the discovery that organizational systems have a direct and substantial impact both on the personal achievement of people at work and on the capacity of organizations to create wealth for society, and that as a consequence of this the design and implementation of such systems carry strong moral and ethical implications.
While we all appreciate this systems approach and these concepts, we again differ as to which and how many of the concepts we emphasize in our individual practices and how we may integrate them with other theories and skills that we use in our organizational work.A few examples:
In summary, we all have and celebrate our own educational foundations, skilled knowledge, and experience in improving organizations, and in this document we all agree to our common science based principles and concepts described above in general terms.
We also agree to participate in a continuing dialogue on the continuous evolution of these ideas both in a private area of the web and in face-to-face meetings, helping GO Society associates and fellows to come to broad agreement on what specifically is included and is not included in this commonly held requisite approach, and what we should encourage all Society affiliates to endeavor to master.
Wilfred Brown and Elliott Jaques spoke and wrote about their original concept breakthroughs as “The Glacier Project”.
Do CEOs with foresight choose requisite organization, or
does requisite organization support executives in appropriate corporate foresight?
Requisite organization principles describe how Presidents at stratum V, EVPs at VI, and CEOs at VII ought to be capable of working on longer term tasks of 5-10, 11-20, and 20 + years to properly implement the organization's strategy.
Yet at the World Future Society* conference in Boston, July 7-10th, where future is defined as beyond five years, while there were many smart, grey haired people there I got the impression that a small minority of the many workshops were targeted at organizational settings and that a small percent of attendees or presenters were corporate executives.
Several futurist elders claimed that their organizational clients were interested in nothing beyond three to five years -- normally the work of vice-presidents. A popular futurist speaker being recruited to shake up a major conference of European CEOs said he was told that his talk had to be about short term shocks.
A major WFS conference focus was on the rapid rate of technological change, methods to forecast that change and the approaching Singularity when computers are predicted to be more powerful than human brains. However several presenters on these topics said that their methods were of interest mostly to senior engineers and attempts at introduction often lacked the support of VPs.
It appeared that much environmental scanning work important to effective strategic planning is being out-sourced to major consulting firms. Internal staff who prepare such scans in several global corporations reported their role was three levels from the top, that their outputs were power point presentations, that they did not know how or if they were used. They received few questions or feedback on their work.
One panel of corporate futurist staffers reported that none of them had any direct knowledge about how many hours or days their company's top team spent discussing the future and indicated that their impression was that top teams dealt extensively with shorter term operational problems.
Why are the futurists in such despair about corporate interest?
Are structural features of the trading of public companies and other forces causing senior executive work to be compressed?
Are CEO sponsors of major requisite organization projects different in their long-term orientation?
Sir Roderick Carnegie, long-term CEO of CRA said that he was searching in the mid 1970s for a management approach that would help transform Australia's labour relations and competitive position in the world. Other CEO sponsors of long-running RO projects have expressed similar long term views.
Or does requisite organization structure enable executives to do their appropriate longer term work?
Your comments are welcome.
*"The World Future Society is a nonprofit, nonpartisan scientific and educational association of people interested in how social and technological developments are shaping the future. The Society was founded in 1966 and is chartered as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., U.S.A."
Help us to help you!
Log in and update your profile to indicate your interests so we can serve you.
We've been collecting requisite organization-related materials on our web site for seven years.
Colleagues have said,"We've got a mass of material here. It's overwhelming! Point out the best and the newest. Help us find what we need."
In answer to these exhortations, we are going to help in several ways:
Action: 1) Go to http://www.twitter.com and create your own free Twitter account. 2) Then sign up to follow "gosociety".
Action: 1) Create a new account at: http://globalro.org/en/component/comprofiler/registers.html or, log in to your account and then update your profile at: http://globalro.org/en/createedit-profile.html
So log in to your account now. The place to do it is in the upper right hand corner of each page. If you've forgotten your password, click for a reminder.
Once you are logged in, then find below your log in in the right hand column a place to create/edit your profile. Click "edit", then click "update your profile". You will see several tabs. Update your contact information, registration info indicating your interests, and your biography.
Then click update.
Thanks for helping us to organize to help you!
A small group of passionate practitioners who want to change the world!
For seven years we’ve worked hard and had some fun while building strong foundations for the society’s future work.
We’ve established our legal structure, governance, banking, payment systems, insurance, auditors, by-laws, and policies in Toronto. We also established a legal office, bank account, a payment processor and an Amazon.com store, all in the USA to better serve that market and the world in US currency with world-class fulfillment services. And we have Ken Craddock’s extraordinary comprehensive bibliography of our field and an enviable collection of donated books, articles, dissertations, videos of practitioner interviews and presentation -- all available 24-7 to the world through our web site.
Our accomplishments have earned broad credibility and built trust among our affiliates and corporate and university co-sponsors. These good works include three world conferences, two in Toronto in English, and one in Buenos Aires innovating with simultaneous translation and using SKYPE video to offer virtual speakers. Other accomplishments include a variety of special events, executive briefings, public professional development workshops, teaching clinics and video interviews with senior practitioners on four continents. We've published a major book and built a second-generation web site that can now support our substantial library resources, events, journals, on-line professional development programs, database management, emailing, surveying and on-line store sales.
What will stage two look like?
What's desirable and possible given the environment and our vision, energy, capability and resources?
At this point, we need to refine and align our vision and goals, build a more robust and sustainable business model, and develop activities that engage, develop and support our affiliates at a higher level.
The board is scheduling a number of strategic discussions with consultation and input from our ABC (academic, business user, and consultant) affiliates leading up to our Organization Design Summit, October 22-25th .
Through our ABC synergies, we have amassed a mountain of resource materials. However, some say that our resource library is overwhelming and that they don’t know where to start.
So for the time being we are beginning to organize our web site in three different ways:
Over the next five or so months we will be organizing new special interest web pages, and inviting you to participate in on-line discussions, surveys, and teleconferences as the board continues its strategic discussions.
Soon, we will invite you to log into the society web site and to edit your registration / profile to indicate your interest in the above special interest groups.
We have been busy these last few months designing our new society web site.
It's a Beta version and we should have Stage I complete and debugged in a couple of weeks.
Take a look and let me know what you think by November 30th.
What to expect from Stage I?
All the old material from our current site has been moved over and some new material has been added.
New features include:
Any and all comments will be helpful on:
Your comments best by November 30th, but we will keep making improvements and welcome anytime.
Then we'll be working on Stage II through April 30th - much more functionality and special features including member only collaborative projects and on-line learning modules.
Remove this one and put conference board logo here
The Argentine Human Resources Association
The European Organization Design Forum
Canadian Association of Management Consultants
Human Resource Professionals of Ontario
Human Resource Planning Society
An institute for advanced human resources professional development
An association of academics, business users and consultants headquartered at Aarhus University in Denmark
A USA based association (I put a higher quality logo in the folder)
A Toronto-based association of advanced HR practitioners
An Argentine Society for Quality Improvement
The Argentine Society for Training and Development
The Argentine Human Resources Association
Federation of Human Resource Associations in Latin America
The Buenos Aires Technological Institute
An professional association for public service employees in Canada
Buenos Aires, Argentina.