Monday, February 17, 2014

Alcoholic Designs Organization, Shenanigans Ensue: SxSW 2013 recap

Much of how we “do work,” has changed in recent years, yet little has changed in how we design organizations. Our antiquated organizational and management models are ill-equipped to marshal the intangible assets so integral to how we create value today - things like diversity, creativity, identity and dissent.

Interestingly, Alcoholics Anonymous is not organized in any formal sense and is sometimes referred to as a benign anarchy, yet it has grown consistently since its beginning and has been incredibly successful. It has done this without a highly paid CEO, branding consultants or social media gurus. AA seems to have some valuable lessons for us as we work to architect organizations better able to thrive on today’s terrain.

Hashtags: #organize15

Take Aways/Library Applications:
AA has no CEO, no chief marketer, and no marketing budget. But you can always find an AA meeting; it's been running successfully since 1935.

It has:
  • Clarity of purpose:
    It helps alcoholics stop drinking. Simple enough. In our organizations, what looks like resistance is often lack of clarity
  • Choice-it's powerful.
    How do we put choice in the workplace? Our speaker suggested volunteer meetings. This tells you what is important to people and what is not. 
  • Principles over personalities
    It's not able who you are or what your title is. What is important is why we are here. 
  • Truth
    Do you have headquarters truth and ground truth? That is dangerous to the organization. 
  • No management
    Can your organization reduce the role of management?

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