Day 9: Living Operating System

Borrowing from biology what nature has already perfected


Everyone has heard of the K.I.S.S principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) when it comes to processes but the Quote on which this is based is much more accurate and sound. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” — Albert Einstein.

What does this really mean? If it is simple surely it could not be simpler?

How many of us have in our careers dealt with systems and processes that were cumbersome, tedious and political minefields? Often involving no end of hierarchical bureaucracy and red tape, all in the name of quality control, efficiency and so called transparency and a measure of continuation planning.

I think it would be fair to say that most of us can relate to this. But what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if the goals were achievable in a manner more natural, more FREE for everyone?

This is basically what this famous Quote from Albert Einstein (one of Histories greatest Scientists) hinted at, this solution. It means that a process should be kept to such a minimum so as to be effortless yet still retain it’s purpose. See for, it is possible to dumb down a process to such an extend that the purpose is lost and then it becomes as utterly impractical as if the process is too cumbersome; in both cases the process or system will be cast aside by it’s users.

How did Einstein become aware of this fundamental concept? Through observing the field of his expertise, Science.

Nature presents us with the answer to this age old problem in the most eloquent fashion, specifically biology. It creates the most complex systems from the most basic processes of which the Human Being is one of its greatest accomplishments. It does this through self-management, evolutionary purpose, and wholeness. The rules are written and within its perimeters the natural world is free to create, improve, recycle and make redundant.

True FREEDOM requires the rule of Law and Justice, and a system in which the rights of some are not secured by the denial of rights to others — Jonathan Sacks.

Can this system be modeled and recreated in an Organisational System? Evidence suggests yes, as there is a pioneering collective embracing this challenge and experimenting with this in real world application. This operating system is emerging as Holacracy, characterised by its resemblance of a Living Organism.

As mentioned it requires Rules of interaction and by necessity Standard Operating Procedures (humans are not very good at mind reading) so it pays to give careful consideration to the a structured Framework that will support this. Something that works not just in the traditional Vertical line but also in a Lateral direction, something that support cross-functional flexibility.

Someone once mentioned that Man, the living creature, the creative individual is always more important than the established system. I disagree, Man is the evidence that there is a higher creative system in existence and that it is more ingenious and resourceful than Man can be of his own merit, we can only hope to mimic it.

The Operating System by which I have chosen to operate is modeled on Nature itself (the greatest creator), Holacracy with support from the framework known as — APQC Process Classification Framework (PCF)

What System and Tools will you use to ensure the FREEDOM of your Organisation?

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