Words are powerful

Alice Sowerby
Jun 25 · 3 min read
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Agile

A theory of management originating in software development. In an agile system of work, cross-functional, self-managed teams solve complex problems iteratively and adaptively – when possible, face-t0-face – with rapid and flexible responses to changing customer needs. Source

Cabal

At. the video game developer Valve, a multidisciplinary project team that forms organically to work toward a major goal. “Voting with their feet,” employees create or join a cabal because they feel the work is important. Source

Circle

In a holacracy, a group of “roles” (defined below) working toward the same purpose; in essence, a team that forms of disbands as the organization’s needs change. Source

CLOU

“Colleague letter of understanding” – at the tomato-processing company Morning Star, an agreement crafted by each employee in consultation with relevant colleagues, outlining the employee’s roles along with detailed performance metrics. Source

Decentralized organization

One in which most decisions are made by mid-level or lower-level managers, rather than being made centrally by the head of the company. It’s the opposite of a centralized organization, in which all decisions are made at the top. Source

Flat Organizational Structure

A flat organization refers to an organization structure with few or no levels of management between management and staff level employees. The flat organization supervises employees less while promoting their increased involvement in the decision-making process. Source

Hierarchical Organizational Structure

A hierarchical organization follows the layout of a pyramid. Every employee in the organization, except one, usually the CEO, is subordinate to someone else within the organization. The layout consists of multiple entities that descend into the base of staff level employees, who sit at the bottom of the pyramid. Source

Holacracy

The most widely adopted system of self-management, developed in 2007 by Brian Robertson. Authority and decision making are distributed among fluid “circles” throughout the organization, and governance is spelled out in a complex constitution. Source

Horizontal Organizational Structure

See Flat Organizational Structure

Lead Link

In a holacracy circle, a Lead Link is the role responsible for assigning other roles and allocating resources. A lead link has some characteristics of a traditional manager but is subject to the circle’s governance process. Source

Nonhierarchical Structures

Nonhierarchical structures are often referred to as organic. A flat nonhierarchical structure has few layers, each of which reports to a single individual. The matrix combines aspects of functional and divisional hierarchies to create a rather complex structure with dual hierarchies. A lean, or network, structure focuses on core competencies in-house and outsources support functions. Source

Podularity

A system of self-management in which each basic unit, or “pod,” is treated as a microcosm of the whole business and acts on its behalf. Podularity has its roots in agile. Source

Role

In a holacracy circle, a set of responsibilities for a certain outcome or process. Roles can be created, revised, or destroyed; individuals usually have more than one, in multiple circles. Source

Self-organizing team

A team where team members get to decide among themselves who does what, the team gets to work on problems and have some power to remove their own blockages. Clearly there are teams who are more self-organizing than others and teams which have more authority than others. Source

Self-managing team

There is no active day-to-day management of the team. The team are effectively left to manage their own work. To my mind this is a stronger form of self-organizing. Source

Self-directing team

A team which sets its own goals, decides its own objectives and determines its own priorities. Source

Teal Organization

A new kind of organization designed to enable “whole” individuals (not professional selves) to self-organize and self-manage to achieve an organic organizational purpose (determined not through hierarchical planning but incrementally, responsively, and from the bottom up.) Source

Reinventing Work

Reinventing Work is a global grassroots movement of reinventers who want to learn and practice new, more human-centred ways of working that are better suited to our complex world. Join or create a meetup at http://reinventing.work. New blog posts welcome!

Alice Sowerby

Written by

COO at Dotscience.com

Reinventing Work

Reinventing Work is a global grassroots movement of reinventers who want to learn and practice new, more human-centred ways of working that are better suited to our complex world. Join or create a meetup at http://reinventing.work. New blog posts welcome!

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