Organizational styles — In process!

October 26, 2012

I’ve been aware of much work on personal communication styles — how we each can best receive support, advice, criticism, support, validation, etc. And, of course, there are various personality models that help us understand all these things.

But I’m aware of much less work characterizing organizations.  Thus I set about to put together this simple model.  I present it here as something in process, for discussion and validation only. Please add your commentary.  And if you’rereading this through another blog or medium (such as a LinkedIn group discussion), please make sure that you post here any comments that you post there as well .Image

I characterize organizations along two dimensions:

Traditional  . . . Visionary

Weighty . . . Agile

And the, for each quadrant, I’ve assigned a name:

A traditional organization, that has some agility but not vision, is Awkward.

A traditional organization, that is more weighty than agile, ia probably Stuck.

A visionary organization, that remains weighty, is truly Reaching.

And, finally, an organization that is both visionary and truly agile is truly Creative.

Although I suggest that this characterization is for organizations, it may better fit organizational segments, perhaps a department or work group.

How helpful is this model?  Are the quadrant names appropriate and helpful?  And how useful is this picture to you?  Please comment.

3 Responses to “Organizational styles — In process!”

  1. Lee Karker said

    Hi Arthur: I tried to put MCH in this model. It would be helpful if you defined weighty. I think we are in the “reaching” quadrant, having moved to a slightly more visionary stance than traditional, but still not being in a position that could be described as agile.
    Lee Karker

  2. I wonder if Lee’s comment raises a question about the distinction between Weighty and Traditional. Maybe “weighty” is really “hidebound” and “traditional” stays the same, or becomes something like “resistant” or “cautious.”

    • Fred Tullock said

      Hi Arthur,
      I agree that traditional might be better as Resistant or Cautious. I believe that what might be called traditional today, at one time was likely considered visionary.

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