Organizations

April 4, 2015

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh is one of my all time favorite books. It really resonated with me. Undoubtedly, when Tony sent out an internal memo to all Zappos employees about going all-in on holacracy, I was intrigued. He talks about transforming the company from hierarchical structures to a self-management paradigm. One of the resources he mentioned was Reinventing Organizations. I’ve started reading it, and it’s fasinating. The theme of the book is there are emergent ways of working together that create more productive, purposeful, and soulful organizations. The three breakthrough insights are 1) self-management 2) wholeness 3) evolutionary purpose. Again, this way of thinking really resonates with me. In the past, I’ve worked in corporations where many decisions are based on an ego/profit-driven hierarchy paradigm. Complexity gets pushed up, while decisions get pushed down without context or the buy-in of front line stakeholders who deal with the consequences of the decisions day-to-day. This requires each level you go up in the pyramid to have people with higher levels of skill, training, and consciousness to deal with the increased complexity. However, this gets increasingly difficult as the pyramid grows. Too many levels or incompetent middle management and the system starts to break down. Is it a wonder why employee engagement is so low? People don’t scale, but some structures and processes can. I encourage you to check out Reinventing Organizations and let me know what you think.

Here’s a video of a talk by author of Reinventing Organizations:

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4 Responses to “Organizations”

  1. karenclassic Says:

    I, too, find Tony Hsieh’s organizational innovation(s) interesting. In my experience, organizational hierarchy can be the enemy of innovation — reducing hierarchy can only help…

    I look forward to watching this video. Thanks for these great book tips!

    • Hao Chen Says:

      Thanks, Karen! What are you reading these days? Got any recommendations?

      • karenclassic Says:

        It’s not terribly intellectual but I just read and absolutely loved How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big : Kind of the Story of My Life (by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert). Lots of good, pragmatic concepts for both career and life in general.

      • Hao Chen Says:

        cool, added to queue. thanks for the reco!


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