Business: Structure, Pattern and Process for the Future

hex_businessStructure “Well” Organizations

Integral City Business Developers structure “well organizations” to develop and build infrastructure for the City of the Future.

“Well organizations” thrive because of the following.

  • Effective processes: the organization’s systems “metabolize” energy from the environment (such as investment dollars, people skills, information, raw material), and produce useable, useful, and efficient outcomes (such as ideas, designs, services, projects, and products).
  • Resilient structure: people, information, work, and places are connected for optimal relationships—not just in good times, but during change and difficult circumstances, as well.
  • Continuous learning: the organization continuously learns from its experiences in processing and structural encounters with the environment. It explicitly notices, interprets, uses, and applies trends and patterns affecting its relationships, information, and identity.

Integral City Business Developers Use Ten Keys to Improve Organizational Wellness

  1. Acknowledge that organizations are living, complex adaptive systems, and not “just” well-oiled machines with replaceable parts. As such, they are often unpredictable and surprising. Appreciate that; don’t resist that!
  2. Define and share the organization’s identity and reason for being with all people inside and outside key organizations. Find ways to do this playfully, as well as seriously.
  3. Align purpose, principles, profit, people, planet and trust. Commit to bringing these priorities into alignment for continuous performance improvement and delivering the largest value to the integral city, tracking with an Integral Vital Signs Monitor (see Figure 1).
  4. Align the organizations within the city in ways that serve the city’s (and organizations’) stage of development, its internal processes and the external environment. Mesh hierarchies for command and control, and virtual networks for collaboration and innovation.
  5. Identify and maintain the vital connections of the organizations within the city — and with its environment — physically, culturally, and socially. For starters, explore the natural connections that already exist through citizen personal, recreational, and professional networks.
  6. Create an open system of information-sharing that connects as much of the city’s organizational sectors (and/or subsystems and parts) to one another as possible. Make information-sharing rewarding, fun, authentic, and respectful.
  7. Create a City Vital Signs Meshwork, that accepts responsibility, and develops strategies for organizational regeneration appropriate to the city’s sustainability, prosperity, stage of development, and connection to its environment. Co-create opportunities for sectoral leaders to explore different sustainability scenarios, (at all levels: personal, organizational, community), without requirements for commitment.
  8. Recognize that leadership must continuously care for, nurture, anticipate, and respond to changes in balance of the city’s organizational subsystems with the whole — and its environment). Oftentimes, this may involve experimentation, uncertainty, and messiness.
  9. See that city organizational relationships are more important than the things, ideas, people, and situations themselves. This means treating relationships as important foreground phenomena, instead of background phenomena that we take for granted.
  10. Balance relationships between things, ideas, people, and situations. Sometimes this means taking the city and organizational goals in a context of “possibility, probability, and play.” Experiments, prototypes and laboratories are methods of accelerating change.

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