In 1911 management expert Frederick W. Taylor (The Principals of Scientific Management) pioneered the idea of dividing an organization between thinking people (managers) and executing people (workers). As a business management model, Taylorism improved economic efficiency and productivity by establishing a paradigm in which the decision making was the province of the thinking people, and carrying out those decisions was the province of the executing people. Despite the usefulness of Taylorism during the Industrial Age and its influence on the future of business management, Taylor’s decision making paradigm may not be the most effective way to move an organization forward in the present day.
The current era of business is characterized by globalization, expanding markets, customization, and sense making of copious amounts of information. To keep pace with the vicissitudes of the global business climate, organizations need to be fluid in order to be decisive. The type of top-down hierarchical decision making structure where thinking people decide and executing people carry out decisions is cumbersome for a fast paced business world. A suitable alternative is the liquid organization.
In a liquid organization there is no hierarchy (bosses, supervisors, or managers), just people with their abilities and proficiencies. Workers self-organize placing themselves according to where their skills allow them to add the most value to the organization. The decision making structure in a liquid organization is collaborative: workers collectively prioritize decisions that are integral to the success of the organization. Every worker has input in the decision making process; decisions are made swiftly; because the prioritization of decisions is regularly evaluated, decisions are iterative. The absence of a hierarchal protocol for decision making enables the liquid organization to rapidly adjust and acclimate to the changing business climate and make decisions in real time.
For additional insight into the above and much more about liquid organizations visit http://www.liquidorganization.info/
Thoughts and comments are welcome.