Organizations vs. Organisms

Most of us go to work in an organization.

An organization is a machine that organizes our work. It lays down rigid rules and workflows and designates bosses. The bosses wield more authority and get to sign-off on important decisions. Work hard enough, and you can be one too. Climbing up the org-chart is a game that panders to our need for greater status and control.

How is an organism different from an organization?

An organism isn’t a machine. It is alive and responds to its environment in ways that are natural. An organism has organs that are inter-dependent – a brain is useless without a heart and a heart is useless without a brain. However, they are autonomous – each of them serve a unique function without subordination, while working towards the well-being of the organism that they comprise.

We have always thought of our companies as organizations. What if we designed them to be organisms instead? What if we treated every employee as autonomous organs that coordinated to serve a higher purpose?

What would you rather work inside – an organization or an organism?

Inspiration: Reinventing Organizations

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