I've been struggling to come up with a term to describe the modern, more agile organization. After much thought (like two whole days) I decided on the term freerange, and yes I was absolutely thinking about free range animal production systems. When I searched on "free range" I found that it had also been recently applied to child-rearing; free-range kids. I started liking it more when I realized it was being used to define a philosophy of child rearing that shared many similarities to the concept I was trying to describe. The two ideas were compatible. So I'm sticking with freerange until someone comes up with something better. I'm easily persuaded.
So what defines the freerange enterprise? I would contend that it is mostly defined by culture, an organization's very DNA. I found this graphic on Slideshare (modified slightly) and It sums up the critical components. The stack begins with having access to the right technological tools, but simply installing them is insufficient.
These are some of the cultural elements found in the freerange enterprise:
- Radical transparency - working in the open
- Blurring of work and personal
- Burst style of working - anywhere and anytime you find a network (virtual)
- Contributions measured by the value added-- period
- Personal responsibility and trust
- Flattness in the organizational hierarchy -- the industrial practices of old are obsolete
- Leveraging of edge competencies - the seeds of innovation are at the edge
- Co-creation - essential for hyperproductive value creation
- Purpose driven - it's not a job it's a passion
It's these things which lead me to describe freeranging as a way of being as opposed to a way of doing. I will discuss the tools more completely in subsequent posts, but within the context of the cultural elements they support. I'm thinking out loud a bit, and hope you will help me to bring some clarity to the idea. Help me with what I'm missing...