Organizing on the Edge: Meeting the Demand for Innovation and Efficiency (.pdf)

The redesign of organizations to become more capable of change and innovation while improving operating efficiencies has become an urgent priority for leaders of companies all over the world. So, where do we turn for help? As we have searched the business world for examples of a new form of organization suited to the rapidly emerging, new context, we have realized what should have been obvious at the outset. There can be very few, if any, examples of this new form, precisely because the old forms were the right forms for the world in which businesses have operated so far. We have to find the new principles for the 21st-century organization, as well as the tools and skills to create it. And it may be a while before we can hope to find many complete examples to “benchmark.”

In this article, we elaborate a new set of principles intended to meet the needs of organizations living “on the edge” of innovation and efficiency. These principles build from concepts found in biology, ecology, and complexity.

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