Using the crisis for development – for what reason?

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence itself – but to act with yesterday’s logic.”   (Peter Drucker)


Each organization is at a different stage of development, depending on its purpose, history, context and situation. Hierarchical-conformist (e.g. authorities or industry) or performance-oriented (e.g. automotive or consulting) forms of organization are still widespread[1].

But with the accelerated change through digitalization and globalization there is an increasing need for pluralistic or organically networked forms of working.

There are four reasons why organizations should continue to develop:

  1. Today, leaders are often the only ones responsible for decisions:

This causes multiple coordination loops and time overload for the individual leader and creates unnecessary delays.

An increasingly complex working environment means that the (relatively) small number of leaders cannot have all the relevant information. This in turn causes many bad decisions.

The prevailing corporate culture and systems determine processes much more than the decisions of individual leaders. Their impact on the operative business is therefore often very small.

  1. Flourishing in the VUCA world:

Frequent changes require agile and flexible reactions.

Complex problems need complex solutions – simple approaches often lead to failure.

In a rapidly changing world, performance and growth are no longer sustainable measurements.

  1. Complex solutions need many ideas:

To be able to consider as many variables and effects of complex solutions as possible, the approach needs to be: “The more brains, the better!”

Employee engagement and customer input are essential in this process.

  1. Achieving set goals and measuring them against numbers does not motivate employees:

Measuring requires control. But control by one’s leader usually demotivates, thus achieving the opposite of the intended outcome.

Instead of this, the personal sense of doing something meaningful, joint work and having real impact become increasingly important as drivers for work.

Pluralistic or organically networked forms of organization support more meaningful, soulful, and effective work. People become more satisfied and organizations more effective.

Rapid – and sometimes drastic – change thus stops being a problem. Rather, it becomes the normal environment for the modern organization to thrive in!


[1] after Frédéric Laloux „Reinventing Organizations”, 2014