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Orientation Focus and Organisational Structure

Structures emerge in systems when the system limits the internal choice (selections) of possible events and their sequences (“Hands are washed before and after eating!”).

It is to be completely expected that an organisation (or organisational unit), which has directed its orientation focus on the external environment, will form different structures than one which, in its decisions, orientates itself to the internal environment. So far, so good. If one studies the literature and the change project reports, which occupy themselves with the change of established fundamental schemata in the guiding process decision orientation, it is noticeable how resistant and hyper-stable these structures usually are. What long pathways they have – from state-owned enterprises to service providers, from computer-game developer shacks to network firms which are close to the user, from individual shops to software-optimised online traders, from regional tool suppliers to fully automated factories with global brands.

From this, you can conclude that the internal selections, which produce such structures, are so convoluted that many things must be changed at the same time, and the effort is correspondingly high and time-consuming. This must be emphasised, because managers and consultants, during such change undertakings, often have unrealistic expectations about speed and feasibility. Changes of this sort fall under the heading of ‘growing’ (=time structure) and not ‘doing’.

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