Keeping on changing and adjusting is one of the fundamental laws of nature. Most of us don’t want to recognize it, but the pace that we as a society evolving is even faster than nature.
Every system, method, or philosophy we created is most of the time based on our past experience and target to resolve current problems. This is the case for the popular and most common methodologies to manage – Hierarchy* (spiced with ideas from scientific management**). Those ideas worked pretty well for the second industrial revolution, but are they still applicable today or for the fourth industrial revolution?
We evolved a lot since the industrial revolution as humans, and as a society (that invented new technologies embrace them and changed by them). I doubt if Frederick Taylor (the father of scientific management) or Nax Weber (the father of Bureaucratic Theory) thought about robots that will interact one with each other and humans, or the possibility of any employee to find an answer to most of the questions by using a search engine. Although we evolved a lot, our thoughts about organizing and motivating people stayed the same.
As a result, we hear all the time about the low level of engagement at work, the dissatisfaction from the workplace and the lack of ownership. The gap is even much more significant with new generations that find it hard to be a part of today’s organizations. The paradox is that 86% of executives believe that the current management and organization structure is not a fit for today’s challenges, they just don’t know what is the right alternative.
Most of the people that are looking for alternatives belief that the cause is the hierarchy and the management theories it’s based on. Although they all have the same conclusion, there are many alternatives to Hierarchy (or current management as most of us know it today). Responsive Org, Network-Centric organizations, Semco Style, Sociocracy, Holacracy, Meritocracy (without hierarchy), Teal-Organizations, and others are all examples of alternative systems. Some of them are ideas, and some of them are practical working solutions.
The tag #NoHierarchy refers to this movement of alternative options to the current way companies organize and motivate people.
*Hierarchy: A system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority.
**scientific management: Management of a business, industry, or economy, according to principles of efficiency derived from experiments in methods of work and production, especially from time-and-motion studies.