Now we have completed our set of principles for a flourishing organisation

In this blog post we will put all the different pictures of the principles together to form our completed set of principles in a total picture. All the principles can be found at the bottom of the blog post.

The principles directly derived from the market need, gave us four principles and the following picture to be part of our full picture of our set of principles.

To be able to derive more principles, we used our start organisation definition of our organisation, “People that interact to solve activities with interdependencies to achieve the purpose*”.

The last part “activities with interdependencies”, gave us one more principle and the following picture to be be added.

The first part “People that interact”, gave us two more principles, and the middle part “to solve” another one, and they were combined, which gave us the following picture to be added.

And finally, from yesterday’s blog post, about human science, some laws and common knowledge, we could derive even more principles and the following picture could be added.

In the picture above, we can see very clear how we humans are able to reduce complexity, by structuring, for both our products and for our organisations. In this way we can make very complicated products and services. And for us to be able to reduce complexity, we first need to take the holistic perspective. And not only for the system product so we can do the architecture. This also goes for our company, when we are making our organisation and this will be thoroughly elaborated on in a later blog post.

All parts put together gives us this picture for our completed set of principles.

Now when we have derived the full picture of our set of principles, and in words, the total organisation definition for a flourishing organisation can be found in this blog post. Remember that this System Collaboration Blog Book is focusing on organizations, but that the principles are valid for any human complex adaptive system (human CAS).

To exemplify when chosing the context from the purpose, we can take an organization doing product development. This means that our start definition valid for all organizations, now has chosen the context and become; “People that interact to solve activities with interdependencies to achieve product development”. Since product development is a complex context, that means that we need to activate the organizational principles for a complex context, which actually means to activate all the organizational principles. See this blog post what that means for the total definition, when all the activated principles are added to the definition.

Tomorrow’s blog post covers some important aspects on what this in fact mean and maybe more interestingly not mean, when an organisation, depending on its own business, from our set of principles further develops its own specific way of working, its own methods.

Next “chapter” according to the reading proposal tree is the blog post about our set of principles implicate and not implicate for a way of working. See also this blog post for the total textual system definition as an anecdote.


The complete list of the principles:

Principle: We need to respect our people.

Principle: We need to have a common vocabulary.

Principle: We need to take care about encountered product or organisational problems directly and also continually do improvements, as well as clearly understand the difference between them.

Principle: We need to be able to work in parallel (if needed).

Principle: We need to be able to work incrementally (if possible).

Principle: We need to have timely** Integration Events*** end to end – (to get just-in-time** feedback).

Principle: We need to have end to end control**** of our activities and their interdependencies, especially them on the critical line, when we are developing our system product and its deliverables, both short-term and long-term and timely updated, as well as on the different levels of our organisation.

Principle: We need to have the right I-competence and information to be able to make our system product and its deliverables.

Principle: We need to nourish broad competence, when needed in the end to end flow, to achieve better flexibility short-term (spanning from the needed T-shape when solving different interdependent activities in product development, to the needed multi-I-shape in production when solving different independent activities).

Principle: We need to nourish as short chains of interactions as possible; within the silos, between the nearby silos and cross-functional over all silos (end to end), as well as at all different levels of the organisation (so the activities with interdependencies easily can be solved).

Principle: We need to have an organizational structure and control and responsibility over the system product’s architecture and its parts.

Principle: We need to have full-time members in our working teams*****, in an as flat hierarchy as possible, following the numbers 5, 15 and 150, also in the light of Conway’s law.


*With organizational purpose means; manufacture a product, service, develop a new product, etc., with a certain price and quality. We are not talking about the nowadays popular Purpose statement, that is only a continuation of the easy-gamed value and mission statements. In this kind of statements, behaviour, properties and core values of our employees are stated, which is more of wishful thinking, since they will only emerge from multiple interactions within the organization. Since the interactions in turn, also emerge from our way of working, one can believe that if the purpose of the organization is not fulfilled, neither will the emergent behaviour and properties of our organization be what one could wish for.

**according to context and the needed flexibility, which means that we need to understand, nourish and be able to do work in every domain of the Cynefin™ framework, and also recognize and promptly respond to context switches, deliberate or accidental.

***in manufacturing we have Aggregation Points, which is a special case of Integration Events taking zero time.

****since variability always is around, we need to handle it with over-capacity or/and time plan margins, see this blog post for a deep dive.

*****diversity must always be considered when putting the teams together.


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