Structure without a boss

“These organizations manage to operate at very large scales — some have thousands or tens of thousands of employees — entirely without the pyramid, entirely without anyone being the boss of anyone else. And I know that sounds extraordinary — it sounds like a recipe for chaos. I mean, how could you run a large organization without hierarchy? It doesn’t make any sense. I wasn’t expecting this when I started the research. [But] what I found out the truth is: yes, you need structure, but no, you don’t need a boss. This is really a place where we need to upgrade our thinking.”

-Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations
(excerpt from his talk)

The Efficiency Paradox

“An over-focus on resource efficiency [leads to chain reactions of superfluous work that does not add value]. The efficiency paradox is that [by focusing on] utilizing our resources efficiently, we are actually being inefficient since much of that utilization comes from superfluous work. […] Paradoxically, not focusing on utilizing resources makes it possible to free up resources.”

“The efficiency paradox exists at an individual level [and] on an organizational level. What if it also exists at the societal level? […] How many resources could we avoid wasting if we started to see the ‘big picture’ and focus on flow efficiency?”

-Niklas Modig and Pär Ahlström, This is Lean (p.58-65)

See also: the paradox of customer focus.

Identify your passion

Paraphrased from Quiet, p. 218.

  1. What did you love to do as a child? (Focus on the underlying impulses.)
  2. What optional work or side projects have you gravitated to? (Work you chose even if it was outside your comfort zone.)
  3. Who do you envy? (Jealousy doesn’t lie.)