Fractal Organisation Theory

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* Article: Fractal Organisation Theory. By JANNA RAYE. journal of organisational transformation & social change, Vol. 11 No. 1, April, 2014, 50–68

URL = http://fractalorgs.com/fractalorgtheory.pdf

"Fractal organisation theory recognises an emergent human operating system that mimics nature in its capacity for creativity, adaptation, vitality, and innovation."


Description

"Top-down hierarchies are typically characterised by command-and-control systems of authority that often create harmful stress and internal competition for advancement within organisations. The pervading perception is of ‘limited room at the top’, where positions of authority become scarce resources.

Members withhold or hoard information by focusing competition energy internally rather than externally, creating silos of information and causing negative stress that is reflected in absenteeism and higher healthcare costs. Voluntary turnover drains talent as creative individuals tire of the politics and seek harmonious work environments. ‘Change management’ is an issue, as members’ natural compulsion to provide feedback and insights is quashed by management dictates. The triangular shapes of top-down hierarchies are nonrandom and limited, according to Benoit Mandelbrot, which may explain why many top-down organisations typically grow through acquisitions rather than by expanding from within. The fractal geometry of living systems in nature is both random and scalable, ensuring pattern integrity during evolutionary adaptations. Fractal organisation theory recognises an emergent human operating system that mimics nature in its capacity for creativity, adaptation, vitality, and innovation. The qualities of a fractal organisation include shared purpose and values that create pattern integrity; universal participation in ideas and solutions for continuous improvement; decision making at functional levels; leadership devoted to universal leadership; and competition energy directed outwards instead of inwards. Relationship development enables the effective flow of information between individuals and among teams. At all levels of a fractal organisation, members share information iteratively and make decisions collectively in response to constantly changing conditions.