What kind of organization is yours?

According to Neilson, Pasternack and Van Nuys (2005), organizations can be classified into seven major types:

1. Resilient
  • Inspires both awe and envy because everything seems to come so easily to it: rewards, talent, respect
  • Is flexible, forward looking, and fun
  • Can attract team players easily
  • Is the healthiest type of organization
2. Just-in-Time
  • Demonstrates an ability to “turn on a dime” when necessary, without losing sight of the big picture
  • Has a “can-do” attitude
  • Has “one-hit wonders,” rather than a reliable source of advantage
  • Does not have consistent, disciplined structures and processes
  • Is not always proactive in preparing for change
3. Military Precision
  • Employees know their roles well and implements them diligently
  • Is hierarchical and operates under a highly controlled management model
  • Does not deal well with events for which it has not planned
4. Fits-and-Starts
  • Has smart people with enthusiasm and drive but they do not often pull in the same direction at the same time
  • Does not have strong direction from the top and a solid foundation of common values below
  • Is an overextended organization and almost out of control
5. Outgrown
  • Expands beyond its original organizational model
  • Power is closely held at the top
  • Top-down direction and decision-making is strictly enforced
  • Reacts slowly to market developments and often finds it can not get out of its own way
6. Overmanaged
  • Has multiple layers of organizational hierarchy
  • Managers micro-manage their subordinates
  • Is bureaucratic and highly political
  • Is not very suitable for self-starters and results-oriented individuals
7. Passive-Aggressive

+ Achieves consensus easily, but struggles to implement agreed-upon plans
+ Underground resistance from field operations routinely defeats headquarters initiatives

Among these seven types of organization, the healthiest one is Resilient, followed by Just-in-Time and Military Precision. The other four (Fits-and-Starts, Outgrown, Overmanaged and Passive-Aggressive) are all unhealthy. The following diagram shows the popularity of each type of organization:

Seven types of organization

The following quiz will help you to find out what kind of organization yours is. Please click here to do the quiz.

References:
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc, 2012. The Seven Organization Types, [online] Available at:<http://www.boozallen.com/consulting/optimize-organization/organization-efficiency-and-effectiveness/mission-dna/organization-types-mission-dna> [Accessed 18 December 2012].
Neilson, G. L., Pasternack, B. A. and Van Nuys, K. E., 2005. The Passive Aggressive Organization. Harvard Business Review, October 2005, pp.82-92

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One thought on “What kind of organization is yours?

  1. Pingback: The passive-agressive organization | Agile Vietnam

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