oracle aide

January 23, 2011

Fruit Sashimi

Filed under: fun, social engineering — oracleaide @ 4:26 am

In his thought provoking presentation “Hacking your organization”
Lloyd Taylor suggested a model of organizational culture based on two attributes:
— Solidarity;
— Sociability.

The attributes are orthogonal so the model is two-dimensional and represented by four quadrants:

During the presentation Lloyd Taylor mentioned that “sales department are always mercenaries.”
That made me think about possible rarity of pure forms of organizational cultures.

Usually, corporations have elements of mercenary and networked cultures under the same roof.
It is always possible to find cubicles and offices of both kinds – with photos of kids and pets and professional certificates.
Of course, proportions and ratios vary.
So – do cultures in different teams and on different projects.

Is it possible that both dimensions (solidarity and sociability) are just measures of a single attribute – cultural density?
Thus, a simple, linear model could work.

A fruit metaphor makes the model even more dramatic:

For example, a startup is like an apple: from young and green to ripe, but still bouncy.
Its texture is even and resilient.
A mercenary shop is like a nut or, maybe a plum – with a very hard core.
A networked organization is like a tomato or a kiwi.
A watermelon (especially an old and spongy) could represent a company with fragmented culture.

It is easy to get carried away by the metaphor, but … doesn’t ripeness of a fruit illustrate maturity of corporate culture?

Kudos to the Mr.Taylor for all that food for thought.

He started his presentation by comparing architectures of operating and social systems.
Using similar method one could try to apply some architectural principles to social engineering.

Thus firmness (firmitas) from the Vitruvian triad could translate into density of an organizational culture.

Why not?

Sources:
http://www.infoq.com/presentations/Hacking-Your-Organization

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