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An Organizational model for success!

Posted 6/1/2018

Dr. Westrum's Organizational models.

Dr. Ron Westrum developed a cultural model that includes three types of organizations:

  1. Pathological (power-oriented) - Some of the Characteristics (in my words!):

Low trust, blaming, withholding information, no cooperation, you fail you are fired, new ideas are not welcomed, change is bad, reporting hierarchy is to be followed at all times.

  1. Bureaucratic (rule-oriented): Some of the Characteristics (in my words!):

Bureaucratic, silos, I forgive you if you fail because I am have mercy, positions and titles matter, doesn’t matter where organization is heading!

I always associate governments with this type of organizational culture and I believe for the most past they should. For reasons such as existence and the length of time they have been around. They are responsible for establishing policies and rules that benefit the citizens of the region, province, state and country ultimately. Their large budgets, headcounts and expenses make them even more complex to change course.  Therefore I think it is acceptable for them to have this type of cultural model but  they can still take on more innovative way of doing things at smaller scale and scattered through their large organizations.

  1. Generative (performance-oriented): Some of the Characteristics (in my words!) and this is goal of DevOps, Agile and Lean to transform, create and operate within such culture:

High trust, open to cross bridges and is encouraged to do so to break the silos, allow information flow, experiment is encouraged and explored, high in value and integrity!

So if you are in the process of adopting DevOps then ensure your leadership team is not powered-oriented type! Otherwise your adoption will not succeed!

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