Bollen en pijlen

Waarom gebruik jij toch zo vaak pijlen in je verhalen en platen? Die vraag kreeg ik vorige week van een klant. En toen ik daar eens over nadacht, dat is inderdaad wel vaak het geval en vast geen toeval. Afgelopen vrijdag organiseerden we bij Het Zuiderlicht een bijeenkomst over holacratie, waar het juist ging over bollen. En pijlen en bollen blijken van alles met elkaar te maken te hebben…



Eerst maar eens over die pijlen. Die symboliseren voor mij verschillende zaken. Het staat voor ‘Van A naar B’, of zoals Rijkswaterstaat zegt: ‘van A naar Beter’. Daarmee staan de pijlen tussen A en B voor de bewegingen die in een organisatie op gang moet komen, de veranderingen die nodig zijn, om daadwerkelijk vanuit het nu naar de toekomst te gaan. In systemische termen: de verbinding tussen verleden, heden en toekomst.

De pijl staat ook voor de flow van een proces. Input-throughput-output. Pijlen geven dan de bewegingen weer ìn de organisatie, de wijze waarop klanten of cliënten bediend worden, goederen worden geproduceerd, diensten worden verleend. Of de wijze waarop aan maatschappelijke opgaven gewerkt wordt om uiteindelijk maatschappelijke effecten te bereiken. Je kunt ook stellen dat we het dan hebben over het probleemoplossend vermogen van een organisatie: van probleem naar oplossing.

Pijlen symboliseren voor mij ook horizontaal organiseren. In feite de wijze waarop de organisatie is ingericht rond processen (de pijlen hierboven). Eigenlijk dus een soort meta-pijl. Horizontaal, procesgeoriënteerd werken en organiseren staat daarmee haaks op verticaal, hiërarchisch werken en organiseren. Een ‘pijl’ structuur tegenover de traditionele ‘piramide’ structuur. In plaats van de interne perspectief van efficiency en arbeidsdeling staat de vraag van klant of cliënt centraal en de wijze waarop hieraan invulling wordt gegeven.

En hoe zit het dan met die bollen? Organisaties die werken volgens de principes van holacratie organiseren zich in zogenaamde ‘holons’. Dit zijn groepen medewerkers die gezamenlijk voor een bepaalde taak staan en daarover heldere afspraken hebben gemaakt, gesymboliseerd door een cirkel of bol. Via het linking-pin principe, dat we natuurlijk ook kennen uit de piramide-organisatie, staat de ene holon in verbinding met de andere holon en vindt afstemming plaats. We kwamen echter die vrijdagmiddag ook tot de conclusie dat er eigenlijk geen procesdenken in holacratie te vinden is (het kan natuurlijk zijn dat we dat nog niet hebben ontdekt…).

En daar ontstaat de synthese. Pijlen en bollen hebben juist alles met elkaar te maken: de holons en bollen als basiselementen uit holacratie kun je via de bovengenoemde pijlen koppelen aan de processen in een organisatie. Daarmee ontstaat een beeld van de organisatie van de toekomst: geen piramides, maar pijlen en bollen. Medewerkers hebben een thuisbasis in een ‘holon’ en werken in flexibele teams aan taken of opdrachten in processen: een van de hoofdingrediënten van ‘agile’ organiseren bij Spotiy, ING of provincie Fryslân. Zie voor een interessante toelichting op de laatste organisatie deze link.

Dat iedereen daar zijn eigen woorden voor heeft, spreekt voor zich: pools, tribes, squads, holons. ’s Lands wijs, ’s lands eer, en onderdeel van de zoektocht naar nieuwe organisatievormen is de zoektocht naar gezamenlijke taal. Gezien het grote aantal organisaties dat momenteel zoekende is naar nieuwe werkwijzen en organisatievormen, zullen er de komende tijd vast nog veel bollen en pijlen op tafel komen. En komen we vast ook tot nog nieuwe (werk)woorden!

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