A short startup story:

From the seed of a new idea grows a great business concept.

The passionate leader rallies a small group around his or her cause and begins to build a movement.

Investors see dollar signs.

As the crowd grows, it becomes more difficult to manage.

In order to make sense of the chaos the challenge of scale brings, an older, “wiser” business leader (or leaders) are brought in to “bring organization” to the fledgling group.

Unfortunately, this older, wiser leader doesn’t really have any idea how to lead this new group other than the way they’ve always done it. So “departments” are created, “titles” are dispersed, “HR” is christened, and pieces of the tribe’s original soul begin to seep out through the cracks that begin to form. The energy the startup once had is stifled by being stuffed into an organizational structure that was designed in, and for, the last century.

The old ways of working aren’t working anymore.

Because people (you and me) have changed what we expect from our work, old methods of management are DOA the moment they are implemented.

The way we design our organizations now is based on work that required people to do repetitive, mindless, un-creative tasks. As this kind of work becomes less and less common — and it will continue to go this direction — our current methods of motivating tribes get more and more counterproductive. In fact, they actually start to suck the life out of us.

Isn’t it time for something new?


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