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More success through holistic organisational development - Part 1

Changes in organisational models

I am an organisational developer, and have been for many years. I often see structures and processes much earlier than other people. I have a gift for 'seeing' organisations as a whole. Quasi as a holistic system. I sometimes compare organisations with organisms. An organism is successful when all its components and organs are in tune with each other and healthy. Exactly the same applies to an organisation.

In my training as a business organiser, we learned with the 'organisation cube' back in the 90s. From today's perspective, I am a little surprised at how technocratic the organisational teaching of the 80s and 90s was.

Man has been called a task manager. Which, of course, they are de facto. But while we debated about characteristics and performance features of technical devices, for example, the human being was only a task manager. I don't remember discussing the characteristics of a human being at that time, such as personality, his imprints, experiences and traits. He was the 'task manager'. Moreover, in the dimension of relationships, only processes and structure were discussed, but not human bonds.

New working worlds

Today, in the 20s of the 20th century, many things have changed. Technologisation up to digitalisation have created new working conditions. The VUKA world has emerged (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). It is increasingly challenging to deal with the ever faster changes.

And now the advantages of humans over machines come into play again. His ability to think creatively. To break out of patterns of thought and describe and develop something completely new. To have visions. The ability to combine intuition, creativity and emotionality. This works even better in mixed groups.

The need for new organisational forms such as holocracy, sociocracy, which are more often applied as an answer to hierarchical structures, require these and other human qualities to be able to successfully and efficiently support the organisation. The same applies to agile forms of cooperation.

Revival of humanity

In today's world of work, aspects may, indeed must, come back into focus which in some cases had little or no place in classically hierarchically organised companies. Here are a few examples that underline what I mean.

  • Leadership through stimulation & inspiration: Old leadership models are reaching their limits. Leaders who want to 'reach' their employees can no longer hide behind hierarchies. New successful leaders lead by example, stimulation and inspiration. They become more coach than manager or whip.

  • Corporate culture: Employees feel perceived and taken seriously in a corporate culture that gives them the power to shape and make decisions. Their willingness to use their full potential in the organisation increases. The basis for such a culture is clear descriptions of roles, including their goals, competencies and responsibilities. In the fulfilment of tasks, employees are given more freedom (where possible).

  • Admitting mistakes: In the new working worlds, it is eminently important to rethink the way we deal with mistakes. Where there is a lack of planning and iterative working models are used, mistakes can occur. In the new world, however, mistakes will increasingly have to be seen as opportunities for development. Those who make mistakes are encouraged to reflect on them and to share their findings with the group.

  • Dealing with fear and conflict: Where uncertainty can arise in planning, fears can be 'triggered' in people. This is an existential reality. These fears should and may be addressed in a new way. Especially when a fear leads to decision blockades of functionaries (at all levels). This constructive approach to fear makes the organisation more efficient, enables the development of those concerned and manifests a corporate culture based on trust.


A successful organisation is balanced. It is flexible and agile. It is always focused on a clear goal and uses the best available means. Besides technology and methods, these include above all people! Or holistic organisational development.

The effective integration of the human factor into the organisation makes the difference between mediocrity and excellence!

Mindtrain supports organisations in achieving precisely this excellence. We work with the organisation, on the organisation and in the organisation. Supporting leaders and professionals as well as whole (leadership) teams. Getting a foothold in the new world of work and looking at all elements for sustainable success.

People - Emotions - Results



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