Created on Saturday, 02 July 2011 17:33
Written by Samuel Yeoh
If you’ve ever experienced the frustrations of dealing with a business of a rigid hierarchical structure – just think about the amount of administrative hoops you have to jump through and the snail-like pace at which things progress, you’ll be interested to read what Martin Thomas has to say.
Loose takes a look at the current organisational structure in many businesses and conglomerates, with the conclusion that most are too tight and inflexible, relying on a rigid chain of command that responds too slowly to lightning pace of the 21st century. Hence, he proposes the idea of a loose organisational structure, coaxing managers to relieve their tight grip of control and trust their people to do the right thing.
Central to the book is the idea that the world has become a complex and unpredictable environment, and instead of trying to predict and control the future, companies should learn how to embrace the chaos and respond to it fluidly.
Thomas presses his case strongly with numerous case-studies and examples, including successful companies like Google, Unilever and Pret a Manger.
The book begins with an exploration of how the environment has changed, with examples of companies and individuals that ran afoul when attempting to deal with situations in the traditional tight way. This is followed by suggestions on how to implement and make the best out of a successful loose structure in an organisation. The key guidelines he provides includes trust, transparency and collaboration to name a few. However, Thomas also qualifies that an organisation cannot be completely loose, and there is a fine balance between the amount of structure and freedom to be thrown into the mix.
Although some of the ideas have also been presented in similar form in other books such as Wikinomics, Loose remains an interesting read on the changing business landscape that will broaden your perspective on the subject.
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