A group of people working together.
An organisation is a complex social structure. People form organisations to collaborate and co-create outcomes they cannot achieve alone without explicit agreements about membership, responsibilities and behavioural rules. Organisations are fractal: they are made up of nested structures (e.g. business unit-department-team) that have similar attributes on each level, such as purpose, goals, capabilities and hierarchy.
Organisations are complex adaptive systems. This means they display attributes and behaviours that are designed and managed, as well as emergent attributes and behaviours that arise more or less unplanned out of people's complex behaviour. This emergence means organisations are never fully predictable and deterministic, making organisational design always a mix of design and influence. Organisational aspects that lend themselves best to be designed are organisational structures, roles, responsibilities, formal collaboration and decision-making processes. Aspects that are much harder or impossible to design are organisational culture, responsiveness to unexpected situations, adaptability, resilience and robustness.
Depicting a tree relationship. Also known as Organisational Chart or Organigram.
- A commercial company is structured into a hierarchy of roles and responsibilities.
- A public service implements decision-making structures needed to manage their organisation's collective performance.
- An NGO defines volunteer roles and processes needed to direct the organisation to maximise its effectiveness and impact.
- Set up team structures and group people together to realise the capabilities of the enterprise.
- Divide and organise our work into roles and responsibilities.
- Define ownership and accountability for enterprise elements.
- Establish ways of collaboration and decision-making.
- organisation builds brand
- organisation makes product
- organisation pursues purpose
- organisation authors story
- organisation has capability
- organisation performs process
- company, association, governmental, team, project, informal group, role (tag)
- hierarchical, matrix, committee, autonomous (tag)
- internal, shared, external (tag)
- satisfaction (metric)
- span (metric)
- cost (metric)