Loved this feature on the post-bureaucratic age and the new lightness of organisations, which Alberto Nardelli pointed out via Twitter. The article was inspired by Stephan Shakespeare, YouGov co-founder, who gave a talk on the theory of ‘post bureaucracy’ (developed by Conservative party strategist Steve Hilton).

The Internet gives us access to information that used to be privileged. And we’re seeing a democratisation of influence (bloggers and Twitter, for example), forcing improved transparency and accountability in business. There seems to be a grudging acceptance that centralisation and globalisation no longer hold all the answers. All these things mean the world of work is about to change.

This was something I realised when writing Monkeys with Typewriters. I can see it clearly now in pockets of discussion and activity happening all over. Life really doesn’t have to be as complicated as we have made it.

Organisation Lite

Nearly two years ago, David Wilcox and I met up to discuss what David was then calling Organisation Lite. Soon after, I interviewed Lloyd Davis, whose Tuttle Club was inspired by Harry Tuttle, the engineer in the film Brazil who wages war against the over-bureaucratic machine.

Tessy Britton, new Chair of the RSA Fellowship Council, has set up a project called Social Spaces – looking to find a flexible rather than prescriptive approach to social change. There’s also the ground-breaking work of the people at consultancy ThinkPublic who had the revolutionary idea of improving public services by simply, erm, asking users what they want.

These are just a few examples of lightness in organisations.

Social tools

I’m looking forward to giving a seminar next Wednesday for SOL-UK – the Society for Organisational Learning. The session kicks off at 6.45pm with a short talk about Monkeys with Typewriters and some background to the key behaviours and trends that emerged from the 50+ interviews I carried out for the book.

Afterwards, there’ll be a discussion about how – and if – social tools have the power to change our business world for the better. Will they instill more lightness? We’ll try to come up with some positive calls to action: what can we do now to help ensure that post-bureaucratic change actually starts to happen?

I hope the discussion will join some dots in the quest to improve the way we work and live. If you’d like to join in, please let me know. I’ve a handful of tickets available at the SOL-UK members rate of £10. Just add a comment below or drop me a line via iKnowHow or Twitter.

Read my write-up of the seminar: The search for leadership 2.0

Photo: Frank Peters