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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Organization As An Amoeba Versus An Arrow ?

Jeff Brown from Beckhoff Automation in Minneapolis, USA has commented on the Amoeba article which has been reproduced below with his kind permission :

My name is Jeff Brown and I am regional manager for Beckhoff Automation in Minneapolis, MN. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and am just finishing my MBA with focus in Finance. My studies in Organizational Development provided some insights into organizational structure but did not really provide a structure I thought was most suited for success.

Today, I had an original thought regarding an organization as an amoeba versus an arrow. I wrote in my journal a comparison of the two and thought I would provide you with my thoughts. I have a vision to work for a company that is like the Amoeba and I want my company to be this. I think it is critical for the success of my country to adapt.

The Arrow

1. The Arrow Point is the focal point and is the only leader

2. The Arrow does well for hitting a fixed target or goal

3. The Arrow does not do well at hitting a moving target

4. You can try to compensate for hitting a moving target but it requires much effort

5. The Arrow is rigid and has a fixed Center of Gravity with most of the mass being concentrated at the base

6. The Arrow has one shape which you can put up, down, or sideways

7. Consumes energy all at once and moves fast.

8. Required significant energy build up to move again while environment is changing.

The Amoeba

1. Multi-faceted points for simultaneous directional moves (multiple leadership roles)

2. Nucleus or core center (central values held by everyone)

3. Flexible and adaptable (meets changing environments and redefines itself with target)

4. Ability to split (Organically splits and ensures integrity of amoeba)

5. Changing Center of Gravity (makes most of resources)

6. Constant Energy use based on environment (Once again organic)

Thanks, Jeff.

Any More Thoughts on the same ?


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