The most complex structure and the one most appropriate for organisational innovation is ‘adhocracy,’ proposes one of the essays in Theories of Organisation by Henry L. Tosi ( Adhocracy is “an organic structure with little formalisation of behaviour, highly trained specialists, and multidisciplinary project teams or matrix teams with functional and market grouping.” The managers (project, functional, integrating, etc.) coordinate by mutual adjustment using liaison devices, the essay’s author Janice H. Zahrly informs. “The managers themselves occupy liaison roles. It is difficult for one person to become powerful in this environment.”

People do as people see

The two new laws that John C. Maxwell has included in the revised and updated 10th anniversary edition of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership ( are about ‘addition’ and ‘the picture.’ The law of ‘addition’ is about how leaders add value by serving others. “The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others,” Maxwell avers.

He finds that the sign for serving, in American Sign Language, where the hands are held out in front with palms up and moved back and forth between the signer and the signee, can be good metaphor for the attitude that servant leaders should possess: “They should be open, trusting, caring, offering their help, and willing to be vulnerable.” The law of ‘the picture’ is that people do what people see. “Leaders possess an understanding of how: Mission provides purpose – answering the question, why. Vision provides a picture – answering the question, what. And strategy provides a plan – answering the questions, how.”

D. Murali

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 9, 2009)
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