Rewriting the future of work: eight movements to watch


We are interested in how people can organise themselves to do stuff in non-traditional ways. We have covered Loomio and Enspiral's plans for "decentralised organising", as well as Frederic Laloux's self-management principles.

So it was great to read this piece from Corporate Rebels on their eight leading movements that are rewriting the future of work. Some of them we know, but some were new to us: 



Progressive organizations know the familiar pyramid is outdated. It simply does not fit today’s fast-changing environment. The rigidity of command-and-control does not promote agility, speed, and engagement. Which is why we find progressive organizations adopting alternative structures. Typically, they turn the rigid pyramid into an agile network of teams.


RenDanHeYi is an organizational model developed by the Chinese white goods manufacturer Haier in order to prepare for doing business in the internet era. With the help of this model, enterprises are able to transform from their original pyramid structure into a network of small microenterprises.

Over the last year Haier has used the RenDanHeYi model to abolish formerly bureaucratic systems in a range of satellite companies around the world. The model enabled them to transform traditional operating models into networks of small microenterprises.

Case-study Chinese white good manufacturer Haier.

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Plan and predict is a fundamental tenet of traditional management. Think of yearly budgeting, resource allocation, and plans that are cascaded down the organization. But these are all based on the false belief that we can (still) predict the future. 

The new reality is, that as the environment gets more complex, it’s impossible to make precise predictions. Progressive organizations abandon guesses masquerading as precise predictions. They focus on experimentation instead.


Responsive Org. is a global community committed to creating and growing so-called Responsive Organizations. According to their own manifesto, Responsive Organizations are built to learn and respond rapidly through the open flow of information; encouraging experimentation and learning in rapid cycles; and organizing as a network of employees, customers, and partners motivated by shared purpose.

Many of the (founding) members of the Responsive Org. movement are now operating in the field of organizational transformations through American-based boutique consulting firms like August and The Ready.

Case-study Swedish streaming service Spotify.

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Traditional organizations tend to distribute activities based on job titles and descriptions. But many of these are out-of-date the moment they are crafted. Progressive organizations try to make use of the diverse talents present in the whole organization.

They offer people the freedom to choose their tasks and responsibilities. In progressive organizations, employees ‘sculpt’ their jobs based on their interest, talents and strengths.


Deliberately Developmental Organizations are organizations where employees’ ongoing development is woven into the daily routine of the business. It is based on the philosophy that organizations will best prosper when they are better aligned with the employees’ strongest motive, which is to grow. It is basically an incubator for employee development.

These ‘incubators’ focus on the continuous development of employee talents, enabling them to reach increased levels of mastery. The movement is based on the book ‘An Everyone Culture’, by Harvard professor Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey.

Case-study Danish hearing aid manufacturer Oticon.

More here.