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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Organizational complexity

December 28, 2012

Dalton Caldwell, co-founder of App.net, does some thinking about organizational complexity. He contrasts how a simple demonstration of Artificial Intelligence does not necessarily mean that model is scalable to do more complex tasks. The model needs to change with the growth. The same too with a company. The organization needs to change as it grows in order to best serve external complexities but only when those exist.

How do you determine if your organization is complex before it needs to be?

“When you talk to employees of a large company, it seems as if their entire world is made up of byzantine internal politics with no relation to customers in the external world… a large percentage of every day is spent attempting to navigate ever-shifting politics surrounding the org chart. It would seem that the larger a company gets, the more the company tends to allocate resources towards inwardly focused (as opposed to outwardly focused) issues.”

A company doesn’t even need to be that large before this starts to become an issue. If you’re at a company that talks more about what they will do than what they actually do, that worries about their titles more than their product, or has a bunch of people that don’t know what their job is… you’re already there.