First, in the modern enterprise management, there simultaneously exist two conflicting needs. One is that companies need an equal, shared, and planar management system without hierarchical differentiation to innovate and cooperate. Another is that companies need a management system having clear authority, responsibility and hierarchical differentiation to command and fulfill.
Second, before the emergence of Web2.0, though people do come up with a lot of ways, for example, to reduce the intermediate levels, to increase the flexibility of the organization, and to hold a brain storming, etc., they always failed to meet these two conflicting management needs of planar and hierarchical synchronously.
Third, my solution is to take the principle of systems thinking as guidance to design organization structure and do three revolutionary innovations based on the foundation of Web2.0.
Revolutionary innovation 1 It is to create a planar networked organization (attached to the enterprise web portal) focusing on innovation by board of directors, independent of the traditional hierarchical organization. That is, if the board of directors is a hat, there is a head with two faces under this hat, one face called hierarchy command Organization (hierarchy organization), another face called the “Informal Planar Innovation Network Organization (planar organization)”. Here is where the “Two-Faced People Organization” comes from.
Do not worry! The names of these two organizations are different, but their members (two kinds of organizations) are the same. So do not increase a person to enterprises manpower costs.
I can make such a rule in principle (not absolute): every employee must simultaneously have two different identities in two different organizations to do two different activities. One identity really is as an innovative participator without different title and power, who is equally created (by an innovative user registration process). Another identity is as a performer of clear responsibilities based on different positions.
No doubt, as opposed to traditional organization structure with only one hierarchy command face below board of directors, my “Two-Faced People Organization” is apparently undoubtedly a revolutionary innovation.
Revolutionary innovation 2 Take a "non-real-name user registration process which can be traced back" to ensure that the value of plane Innovation Network (organizations) is maximization.
This particular user registration process consists of three steps:
Step 1 According to the "employee roster", complying with the rule of that one employee only has one number which can’t repeat to others, the board of directors randomly set a identification number to only be known by employees themselves for whole employees (of course, here are not the directors from board of directors, but IT Support engineers directly hired by the board of directors. they have nothing to do with the two organizations; they are responsible for background jobs, inputting the data, and the most important is to keep secrets of information).
Step 2 IT Support engineers hired by board of directors input all of the employee identification number previously to the innovation network platform.
Step 3 Each employee first inputs their own exclusive identification number to the innovation network platform until recognized by the system before registering, then starts to set their own user name (not to repeat with others) and password.
So, there has been a one-to-one relationship among real name of employee, proprietary identification number, and user name.
Do not underestimate this "non-real-name user registration process which can be traced back"! Although it is merely the addition of a small step of the proprietary identification number, it is a great step to the management of innovation, even a decisive step, because it can ensure that the value of “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” is maximization.
On the one hand each employee on the innovation network platform does not know each other by its non-real-name. Coupled with the innovation network platform itself controlled by board of directors, bosses and colleagues belonged to hierarchy organization can not use powers to trace back the real name behind user name. so I can create a real planar organization of no different title and power, human beings to be born equal. Employees in making innovation can freely talk by the guarantee from a variety of procedure and regulation. And even the genius of technology innovation of who is poor in expressing can find a perfect paradise.
On the other hand, by its traceability, each employee involved in innovation not only can not go against the established network operating rules, do anything not to be related with innovation activities, and make personal attacks on others when remarking, but also let enterprises take necessary management to the plane Innovation Network to improve the efficiency of innovation through using the established rules.
It is worth to note the word "may" here. Only in two cases can the real name behind the user name be traced back by board of directors: either when some employees who go against the established network operating rules be found or when implementing performance appraisal to the innovation network platform to mobilize innovative enthusiasm of employees.
Revolutionary innovation 3 Company can conduct Informal management to informal planar network making innovations.
Does the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” need to administer?
My answer is “of course!”
Someone may be puzzled by the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” which has been administered: “Does it still keep the informal advantage? Can it still be called as informality?”
My answer is “of course!”, too.
The reason is because the administration which I have applied to the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” is also the informal management.
What is the informal management?
If Fayol’s administration that contains all five functions of management (planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling) can be called as the formal management, then the informal management is that only keeps part of management functions, planning, coordinating and controlling (mainly focused on the monitor) after completely removing organizing and directing from Fayol’s administration.
Obviously, the informal management being removed two functions of organizing and directing not only does not lose the informal advantage, but also can effectively reduce the negative impact owned by itself, for example, passive resistance to organizational change, because the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” that had not been hierarchical at all be added part of functions, planning, coordinating and controlling.
My informal management to the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” generally has four pursuits:
THE “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will be thronged with persons in making innovations.
All activities of the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will walk along a clear strategy development direction.
THE “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will have an optimization of structure.
THE “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will be fair and orderly.
To ensure that the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will be thronged with persons in making innovations, in addition to taking the informal management measures which is the rigid rule that every employee belonged to the hierarchical organization has to register according to the established procedures to participate in innovative on the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”, I will also further use three means：
1 According to different requirements of different positions for innovation, companies will make the norm of basic “participation scores”, “management innovation scores”, and “technology innovation scores” gained from the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” to act as pre-conditions of selection, appointment, and evaluation to employees.
2 Companies will give innovators reasonable reward and benefit through "non-real-name user registration procedure which can be traced back" while some new methods, new experiences, and new ideas of products and services resulting from the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” be accepted by the hierarchical organizations.
3 Referencing the principle of “priority application” in applying patent, in designing the criteria to assess achievement to employee innovation, companies will encourage every member rushed out to participate and submit new ideas, For example, an innovative design of a kind of cell phones. First person submit the ideas of clamshell, and then second person submit the ideas of flip and dual-core. So “innovation scores” and reward of part of the flip should be given the first person rather than the second person, if the new ideas that be adopted ultimately is the ideas of flip and dual-core.
To ensure that all activities of the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will walk along a clear strategy development direction, my informal management measures are to design a process of project setting to assort with it.
1 Starting with meeting the demand of business strategy development, each functional department belonged to hierarchical organization first submits 1-3 projects to the “Intermediate/Senior Management Conference” for preliminary examination. For instance, R & D department is responsible for the projects of new product. HR department is responsible for the projects of human resources management.
2 Then projects gone through audit (including project background and knowledge support) be inputted the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” by IT Support engineers directly hired by board of directors for publicity.
3 During notice period, each member of “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”, by individual interests, can all make his (or her) own decisions whether those project is appropriate to the demand of business strategy development, either simply accepting or rejecting, or agreeing partly and giving reasons, or disagreeing partly and providing modifications, and or filing new projects.
4 When the notice period is over, complying with the principle of one person one vote, the Intermediate/Senior Management Conference pick 1-3 qualified projects among all projects opened (including the new projects filed during the publicity period) for each department belonged to hierarchical organization in order to carry out innovation competition on the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”.
5 At the end a cycle of innovation competition (usually six months), each functional department belonged to hierarchical organization determine alone which innovative proposal be adopted, and simultaneously explain the reasons to the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”.
6 Each functional department belonged to hierarchical organization is responsible for implementing and providing resources of the innovative proposal adopted, including the matching of project team and finance.
To ensure that the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will have an optimization of structure, my informal management measures are to create a systematic plan to its functional modules.
1 The “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” consist of four modules or four first-level subsystem: innovation (including culture, strategy, products, services, and management), interest groups, technology market, and knowledge sharing; The first-level subsystem also consist of some second-level subsystem, the first-level subsystem of innovation also include such second-level subsystem as culture innovation, strategy innovation, management innovation, and product or service innovation; the rest may be deduced by analogy, The second-level subsystem also consist of some third-level subsystem, the second-level subsystem of management innovation include such third-level subsystem as humans resources management, quality management, production management, sales management, security management, and financial management.
2 The innovation module is the most important among four functional module, others are mainly used to sustain innovation. For example, through one proposal can not temporarily be accepted by the hierarchical organizations, provider has a strong desire to continue it, then this proposal will be moved to the module of interest group to attract more colleagues who have similar interests to reach a certain standard, and then he (or she) may apply for reconsideration. As another example, someone, who is in process of innovation, can look for help not only to functional department belonged to hierarchical organization through IT Support engineers directly hired by board of directors, but also to interest groups, technology market, and knowledge sharing when he (or she) needs any relevant knowledge support.
3 The main function of “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” is to provide a steady stream of new ideas, new methods, new products, new knowledge, and new experiences for business development; its secondary function is to nurture culture of innovation and find talent. Given the length of this article, more talking about function of all levels of subsystem belonged to the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” can not be unfolded respectively.
To ensure that the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” will be fair and orderly, my informal management measures have the following four points:
1 Adopt double standard in evaluation: all new ideas and proposals, at the end a cycle of innovation competition, will face two kinds of different standards of evaluation. One is from the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”, and other is from functional department belonged to hierarchical organization. The former criterion is mainly “novel”, therefore, even if a proposal looks a bit weird, but as long as “novel”, it should gain encouragement in the appraisal of the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”. The latter criterion is "not only novel but also feasible", consequently, only those ideas and proposals recognized by functional department belonged to hierarchical organization may be practiced and get relational reward and honor.
2 Three types of scores: "participation scores", "innovation scores", and "intellectual scores". "Participation scores" only applies to simple affirmative or negative without any comments. "Innovation scores" applies to not only new ideas and proposals but also agreeing partly and giving reasons, disagreeing partly and providing modifications, and filing new projects by the members belonged to the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization).” "Knowledge scores" applies to the members who provide useful work experience, information, and learning.
3 Ensure procedural justice: can each member as equal status belonged to the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)” be evaluated in final selection of all subjects? Or some of them with limited qualification? Different answers bring different procedures, different programs produce different results.
4 Correcting error mechanism: the markings of vast majority within the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”, such as "participation scores", "innovation scores in the case of disagreeing with all or part of proposals and providing reasons", "innovation scores of submitting amendments", and "innovation scores of submitting new subjects and proposals"，can all be generated automatically by the system. So there exist deviations probably leading to repeat or copying others’ ideas, for winning "innovation scores" by only providing comments, even to assault someone maliciously, to engage in activities irrelevant to innovations, and so on. Since there are deviations, we need a correcting error mechanism.
Through the informal management I suggested to the “Informal Planar Innovation Network (Organization)”, we can know that there is an independent and interdependent relationship between these two organizations (“hierarchy organization” and “planar organization”) under the direct leadership of same board of directors. Or In other words, a perfect combination for effectively and synchronously meeting these two conflicting management needs of planar and hierarchical is just constituted by the effective interaction between these two organizations (“hierarchy organization” and “planar organization”) above.
My statement about the “Two-Faced People Organization” is over basically, but finally I have still four Incidental explanations to say.
1 Certainly questions of innovation within “hierarchy organization” can not be thrown out the window by companies only for having had “planar organization”.
2 For that the achievement of “planar organization” will be enhancing increasingly, the right in choosing proposals should be gradually moved from those functional departments belonged to “hierarchy organization” to “planar organization” when the fact that a variety of innovations to be applied to business derived from the “planar organization” had become the main powers being proven by practices.
3 Because same employee synchronously participates in two kinds of activities within two organizations, there may be a conflict of times. How to deal with this problem? It depends on the actual situation of enterprises and jobs. Some need, some may not need, for example,3Mitself has had a certain proportion of time for innovation.
4 It should be remembered that three revolutionary innovations are the most important in this article. As to details for conducting, especially those parts associated with of IT technology, I can not guarantee that they are completely correct.