The agile network organization is a new way to run an organization. An agile network organization can handle complex, high tempo tasks.
During the years we’ve worked with implementing the Pulse guide at various businesses we have learned holding more Pulse meetings and involving more people in the Pulse network will improve results.
In order to understand what a network is and how it differs with the approach during the Industrial Age, Foton lab has put together the following video:
Pulse is a network organization where certain nodes have more contacts than others and therefore more influence.
At an ordinary organization without a Pulse network, spontaneous interaction between people occurs in order to solve tasks. Some of this interaction is recurring and partially institutionalized through meeting forums.
However, a large part of the interaction is random. The connections that exist between different parts of the operation are weak and information and demands are lost on the way, leading to loss of energy and more disruptions.
Agile Network Organization – Guided Networks
An agile network organization institutions are established that are supposed to handle all work and questions, both recurring and unique. Within a visual decision-making structure the institutions take the form of Pulse meetings.
These are by necessity cross-functional so that information and interaction can spread to the relevant parts of the operation. Additionally, there needs to be enough institutions to handle demands and problems as well as have the knowledge and capacity to deal with them.
For example, questions about technical choices are dealt with primarily by the developers of the projects, while questions about what investments are the responsibility of management.
However, both these questions will affect each other, which makes it vital for information to flow between Pulse meetings. The greater the frequency of Pulse meetings and the greater the proportion of the operation involved leads to greater transmission of information throughout the organization.
I like to explain the transportation and flow of information within an operation by comparing it to energy being transported through waves.
Waves transport energy from the wind over large distances without transporting the water itself. Only a small current occurs when the wave passes by. It’s only when the wave hits the beach that the current breaks since the top and the bottom can’t move at the same speed anymore.
When the wave breaks, the energy of the wave is lost in turbulence. The flow of information within an operation works in the same way: as long as information can be transported through the operation there are only small losses of energy. However, as soon as there are no connections between different parts of the organization the flow of information will slow down. The wave of information breaks and energy is lost in the form of stress and conflicts.
In order to turn an organization into an agile network there must be enough nodes with frequent intermediate connections and a network focused on letting management direct resources. Therefore, how the the network is created and where the nodes are established is important in order to ensure efficiency and adaptability.