Occupational burn-out and purpose-driven organisations.

Illustration: Burn-Out by Zoia Atkinson

Around your work have you ever had feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, a distancing from it that has included negativism or cynicism towards work, and a resulting reduced professional effectiveness? If so then you’ve probably suffered to some degree from occupational burn-out, for these are the dimensions to burn-out that were set-down by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2019) in the eleventh International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).[I] And, although this ‘occupational phenomenon’ is not classified by the WHO as a medical condition, it is clearly described as ‘a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. Indeed, I believe that in pointing to the origins of this burn-out that the key part in this phrase for organisations and organisational leaders are the words: ‘workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. As it raises both a personal and social responsibility of care towards an organisation’s staff and, which in terms of organisational effectiveness or litigation, raises potential organisational threats.

Inclusion in ICD-11 represents an important milestone in the recognition of the mental health impact that poor working practices can have on workers. Furthermore, that these aspects of occupational burn-out are currently being used by WHO to develop evidence-based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace, raises the importance of this mental health issue for all organisations. Certainly, for non-profits – many of whom operate in high-stress, low-resource environments or work with a mission-driven pressure to perform – this is a tangible human resource concern.

Thus, the aim of this think-piece is to serve as a primer for organisational leaders and in it I highlight the main issues that they should consider with regard to occupational burn-out. What is it, what are its impacts, what seems to cause it, and what can be done to prevent it? These are covered in the following four sections:

  • The Magnitude of Work Burn-out.
  • Causes of Occupational Burn-out.
  • Addressing the Causes of Burn-out.
  • Concluding Remarks for Non-profits.

The Magnitude of Work Burn-out

‘employee burnout can trigger a downward spiral in individual and organizational performance.’ 

(Wigert & Agrawal, 2018a)

Natalie Matranga, in her article: Burnout as human rights worker and how to tackle it[ii], points out how ‘it is important to be able to recognise symptoms of burnout, both so that we can acknowledge when we experience it ourselves, and so that we can see signs of burnout in our colleagues and help them to find support.’ She goes on to list some of the common symptoms of burn-out, mirroring much of what the WHO has identified:

  • ‘Losing enthusiasm for your job, and even dreading going to work.
  • A loss of job satisfaction or a feeling of disillusionment in your career.
  • Feeling low in energy and not enjoying the things that used to give you pleasure.
  • Getting easily irritated, angry or upset.
  • Insomnia.
  • Change in appetite.
  • Trying to ignore your feelings by abusing or misusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Feeling distant from family and friends and trying to isolate yourself from social situations.’ (Matranga, n.d.)

And yet ‘for decades, the term “burnout” has been deprioritized — wrongly accused of being some made-up, first-world crisis, most likely drummed up by millennials and Gen Zers who want more work-life balance’ (Moss, 2019). However, when the dimensions and the effects of burn-out are considered, organisational leaders ignore it at their peril: ‘A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes’ (Wigert & Agrawal, 2018a).[iii] Take a second to take that in, that means two-thirds of us at some time will experience burn-out caused by our work.

In the civil society sphere, where the weight of purpose- or mission-driven aims lends an additional dimension, the frequency of work-sourced mental health issues is even more pronounced: ‘A 2015 survey by The Guardian reported that 79% of the 754 aid workers interviewed reported suffering from some kind of mental illness; of those, 93% said that the condition was work related. In a separate survey of human rights workers, 19% appeared to be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – figures that are similar to levels of PTSD suffered by combat veterans and emergency first responders’ (Matranga, n.d.). Given that 73% of those aid workers surveyed reported work-related mental health issues, this surely represents an epidemic of workplace stress and anxiety in the sector.

Indeed, Jennifer Moss, in a Harvard Business Review article: When passion leads to burnout (2019)[iv], observed that: ‘While burnout can affect anyone, at any age, in any industry, it’s important to note that there are certain sectors and roles that are at increased risk, and purpose-driven work — that is work people love and feel passionately about — is one of them. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality, this type of labor can breed obsessive — versus harmonious — passion, which predicts an increase of conflict, and thus burnout.’ Supporting that observation, a recent study by Yale University (see Seppälä and Moeller, 1 in 5 Employees Is Highly Engaged and at Risk of Burnout, 2019) has ‘cast doubts on the idea of engagement as a purely beneficial experience’. ‘The data shows that one in five employees reported both high engagement and high burnout’ (engaged-exhausted). ‘These engaged-exhausted workers were passionate about their work, but also had intensely mixed feelings about it’. And they also exhibited the highest turnover. 

From my work with non-profits I’ve recognised how there is often a grin and bear it attitude, as committed activists fight for their causes in a resource-strapped reality. This can morph into an expectation that NGO staff must, by the very nature of their work, be under constant stress. Sometimes this develops into what I characterise as a ‘badge of honour‘ culture of struggle and which effectively represents a form of self-harm.[v]  Indeed, I recall performing an organisational review with a team of campaigners in an advocacy group and how, when they started to confide their feelings on their work overload, several of them expressed how they were “working too much and do too much”. They went on to say  “[we need] external help to cut down ambitions [of the] too many campaigns”, or related how they had “too much work, too few people”, and which they connected to their feelings of being “drained” and in “low spirits”. Certainly, the feelings of disillusionment or cynicism given in the WHO classification of occupational burn-out were evident across these conversations.

Furthermore, while these staff clearly identified with and were committed to the organisation and its aims, there also appeared to be a general uneasiness over the impact of what they were doing: “We should focus on less issues, we are so very broad Robert. [There is a] strong case for working on less issues and having more impact on fewer things. If we were able to narrow down, we would feel more satisfaction on what we are doing and doing it really well.” One person said: “[we need to] be more consistent that knowing that the things we are doing are reinforcing our core values. How does it all fit together?” Another told me: “often success is about the activity and not about the impact. Success is about a meeting not about what it means; [the activity is] celebrated more than the outcome.”

To me it is clear that: ‘…the hard organizational cost of burnout is substantial: Burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job’ and ‘even scarier, burned-out employees are 23% more likely to visit the emergency room’ (Wigert & Agrawal, 2018a). Indeed, I believe these figures, coupled with such personal testimonies, highlight how health and safety issues must extend beyond the traditional focus on physical working conditions, to encompass a consideration of the human impact of working culture and approaches.

The Causes of Occupational Burn-out

‘The main factors that cause employee burnout have less to do with expectations for hard work and high performance — and more to do with how someone is managed.’ 

(Wigert & Agrawal, 2018a)

A first step for organisational leaders, managers and workers is to understand better the origins of occupational burn-out. To identify what, in the way that we work, leads to this state of affairs and what then we might do about it? To begin to answer the first of these questions Wigert and Agrawal, for Gallup, have helpfully framed the root causes of burn-out: ‘There is little doubt that employee burnout is a symptom of a modern workplace that is increasingly fast-paced, complex and demanding more of employees. Technology — especially mobile technology — has blurred the lines between home life and work life. Flexibility is now the watchword’ (Wigert & Agrawal, 2018c).[vi]

Leka and Jain (2017) have noted how there is a ‘…large body of academic literature demonstrating a range of work-based risk factors for mental health, including job strain, psychological demands, job control, social support, organisational justice, perceived job dissatisfaction, organisational change, job insecurity and employment status.’ Quoting another study they reveal that: ‘Three broad categories of work-related factors were identified to explain how work may contribute to the development of depression and/or anxiety: imbalanced job design, occupational uncertainty, and lack of value and respect in the workplace.’ Furthermore, within them: ‘…there was moderate level evidence … that high job demands, low job control, high effort-reward imbalance, low relational justice, low procedural justice, role stress, bullying and low social support in the workplace are associated with a greater risk of developing common mental health problems’ (Leka & Jain, 2017).

Building out from this I brought together what WHO (2019) and Gallup studies (Wigert & Agrawal, 2018a) have highlighted as the most common workplace risks to mental health. Perhaps take a minute now to run through these and consider, critically, your own workplace and working experience. How would you rate your organisation’s working practices and culture? What resonates in this list, what rankles, what could be changed?

  1. Poor communication from management.
  2. Limited participation in decision-making or low control over one’s area of work.
  3. Low levels of support for employees from management.
  4. Unmanageable workloads/unreasonable time pressures.
  5. Unfair/unequal treatment at work.
  6. Unclear/weakly defined roles, tasks or organisational objectives.
  7. Inflexible working hours.
  8. Inadequate health and safety policies.

This list covers a whole gamut of organisational areas, but importantly, I think, this list highlights a perhaps rather inconvenient organisational truth. And that is that the responsibility for ameliorating all these risks and factors clearly falls squarely of the shoulders of organisational managers and leaders. They are the ones who have the remit, and therefore also the power, to determine whether these risks to mental health, and that produce the conditions for burn-out, are addressed or not.

Indeed, I believe that it raises questions towards the very assumptions and values of how an organisation operates and the resulting role of managers and leaders in setting the organisational tone. As Wigert & Agrawal (2018b)[vii] say ‘…a crucial element in whether or not workers experience burnout on the job is how managers treat their employees’. Thus, with managers acting as role-models, as the organisational metronomes, they are the ones really setting the expectations coming from an organisation’s working culture and their actions speak louder than any memo.

This is a challenge to managers, and it is perhaps an uncomfortable one, but importantly it does mean that something can be done by them to help set the right tone: ‘You can prevent — and reverse — burnout by changing how you manage and lead your employees. If you don’t address the true causes of employee burnout in your organization, you won’t have a workplace environment that empowers employees to feel and perform their best’ (Wigert & Agrawal, 2018a). The key point here is that there needs to be the willingness among organisational leaders (both at governance and management levels) to give due attention to their culture-defining impact.

Likewise, it is also important to realise how managers themselves are equally susceptible to burn-out: ‘Managers are just as likely, if not slightly more so, to suffer frequent or constant burnout than individual contributors (26% of managers vs. 24% of individual contributors). Managers are people, too, and they have the same fundamental human needs as individual contributors: the need to be heard, to feel like they are part of a team, to know they matter, to contribute meaningfully, and to learn and grow’ (Wigert & Agrawal, 2018b). Thus, this further indicates to me that a whole organisational approach must be considered.

In the third-sector, with its purpose-driven environment and usually a highly-engaged workforce, there are additional risks to consider when realising the drivers of occupational burn-out. Seppälä and Moeller (2018)[viii], as mentioned above, have pointed out, the dangers of high-engagement. But, Jennifer Moss (2019) is more explicit in noting this purpose-sourced driver of burn-out: ‘…despite the clear benefits of feeling meaningfully connected to your work, … data suggests that there are often real and undiscussed complications of purpose-driven work on employees’ health that can be related to the experience of burnout long-term.’

Such levels of personal engagement and purpose, that can often lead to burn-out, and the organisational behaviours that might encourage, demand or model them, really need to be better recognised in the non-profit world. Furthermore, as I show below, they have to be addressed in ways that don’t simply shift the onus of providing the solution onto staff members alone. Indeed, criticism has been levelled at the frequent emphasis on resilience training, where: ‘…a focus on resilience, while important, should not distract from prevention efforts that involve creating environments that are more supportive of mental health by reducing risk factors in the work environment’ (Leka & Jain, 2017).

Addressing the Causes of Burn-out?

‘…leaders may want to “ditch the ’R’ word” — resilient — because it suggests that individuals should be able to avoid or recover from burnout on their own.’ 

(Moss, 2019)

So, what can be done, organisationally, to react to this apparent epidemic of work induced burn-out? Unfortunately, owing to the composite and complex nature of the factors involved, the answers are not so straight-forward. In a study by Stavroula Leka and Aditya Jain for the European Union: Mental Health in the Workplace in Europe, 2017[ix], the authors highlight the complexity required to understand where interventions can be most effective. Assessing whether those that target the ‘organisational,’ ‘task/job level’ or ‘individual orientations’ show more promise? 

Before going into possible practices or approaches it is worth taking a detailed look at some of Leka and Jain’s headline conclusions of what works and what doesn’t. From a variety of meta-studies, they made the following important deductions (underlining is my emphasis):

  • ‘Successful programmes offered organizational leadership, health risk screening, individually tailored programmes, and a supportive workplace culture. … [highlighting] that various types of interventions, directed both at the organisational and at the individual level, led to positive outcomes.’
  • Success rates were higher among more comprehensive interventions tackling material, organisational and work-time related conditions simultaneously.’
  • ‘…very few interventions addressed aspects of the environment that might reduce the stress load (and thus the need for coping strategies) on individuals.’
  • ‘…trials of workplace interventions to reduce stress showed small but positive outcomes of person-directed programmes. For example, there was reasonable evidence that staff training and workshops can be effective for preventing symptoms of burnout. These might include stress awareness courses with a focus on coping.’
  • ‘Mindfulness based interventions cited in one systematic review were found to be effective for reducing negative psychological effects of the working environment. However, there was little evidence to suggest that this intervention was any more effective than other stress management approaches such as relaxation. Overall there was only moderate evidence that individually oriented interventions produce positive results in relation to burnout and stress prevention in workplaces.’ 
  • ‘…one review suggested that organisationally focused interventions produced longer-lasting positive effects than those individually oriented. …the evidence suggests that modifications to aspects of the organisation’s culture and working practices should be considered in addition to those delivered at the individual level to create stronger effects in relation to burnout prevention. Alterations to workload or changes to working practices were demonstrated to reduce stressors and factors that can lead to burnout. Where managerial involvement and support for these interventions were found, there was a greater likelihood of positive effects.’
  • ‘…while attempting to modify known work-based risk factors makes theoretical sense, in practice such activities require substantial cooperation from employers, who will need to balance the economic costs of changing the way their organisations operate against the potential benefits for their employees. In practice, the meta-review demonstrates that many workplaces have opted for attempting to enhance their workers’ resilience rather than modifying risk factors.’
  • ‘…many of the more popular approaches to stress management, such as counselling, have limited evidence base in terms of efficacy. In contrast, CBT-based stress management interventions produced substantial benefits in terms of symptom reduction, but this did not translate to notable improvements in work-related outcomes such as absenteeism and productivity.’

To summarise, these research outcomes rather tend to question the efficacy of the individual focus of many workplace well-being programmes. In particular, those with an emphasis on individually orientated interventions that shift the responsibility for sustaining mental health in the face of prevalent work conditions from the organisation to the workers.

Leka and Jain concede that:  ‘Further research is necessary to examine interventions addressing risk factors in the work environment (for example, promoting a positive and supportive organisational culture and organisational justice, increasing employee control and participation, introducing teamwork where appropriate) in combination with interventions at the individual level (for example, cognitive-behavioural therapy, physical activity and problem-focused return-to-work programmes). Yet, despite this caveat, they have said that ‘…amongst preventive interventions, multimodal approaches utilizing more than one technique simultaneously, tended to produce better results.’ Thus, this ‘…evidence adds to the need [to] address risk factors in terms of working conditions and work design to develop healthy work environments that will prevent the onset of mental ill health.’ The crucial point being that ‘…interventions in the workplace should address work environment risk factors and not only individual employee characteristics and behaviours.

Indeed, Endeavour’s inquiries into Workplace Flourishing, and our promotion of the idea of the Enriching Organisation, would appear to support this conclusion. That an overall, or holistic, view of how an organisation’s operations impact on its staff/stakeholders is really required. Fundamentally I believe that any organisation that would put the needs of its staff to the fore (through supportive organising principles, approaches, practices and the norms that it promotes) would have a tendency to ameliorate the risks for occupational burn-out (https://endeavour.consulting/flourishing/).

At the very least, I would expect that any organisation would need to act along three lines to address issues of occupational burn-out:

  • Institutionalise ATTENTION to it, such as awareness raising among staff and leaders, and make an active assessment of the potential for burn-out (for one example see the Maslach Burnout Inventory[x]).
  • Promote a supervisory ATTITUDE that seeks to limit the organisational causes of burn-out.
  • Put into place organisational ACTIONS or procedures, with help from mental health professionals, to deal with occupational burn-out.

Here I have brought together a list of workplace interventions that are suggested by others as ways to address occupational burn-out (WHO, 2019; Wigert & Agrawal, 2018b & c, Matranga, n.d.). It is a bit rough and ready, but, following the WHO’s three-pronged mental health support approach[xi][xii], I feel it provides some guidance for organisational leaders on what should be considered and may be utilised as a rudimentary checklist:

1). Protect mental health by reducing work–related risk factorsImplement and enforce sector-appropriate health and safety policies and practices. Including risk assessments. 

Make sure everyone’s opinion counts. Ensure the genuine involvement of employees in decision-making. Conveying a feeling of control, consultation and participation helps (consult widely and actually listen to what comes back). 

Enact organisational practices that support a healthy work-life balance. This includes supervisors that are open to listen to work-life related problems; it is a part of their profile. 

Place performance expectations and metrics within employees’ control. Ensure the development of targets is a truly co-operative effort and resist an overtly top-down approach. Discourage stretch-targets. 

Recognise and reward the contribution of employees fairly. Be open about compensation approaches and assumptions. 

Provide working spaces that are safe, inviting and support collaborative efforts. Reduce noise and interruptions, have good equipment and systems, and audit lighting and air quality. 
2). Promote mental health by developing the positive aspects of work and the strengths of employeesMake work purposeful. Show how all employees’ work is useful and has a wider value to organisational mission. Look to link what is done day-to-day to this purpose. Discuss the deeper purposes widely and ensure organisational values are actually used and adhered to in daily decision-making. 

Design all jobs to allow for autonomy; ensuring employee flexibility and control over how work gets done. Creating the appropriate job autonomy and flexibility should be part of every conversation about role design. 

Design and support effective and positive teamwork. Truly collaborative efforts tend to be supportive experiences and should be encouraged. Buddy-systems, mentor networks or other peer support systems can help create a supportive working environment and are particularly useful in the field where workers might feel particularly isolated. Managers need to model teamwork best practices. 

Focus on strengths-based feedback and development. Put in place a programme of career development and learning for employees.  
3). Address mental health problems regardless of causeActively inform staff that mental health support is available. Put in place appropriate support programmes and initiatives. Wellness programmes have been used, through exercise and self-care, to help to deal with feelings of anxiety; although as shown above they should not stand alone. 

Identify and measure workplace distress, the harmful use of psychoactive substances and illness and provide resources to manage them. Staff are trained so that they know how to react to a colleague showing signs of burnout (there is training available for Mental Health First Aiders). 

Concluding Remarks for Non-Profits

‘…when you get leaders to behave differently, it sends a signal to the rest of the organization that they can behave differently, too.’ 

(Schulte, 2018)

Matranga writes, ‘It is a positive sign that more and more organisations are developing policies regarding the welfare of their employees and taking steps to ensure that there are support services available.’ However, for many under-resourced, non-profits the options available to deal with employee burn-out can appear limited. Furthermore, while a lack of resources is a problem that can be addressed by more donor support and provision of programmes to attend to occupational burn-out (and which is sorely needed). I do worry that that could focus attention on attending to the symptoms of burn-out coming from external factors, rather than addressing systemic organisational causes. 

Certainly, the research above (Leka & Jain, 2017) implies that there should rather be more stress placed on reducing the risk factors in terms of working conditions and work design. And, by returning to my experiences of organisations where their espoused values were not matched in their day-to-day practices, I believe there needs to be a heightened emphasis on the development of a healthy and supportive organisational culture. Thus (and without dismissing the real need for some specific health and safety, risk assessment, and security programmes for activists), I believe the main attention for non-profit leaders should be around the fundamental assumptions they hold on how work is organised and how their organisation’s culture is expressed on a day-to-day basis. In other words, it means that they address issues of burn-out by truly working according to person-centric values.

Of course that is easier said than done. Indeed, addressing the problem related to the ‘badge of honour‘ culture, denotes something of the effort required to make such a shift. Indeed, potentially it would mean for non-profit leaders (and their donors), situated in a culture that expects high-engagement, to open up a work-life conversation that could fundamentally alter organisational expectations of employees. Brigid Schulte addresses this over-work phenomenon (You Can Be a Great Leader and Also Have a Life, 2018)[xiii] by noting that leaders need to model in themselves the necessary change in organisational culture. How they need to learn to work differently, by making a priority of relationships outside work, and by shifting their own mindsets about work. Moss (2019) says that leaders: ‘…can mitigate this “always-on” mindset by being aware of when passion becomes a double-edged sword. … We need to teach people that setting boundaries is OK. It’s not selfish. It’s actually selfless. It allows you to be more effective at what you do, and to better [help] those you wish to serve.’

Seppälä and Moeller (2019), by focusing on the key differences they found between ‘optimally engaged’ and ‘engaged-exhausted’ employees, give some insight to this. ‘Half of the optimally engaged employees reported having high resources, such as supervisor support, rewards and recognition, and self-efficacy at work, but low demands such as low workload, low cumbersome bureaucracy, and low to moderate demands on concentration and attention. In contrast, such experiences of high resource and low demands were rare (4%) among the engaged-exhausted employees, the majority of whom (64%) reported experiencing high demands and high resources.’ Indeed, they go further and propose that: ‘…data suggests that while wellness initiatives can be helpful, a much bigger lever is the work itself. HR should work with front-line managers to monitor the level of demands they’re placing on people, as well as the balance between demands and resources. The higher the work demands, the higher employees’ need for support, acknowledgement, or opportunities for recovery.’

All this underlines the qualities required to attend to the complex and holistic issues around occupational burn-out. While wanting employees to be engaged and fulfilled, that must not be to the detriment of their health and, ultimately, to the work of the organisation. It requires appropriate resources for stretched work-roles, where managers and HR need to be able to help employees reduce the demands they put on themselves. The governance/leadership of an organisation has to take an overwork culture seriously, to ensure that employees’ goals are realistic and balanced, and that ‘…intangible resources such as empathy and friendship in the workplace, and letting employees disengage from work when they’re not working’ are truly valued. To me, in the end, it means that a whole organisational approach is required.

[i] https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/burn-out/en/

[ii] https://www.humanrightscareers.com/magazine/burnout-as-human-rights-worker/?fbclid=IwAR0r2zwVGVjx-h8boZU27fi5LryGI4Sg9GSu2NXWwjvccDZJsOk-UQaoHtQ

[iii] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237059/employee-burnout-part-main-causes.aspx

[iv] https://hbr.org/2019/07/when-passion-leads-to-burnout?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR0NpI1dncCUzc2fqdKFRh-zHNR5ci6A4TB1subYLO-zUF_uCidFJFrSYz8

[v] Exemplified by much macho misappropriation of Neil Young’s song lyric: “It’s better to burn-out than to fade away” in My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue).

[vi] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237185/employee-burnout-part-organizations-stop-burnout.aspx

[vii] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237119/employee-burnout-part-2-managers.aspx

[viii] https://hbr.org/2018/02/1-in-5-highly-engaged-employees-is-at-risk-of-burnout?fbclid=IwAR0Fspbgp3Seat3KiGtz5S_OyXGRhfDSSqz6N7OqYy_zQBVoDtYiF3FvvQo

[ix] Leka, S., & Jain, A. (2017). EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Well-Being: Mental Health in the Workplace in Europe – Consensus Paperhttps://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/compass_2017workplace_en.pdf

[x] Maslach Burnout Inventory™ Authors: Christina Maslach, Susan E. Jackson, Michael P. Leiter, Wilmar B. Schaufeli, & Richard L. Schwab. It is recognised as a leading measure of occupational burn-out. It measures burn-out as defined by the WHO and can be used as a toolkit to measure both the extent and likely causes of burn-out. Also see: Schaufeli, Wilmar & Leiter, Michael & Maslach, Christina & Jackson, Susan. (1996). Maslach Burnout Inventory — General Survey (GS). Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual. This third version of the MBI was developed across several occupations and countries, in order to assess burnout in all occupations. It is published and distributed online by Mind Garden www.mindgarden.com/products/mbi.htm

[xi] https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/

[xii] This somewhat parallels the classification of public health interventions into primary, secondary or tertiary prevention: ‘Primary interventions are proactive by nature; the aim is to prevent exposure to a known risk factor and in this way prevent harmful effects to emerge. They may also aim to enhance an individual’s tolerance or resilience. Secondary interventions aim to reverse, reduce or slow the progression of ill-health and preclinical conditions or to increase individual resources. These secondary approaches may include both early detection and early treatment with the aim of reducing the severity or duration of symptoms and to halt or slow the further development of more serious and potentially disabling conditions. Finally, tertiary interventions are rehabilitative by nature, aiming at reducing negative impacts and healing damages. They aim to treat and manage an existing diagnosed condition and minimize its impact on daily functioning through approaches such as rehabilitation, relapse prevention, by providing access to resources and support, and by promoting reintegration in the workforce’ (Leka & Jain, 2017).

[xiii] https://hbr.org/2018/12/you-can-be-a-great-leader-and-also-have-a-life?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2jrehJUcq4WUMuCY580vW5MxrE7uP5PaZgI4WZMtfzulWYd8WtJtgcrqQ

Communicating Clearly: The Four Parts of Speech

A large part of my practice involves meeting with people in formal settings, this can be in working meeting, running workshops, or in one-on-ones. During a recent feedback session, in a workshop I was running, I noticed how several of the participants had a difficulty to communicate their ideas clearly. When some presented their ideas, they did not give a context, talked in an unstructured way, or did not actually proposing something actionable. It was a shame as they had something important say, but somehow, they couldn’t get it across to their colleagues and their ideas were lost. 

To overcome this, I think that it is worth considering an approach that leans on the concept of the ‘Four Parts of Speech’. This concept comes from Bill Torbert, an expert in co-inquiry, who identified in his book The Power of Balance that:

‘…all our speaking in daily, professional, and intimate conversations can be understood and practiced as efforts to communicate in … four territories of experience. Looked at this way, all conversation and public utterance is an effort, implicitly or explicitly, to communicate:

(1) a frame – the assumptions that bound the conversation, the “name of the game,” the purpose of speaking;

(2) an advocacy – a particular goal to be achieved, an abstract assertion about perception or action;

(3) an illustration – a concrete example, a colourful story; and

(4) an inquiry – an invitation to respond, an effort to determine the effects of one’s action (one’s speaking) or others’ perspectives on the matter.’ (Torbert, 1991, p.233)

By applying these four elements and following their order in our communications we can better explain ourselves. Indeed, the ‘Four Parts of Speech’ provides a useful verbal tool that helps people to communicate with clarity and self-mastery (and I consider can also be used to structure many written communications). So, whenever you are looking to communicate your ideas, structure your comments in the following way:

1). Framing: Firstly, we need to frame what we are talking (or writing) about. A scene setting that presents the background, origins and the purpose of the intervention. Ask yourself: what should my audience know so that they can understand the overall context?

2). Advocating: Here we should elaborate our main point. Essentially, what is your view on the issues you’ve raised? What do you recommend is the action to be taken? Ask yourself: what, clearly, is your proposition?

3). Illustrating: This is where we give colour to our proposals? It means supplying a reasoning or giving examples of why you think what you do and why you’ve proposed what you proposed. Ask yourself: what best illustrates how my proposition is a good one?

4). Inquiring: Lastly, and many people forget this, to have an open dialogue and to find out what others think on our proposals and reasoning, we need to close with an inquiring question that invites feedback and helps to receive advice. Being open to others ideas is a crucial part of dialogue and in defining a way ahead. Ask yourself: how can I openly invite people to comment on my ideas?

This approach supports reciprocal, mutual inquiry with others by helping everyone to effectively frame their conversations, advocate their ideas well, illustrate why they think this idea is good, and, importantly, to inquire more openly. In meetings following this practice should help with both the effectiveness and efficiency of discussions and, hopefully, to enhance clarity in organisational decision-making. It is a personal practice in clear communication, one that can be done quite easily and, where it becomes effectual, encourages others to imitate it. Go on, try it out.

Source: Torbert, W. (1991). The power of balance: Transforming self, society, and scientific inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Thoughts on organisational structures for non-profits

‘There is a common belief in organisational development circles that if we could only get leaders to be more enlightened, all would be well. That notion is too simplistic; enlightened leaders don’t automatically make for enlightened organisations, unless they also embrace structures, practices, and cultures that change how power is held, how people can show up, and how the organisation’s purpose can express itself.’ Frederic Laloux

Reinventing Organizations (2013)

One of the priority organisational areas that often comes out during the organisational self-assessments I do with my NGO clients is a question about organisational structures. Usually there is a sensation that the organisational structure isn’t serving the staff to design and deliver the work as they need to. And while there can be differing views on what aspects of structure could be the problem, or the focus, attending to this could pay some dividends in improving the work of many non-profits. 

So it seemed to me to me that it was worthwhile to investigate this further and to see where it connects with other organisational issues identified. If your organisation has is interested in reviewing its structure then this post, as a compilation of some notes, background, pointers, ideas and suggestions around organisational structure issues, might be helpful.

Illustrating Different Forms

Obviously there are many different structural forms of organisation (and even different structures within the same organisation; as they can have different functions). There are reams of academic papers, commercial consultancy reports and books on organisational structures. I don’t want to advocate one form over another for you (sort of misses the point), but I will present some of the issues around some of the most common forms and highlight what are some of the questions you may want to consider in your deliberations.

The UK’s National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has an interesting set of web pages that highlight organisational structural issues (http://knowhownonprofit.org/organisation/orgdev/structure-and-culture/structure ). I think it is useful for you to have a look at these pages. They denote four main organisational structures: hierarchical, flat, informal and no structure. Here is a summary from their pages with a few additions:

 1). Hierarchical:
The hierarchical organisation structure is pyramid-shaped. At the top of the structure is a single person, who has a small number of people reporting directly to them. Each of these people has several people reporting into them and the number of people at each level increases as you move down the structure.

Advantages of hierarchical structures:
– A hierarchical structure uses clear reporting lines. It is easy to see what each team is called, how many people there are in each team and how they relate to other people in the system.
– Easy to understand who does what.
– Efficient.
– Familiar, can be comfortable and most career paths still follow hierarchical paths.  

Disadvantages of hierarchical structures:
– People can feel stuck in a ‘silo’ and miss opportunities for co-operation, both for themselves and the organisation.
– Be difficult to work across.
– Make the development of general management capability a challenge.
– Build lots of functional specialist activity that potentially adds little value to the enterprise as a whole.Be slow to change and monolithic. 

2). Flat Structure:
There are fewer levels in the flat structure organisation. Usually there is one person at the top with everyone else reporting into them on an equal level.

Advantages of flat structures:
– People feel more involved and can take on more responsibility.
– Greater communication.
– Better team spirit.
– Less bureaucracy and easier decision making.
– Lower costs.

Disadvantages of flat structures:
– Decisions can get stuck as a result of consulting with many people.
– People may have ‘matrix management’, with more than one manager.
– Limited to smaller organisations.
– The function of each department gets blurred as roles merge. 

3). Informal structure:
Many organisations develop informal, sometimes invisible structures. These are based on the reality of day-to-day interactions at work. They are very important, as they can pass on communications (or rumours), they can be friendly and supportive (or form cliques). They can also influence decisions, as there is knowledge and discussion at an informal level. The influence of these networks is significant.To understand this think how would it be if your NGO ran itself only to the rules, policies, and procedures that are official and written down. Very soon it would stop working as we cannot plan for every eventuality (unions use work-to-rule as a form of industrial action). So there are many processes that are informal and have developed to fill the void; and usually informed within the overriding culture of the organisation 

4). No structure:
It is difficult to imagine any organisation without a structure. Even groups of young children start to establish a network or informal hierarchy. In the beginnings of a new organisation there may be no formal structure but often this changes over time.

Adapted from NCVO website with additions from myself andCheung-Judge, and Holbeche (2011), Organisation Development 

This is fairly standard stuff, but misses some of the more evolved approaches (matrix structures[1]team or network structures[2]) and revolutionary ones (self-managing teams[3][4]). I think it would also be beneficial for any organisation to look into McKinsey’s Report on matrix organisations[5] and see whether some of the issues identified here echo with the experience at your group. I would recommend that any ‘change team’ or the management reviews these references for inspiration. Naturally there are many other sources and some other resources can be found here[6], but only if you have the interest. 

A summary of the facets of these three approaches are given here:

 5). Matrix:
A matrix organisational structure is a structure in which the reporting relationships are set up as a grid, or matrix, rather than in the traditional hierarchy. In other words, employees have dual reporting relationships – generally to both a functional manager and a product manager. The matrix organisational structure is therefore different from a hierarchy because it brings together employees and managers from different units to work toward accomplishing a goal. The matrix structure is a combination of the functional and divisional approach. The former divides units within an organisation by the functions performed, while the latter divides them by products, stakeholders or geographical location.

Advantages of matrix structures:
– The main responsibility of the project manager is to maintain co-ordination among interrelated factors of a particular project. He has to communicate both with the horizontal and vertical authorities so that the project work can be run smoothly. Similarly, functional managers are responsible for providing technical and administrative guidance to projects. This leads to a better and more effective control over regular operation. Information flows both across and up through the organisation.

– This structure is adaptable to the frequent changing and uncertainty found in civil society operating environments. Employees are in contact with many people that helps with sharing of information and can speed the decision process.

– Resources can be used efficiently in matrix structures, many projects are handled at a time. As such, there is more possibility of maximum use of available resources including manpower. It minimizes extra cost of hiring new personnel. Similarly, surplus material, plant, equipment and other resources of a completed project can be transferred to another project. Thus, available resources can be used within the organisation and the wastage of resources can be minimised.

– The matrix structure encourages a democratic leadership style. This style incorporates the input of team members before managers make decisions. The ability to contribute valuable information before decisions are made leads to employee satisfaction and increased motivation.

– This structure encourages delegation of authority to project managers. They are responsible for regular operation of the project. They have the authority to take decisions related to the day-to-day operation of projects. This provides sufficient time to the top management to make strategic planning and policies rather than operational activities.

– Since specialists and experts are involved in many inter-disciplinary areas, there is the possibility for higher quality performance and output. Similarly, specialists from any inter disciplinary and interact with each other to get better opportunity to expand technical excellence into many inter disciplinary areas and also in many activities.

– Here, many members, both from the project and functional areas, are involved in achieving common objectives. They interact with each other and develop mutual and close relations with each other. This working environment develops a feeling of team spirit among the members. This contributes to develop the overall working efficiency of the organisation.

– Staff have to work autonomously and do some self-management between their competing bosses; this can enhance motivation and decision making in employees who enjoy it.

Disadvantages of matrix structures:
– Matrix structures are considered one of the toughest organisational forms to work in, due to the conflicting pull on resources and via supervision.

– It can result in internal complexity. Some employees may become confused as to who their direct supervisor is (or prefer one over another). Thus the dual authority and communication problems may cause division among employees and managers. To avoid the problems, frequent and comprehensive communication among project and functional managers is necessary.

– There is real potential for miscommunication and ineffective managing of people. This can result in employee dissatisfaction and low morale. Prolonged issues may cause an organisation to experience high employee turnover.

– Expensive to maintain. An organisation’s overhead cost typically increases because of the need for double management. In some situations, matrix organisation creates a problem of over specialization. Specialists from both functional and project works gather to solve many complex problems of the organisation. As many experts gather to solve problems they may waste time in discussing unrelated issues.

– Matrix structure demands a high level of inter personal relations and skill. It is essential to involve both functional and project specialists. Besides, it is essential to maintain a balance among these authorities to bring about uniformity in the organisational performance. The sharing of employees may cause unhealthy competition for their time between managers within a company and also role-overload.

– Time limits to assignments are a limiting factor of the matrix structure and it creates problems in maintaining wide co-ordination among all the mechanisms of the organisation. For example, a project manager has been given a fixed time to co-ordinate all the mechanisms to complete the given work within the fixed time. As the time factor is limited, the manager cannot maintain a wide co-ordination among various departments and authorities. The competition for scarce resources may cause hostility within the workplace and hinder production.

– Many specialists and experts are drawn from different functional departments for any project. They are generally appointed in the project only for a limited period. Their role is to provide technical and administrative support to the project managers. However, the project manager does not have the line authority to coordinate and control these personnel.  

6). Team-Based Structure
The practice of team organisation is common in many organisations. Team organisation is an approach to organisational design that emphasizes almost exclusively on project type teams having little and some cases no functional hierarchy. In the team organisation work is divided into various projects or units and each project work is entrusted to a team having dedicated and sufficient members. When a unit becomes large it is sub divided into smaller manageable units.

Employees move from one project to another project on the basis of demand of the projects. The skills and efficiency of the employees are considered for assigning project work. Team members work together in such a way that they utilize their skill to achieve common goals. This helps the team members to change direction, explore new ideas, and try new methods on the basis of effectiveness in performance. 

There are various types and classification of team organisation structure depending on the requirements of the task: problem solving team, quality circle, self-managed work team, cross-functional team, and virtual team.

Advantages of team structures:
– A team is self directing, autonomous and self managing. There is little hierarchy and rules to be followed by team members. A team is formed for a specific job. Team members set objective, prepare plan and policy, develop strategy and implement plan independently. Top level management only supervises and coordinates team performance.

– Mutual trust and value to each other is one of the important facets of team organisation. Members of the team are heterogeneous and have expertise in certain functional area. Yet they are inter-dependent and complementary to each other, and must do the assigned job through mutual support.

– Team organisation emphasises two-way communication. So, for taking any decision, there is a system of transfer of information between the manager and team members. Similarly, team members are close to the information required to solve many operational problems.

– Managers invite subordinates to participate in the decision-making process. They can provide views, opinions, ideas, information and suggestion etc., in the course of decision-making.

– It emphasizes flexibility in operation. Team structure and members can be changed on the basis of requirements of the job. A new team can be formed by accumulating members having diversified knowledge and skills. Thus they can adapt the organisation’s performance on the basis of changing conditions and requirements.

Disadvantages of team structures:
– There may be the possibility of conflict among team members as the responsibilities are inter-dependent of each other. Managers therefore need to invest more time and effort to resolve conflict.

– Good inter-relationships and inter-dependency are required for the high performance of all teams, yet team members are independent and self-responsible for doing their assigned job. If there is lack of mutual relations (respect) among the team members then managers need to devote more time to maintain co-ordination over their performance and output. 

– A feeling of insecurity among the employees is one of the limitations of the matrix structure, as they may have to ‘sell themselves’ to be part of any ongoing project.

– Teams are formed on the basis of the job to be done, which potentially creates the problem of effective control over functions of teams. Top management needs to maintain close supervision over the performance of teams.

– The lack of effective performance in one team could create problems in the performance of all the teams of the organisation.

– Team organisation emphasises a participative decision-making process, however, the involvement of more persons in decision-making processes potentially makes it more complex and may create problems in delivering timely decisions.

– Team performance is the main motive of team organisation. However, if any misunderstanding arises among team members or among teams, it can spoil personal relations.

– In some situations it can become more difficult to develop a good working environment and maintain organisational performance. In some situations team organisation creates a problem of over specialization (staff members become ‘siloed’). Plus as many experts gather to solve problems, in some cases, they may waste valuable time in discussing unrelated subject matters.

7). Self-Managing Teams:
A specific sort of team is the self-managed, or directed, team. This is a team in which the members are responsible for an entire ‘business’ operation, generally with very little input from a manager or supervisor. A self-managed team typically manages its own workload in addition to having primary responsibility for producing a good or delivering a service. The team members share both managerial and operational responsibilities, as well as accountability for the team’s output. Self-managing teams are distinct from self-directed teams. While the latter define their own goals, the scope of a self-managing team’s authority is limited by goals that are established by others.

Thus a self-managing team has considerable discretion over how it gets its work done. This means the majority of key decisions about activities are made by people with direct knowledge of, and who are most affected by, those choices. Advantages and disadvantages mirror many of those found above in teams generally, but the effects are perhaps heightened. In response specific practices and policies are required for such forms of working.  

Advantages of self-managed team structures:
– Organisations in various fields have proved effective in using self-managed teams to boost productivity and motivate employees. They are heavily skewed towards personal and organisational learning and continuous improvement.

– It is seen to be a highly-democratic form of organisation; and appropriate to civil society organisations where human relations and an open culture are important.

– Members of self-managing teams plan, co-ordinate, direct, and control their activities. For example, they set the work schedule and assign tasks. They may also contain the usual admin or HR functions, such as: set their own salary levels and determine performance evaluations. In this way they share both the managerial and technical tasks.

– Team members share responsibility for their output as a whole, which can inspire pride in their accomplishments. Staff development and organisational status is based on ‘real’ personal development and abilities, rather than job titles and positions.

– Because they eliminate a level of management (usually the middle-management and many of the administrative management become superfluous), the use of self-managing teams can better allocate resources and even lower costs.

Disadvantages of self-managed team structures:
– The lack of hierarchical authority means that personal relationships can overwhelm good judgment. 

– It can also lead to conformity, which can inhibit creativity or make it difficult for team members to be critical of each other.

– Self-management adds a layer of responsibility that can be time-consuming and require skills that some team members may not have. 
– Members of a self-managing team often need training to assist them in succeeding at jobs that have a broad scope of duties.

– New methods for joint decision-making and conflict resolution are required, especially when dealing with the administrative or personnel functions.

– Fundraising, business intelligence, or project development roles might be lost.

Adapted from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/http://study.comhttp://www.wisenepali.com/ & www.boundless.com 

The influence of culture

In NCVO’s associated pages they also make, what I think is, the crucial link between structure and the culture of the organisation[7]; in that structure needs to marry together with the culture otherwise they are potentially going to conflict with one another. As Frederic Laloux points out in his book Reinventing Organizations (2013):

‘Hierarchical structures with non-hierarchical cultures – it’s easy to see that the two go together like oil and water. That is why leaders in these companies insist that culture needs constant attention and continuous investment.’

And as Charles Handy, in his classic book Understanding Organizations (1999), has written:

“… many of the ills of organisations stem from imposing an inappropriate structure on a particular culture, or from expecting a particular culture to thrive in an inappropriate climate.”

It is seen as the clash between the cold (strategy, structure and systems) and warm (goals, staff, skills and style) organisational aspects. So Handy bakes the structure cake differently using culture as the basis for – or explaining – the form exhibited. He proposes that there are four main types of culture: power, role, task and person. A summary of each is given below (in full on pages 184-187). I wonder do any of these have resonance with your group, what does your culture demand?

Power culture:
This culture depends on a central power source, with rays of power and influence spreading out from that central figure. They are connected by functional or specialist strings but the power rings are the centres of activity and influence. These cultures, and organisations based on them, are proud and strong. They have the ability to move quickly and can react well to threat or danger. Whether they do move or whether they move in the right direction will, however, depend on the person or persons in the centre; for the quality of these individuals is of paramount importance in those organisations and the succession issue is the key to their continued success. 

Role culture:
This culture works by logic and by rationality. The role organisation rests its strength in its pillars, its functions or specialties. These pillars are strong in their own right. The work of the pillars, and the interaction between the pillars, is controlled by: Procedures for roles, e.g. job descriptions, authority definitions; Procedures for communications, e.g. required sets of copies of memoranda; Rules for settlement of disputes, e.g. appeal to the lowest crossover points. The role organisation will succeed as long as it can operate in a stable environment. Role cultures are slow to perceive the need for change and slow to change even if the need is seen. But come disaster – collapse or take-over – and the security of the role culture may be found to be built too much on the organisation and too little on the individual’s capacities. 

Task culture:
The so-called ‘matrix organisation’ is one structural form of the task culture. …the whole emphasis of the task culture is on getting the job done. To this end the culture seeks to bring together the appropriate resources, the right people at the right level of the organisation, and to let them get on with it. It is a team culture, where the outcome, the result, the product, of the team’s work tends to be the common enemy obliterating individual objectives and most status and style differences. The task culture is therefore appropriate where flexibility and sensitivity to the market or environment are important. Essentially control is retained by the top management by means of allocation of projects, people and resources. However, when resources are not available to all who can justify their needs for them, when money and people have to be rationed, top management begins to feel the need to control methods as well as results. Alternatively team leaders begin to compete, using political influence, for available resources. In either case, morale in the workgroups declines and the job becomes less satisfying in itself, so that individuals begin to change their psychological contract and to reveal their individual objectives. This new state of affairs necessitates rules and procedures or exchange methods of influence, and the use of position or resource power by the managers to get the work done. 

Person culture:
In this culture the individual is the central point. If there is a structure or an organisation it exists only to serve and assist the individuals within it. It is often the form used by partnership (say legal firms or consultancies). Clearly, not many organisations can exist with this sort of culture, since organisations tend to have objectives over and above the collective objectives of those who comprise them. Furthermore control mechanisms, or even management hierarchies, are impossible in these cultures except by mutual consent (which on a larger scale is on the road to decision-making deadlock).

What to do now?

Okay I’ve thrown lot of things at you. Clearly structure is not something that can be worked out in isolation of the other issues that might be raised via an organisational assessment, they are interlinked. These other organisational priority areas are perhaps ‘hanging’ from, or exacerbated by, this structure, it would be important to consider those aspects too and how the structure is a part of those aspects and how any changes might positively impact upon them. So whatever you do when you work on structure consider what other parts will be influenced by any change in it; essentially you are changing a system.

Personally I think that the appropriate form of any organisation should be focussed towards maximising its impact towards achieving its mission (NCVO also say something of this on their site, so have a look), and is essentially addressing the combined requirements of two main things: the function and the culture. In an ‘equation’ it could be:

Form = Function + (or x) Culture

In this light perhaps there should be a discussion of what is the effect that you are aiming to have and thus what is the function that supports it. Start with a clean slate and try not to look at what you have, but rather what you could have. So what are you delivering and what constitutes the impact you wish to have? What capacity do you currently have to do these things? How does that support your NGO’s change/transformation model? Remember this includes not only the structural form, but also the processes and practices that support it.

Next discuss the culture of your group, what values and ways of working do you wish to exemplify. Perhaps discuss whether the values of the NGO are living (and are able to live), and also issues surrounding enrichment of the staff experiences (meaningful work, living organisational values, work-life flexibility, staff/stakeholder relatedness, supervisor behaviour and mentoring, solidarity and fair working conditions, subsidiarity in decision-making, supporting self-direction, and ensuring staff growth and development). As a civil society organisation you have a certain way of doing things that would amend a purely functional approach (in the same way that a business would approach your activities with a profit motive in mind).

Also be honest about what are those assumptions that you, individually and the management in particular, hold about how other people work. You will find it extremely difficult to go against your deeper assumptions here (are you a Theory-X or a Theory-Y manager?[8]). Frederic Laloux again:

‘What determines which stage an organisation operates from? It is the stage through which its leadership tends to look at the world. Consciously or unconsciously, leaders put in place organisational structures, practices, and cultures that make sense to them, that correspond to their way of dealing with the world.

This means that an organisation cannot evolve beyond its leadership’s stage of development. The practice of defining a set of shared values and a mission statement provides a good illustration. ….’

Have a look at what you have and marry the two together, reflecting on the different organisational forms in the references I have given, it might give you direction towards what you need. Remember work on the organisational development of any organisation is as much a part of everyone’s jobs as your core work; on campaigning, making proposals, organising seminars, or preparing a press release. This is where you look to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your collective approaches and why we work together in an organisation in the first place.

One last thing, as you work on this or other organisational other issues, have an experimental attitude. One of the things I see again and again in my work is that people want certainty in an uncertain world, and assurances that this new thing will work. I think that change is ever present and so we need to have an open and inquiring attitude as we work. Look at this as an experiment, or an investigation, and much of the pressure falls away. It means that whatever changes you make are cast as “this is the best idea we have right now, so let’s see how it works”. Then reflect together on what happened, how it worked and how it didn’t and then improve it.

Good luck!

[1] Here is a rather thorough explanation: http://depts.washington.edu/pmgroup/GlobalCongress2006/TRN12_Integrt_proj_org_NR.pdf

[2] See pages 3-5: http://www.pathfinder.org/publications-tools/pdfs/Strengthening-You-Organisation-A-Series-of-Modules-and-Reference-Materials-for-NGO-and-CBO-Managers-and-Policy-Makers-Organisational-Structure.pdf

[3] Here is a link to an article by Frederic Laloux, author of Reinventing Organisations (I have mentioned this earlier), it gives a good basis to what SMT are about and the structures that are needed to support them: http://www.managementexchange.com/story/how-self-management-works-coherent-set-structures-and-practices-get-rid-bosses-hierarchy-and and a document on them: http://www.managementexchange.com/sites/default/files/media/posts/documents/The%20keys%20to%20self-management-detailed%20description.pdf

[4] ‘Self-management, just like the traditional pyramid model it replaces, works with an interlocking set of structures, processes, and practices; these inform how teams are set up, how decisions get made, how roles are defined and distributed, how salaries are set, how people are recruited or dismissed, and so on.’ Laloux, 2013, Reinventing Organisations, p.134)

[5] Excellent review of the issues: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organisation/beyond_the_matrix_organisation

[6] Here are other sites, perhaps less applicable, with different approaches: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/team-structure-diagrams , http://www.gdrc.org/ngo/org-chart.html and a McKinsey report: https://www.google.ch/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1VSNC_enCH607CH612&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=structuring%20your%20organisation%20to%20meet%20global%20aspirations

[7] http://knowhownonprofit.org/organisation/orgdev/structure-and-culture/culture

[8]Description of Douglas McGregor’s ideas: http://www.businessballs.com/mcgregor.htm