Notes from the book The Path of Least Resistance for Managers by Robert Fritz, published 1999
Designing Organizations to Succeed
The difference between simplicity that trivializes and simplicity that illuminates defines genius.
The first insight is that energy moves along the path of least resistance.
The underlying structure of anything will determine its path of least resistance.
We can determine the path of least resistance by creating new structures.
First law of organizational structure
Organizations either oscillate or advance
Second law of organizational structure
In organizations that oscillate, success is neutralized. In organizations that advance, success succeeds.
Third law of organizational structure
If the organizations structure remains unchanged, the organizations behaviour will revert to its previous behaviour.
Fourth law of organizational structure
A change of structure leads to a change of the organizations behaviour
Difference between current state and desired state.
Knowing what we want to create and knowing where we are in relationship to our goals – is the most powerful force an organization can have.
Fifth law of organizational structure
When structural tension dominates an organization, the organization will advance
Due dates are a significant part of the planning process. Through the assignment of dates, you are placing events in time.
Structural conflicts are not problems. They are simply structures that are inadequate to accomplish our ends.
Sixth law of organizational structure
When structural conflicts dominate an organization, oscillation will result.
Seventh law of organizational structure
An inadequate organizational structure cannot be fixed. But you can move from an inadequate structure to a suitable structure.
An obsessive focus on â€˜what can we do?â€™ leads us away from important fundamental questions â€˜ how are we to understand the current situation? or â€˜what are the causes in play that create what weâ€™re living through?
We reduce the intensity of the problem. We feel better about the situation because we feel we are addressing it. However, once the problem is less intense, there is less motivation to take further actions.
[widget id=”ad-continue-management”]ad-continue-management[/widget]Connecting Marketing with Business Strategy
An exercise I often use with clients. I make them write ad copy, because that is one of the quickest and best tests of how fluent they are in their business strategy.
Soon the room was papered with their new copy. Some of it was awkward, and some of it was rather good. The one that captured their business strategy the most was this simple statement: At Royal Ford, we make it easy.
That is their story in a nutshell.