I use to read Yves Caseau’s blog on which the author scans enterprise organisation issues, tries to identify appropriate optimisation levers, and tests models which helps to validate control efficiency. Involved in Enterprise Architecture which is expressed by organisation, Y Caseau has already identified 5 levers for organisation efficiency :

  • meetings
  • hierarchy
  • matrix structure
  • lean and mean
  • competences

Should this list be closed or requiring new entries ? Although some people think that organisation is far less important than strategy, it deserves to be properly studied since without well shaped organisation it becomes harder to achieve a strategy. Basically it is Enterprise Architects message.

For the enterprise, the story starts at the set-up. Coase and Williamson stated that a firm appears when internal transactions costs are lower than Market transactions costs based on prices and contracts. At the beginning, investors use to select firms with enough strong business model to have a chance to pass the first hurdles. The following years are not out of danger. Especially, it is hard to drive growth with profitability because, at this moment, firms are loosing the qualities which made their initial success : reactivity, flexibility, agility. Suddenly hidden costs outweight profit. At this point, most of relevant keys factors concern the firm organisation which is the purpose of this post..

The point of view of game theory allows to identify the conditions which lead organisational games to an equilibrium. Y Caseau in one of its post explains that, according to organisational game models, it may exist 3 states :

  • stable game which reaches a Nash equilibrium
  • divergent path game called also war
  • chaotic path game where an equilibrium is hard to reach

First state is usually scarce because conditions are very strong, then disruption regime is more or less regular.

The second point of view is system and information. It figures out how information moves through organisational units. Especially, Y Caseau studies meetings as information channels. It takes latency, throughput, feedback, loss and quality as indicators to figuring out how information spread across enterprise organisation.

If we consider that communication channels are natural supports to communication processes, why not extending this view to business processes, considering them as particular communication processes. Then, the next step would be to identify how business processes are connected within enterprise organisation and what would be the indicators.

Today, BPM practises bring forward methods for simulating process runs. With such a concept, same approach may be applied for enterprise organisation runs. It opens the door to conceiving new methods which will allow to validate enterprise organisation architecture.

Traditionally, firms have been observed from internal points of view, it followed a lot of papers on how culture, knowledge and faith may motion enterprises. But, with such new models, observations will be able to catch true firm behaviour and find out how, when it changes, it impacts culture, knowledge and faith. It is more or less the type of change that Hawthorne theory brought to organisational studies.

This may result in enlarging our ability to transform enterprises and business.

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