Design to Disrupt 5 The Unorganization
In our previous Design to Disrupt reports, we spoke of a journey through the ‘Valley of Death’ to ‘The New Normal’ which promised, for organizations that can navigate their path to the other side, competitive strength and anti-fragility. Like a well-designed bridge in the physical world, the path forward should span the Valley of Death and avoid the perils of the journey, providing safe passage to the other side. This metaphor echoes in boardrooms of successful organizations around the world. The notion that the gap to reach ‘The New Normal’ was wide, deep and fraught with risk is widespread. The Big Bang disruptions of emergent players and the potential disruptive effect of new technologies such as Blockchain not only struck fear in corporate leadership teams, but they also seemed to really enjoy these kind of stories. These teams elaborated on even darker future scenarios themselves, explaining why, how and when their organizations were going to die.
We present the Unorganization in this report as a set of opportunities to stretch your organization. In this context, technology plays two roles with limitations — it is the platform for change as well as a reflection of the change, but not the change itself. In the introduction we present two Unorganizations as inspiration: Bellingcat, a journalistic citizens’ initiative, and Zappos, Amazon’s digital shoe and clothing shop. The five ‘Uns’ of the Unorganization (Understand, Unorganize, Unbundle, Unman and Unleash) that we describe in this report, are the constituent characteristics of the successful Unorganization.