Coordination is not the answer to the division of work!

Stephen J Brewis
21 January 2019

Ford's unique product wasn't the Model T - it was River Rouge: anybody could make the Model T but not everybody could make River Rouge. River Rouge was a special type of transactional organisation that gave Ford competitive advantage. This advantage comprised of Taylorising the activities by separating the Knowledge from the activity, and coordinating these activities by moving the car between stations. There was no communication/learning between stations and this demonstrated the benefits of efficiency through automation.  Brains mechanise and automatons automate. The Brains were in the few and the automatons were in the many, but the knowledge of how to build the car was no longer present in the worker.

In the knowledge economy, where information rules, this is not sufficient, coordination is no longer the answer to the division of work. This talk will focus on knowledge and information using the fundamental principles of cybernetics and information theory to derive a maximally irreducible organisation set, capable of extracting the maximum amount of information from its operation, to maximise its decisioning effectiveness.

The talk will ground these ideas through a detailed case study looking at how by changing BT's organisational structure the quality of its decisioning can be significantly improved.