The Organization as a Prototype
Keywords:prototypes, ways of working, emerging technologies, organizational design, generative prototyping
Some of the most valuable companies in the world accumulated their fortunes as a result of a business model innovation built upon matured technologies. Now the majority of them are investing and shifting their focus to the development of new technologies such as AI, blockchain and genetic editing. If an organization is to remain profitable, it needs to be able to quickly adjust its structure to the rapidly changing context. We contend that a way to do so is to build an organizational structure that is conductive to both generative and evaluative prototypes. We report on our action research with a leading European airline following the transformation of a team of four into a new department, through the lenses of continuous prototyping. We then propose an initial framework that conceptualises organizational prototypes and provides a rational and systematic way of approaching the devising of such. Finally, we outline several directions for further research.