Matrix Organizations LO24172

From: Winfried Dressler (
Date: 03/13/00

Replying to LO24141 --

Thank you, John, for sharing the following:

>It doesn't seem that people consider the dynamics
>of the system. Davis and Lawrence suggest that
>there should be periods of rest punctuated by
>highly spontaneous, synergistic output emerging
>as the need arises. Then the system returns to rest
>in wait of another call for response. If the
>amount of rest time drops below a certain level
>(percentage-wise) then the matrix is not sustainable,
>and instead of running on the creative energy
>of the group it begins to deplete the group,
>draining their marrow in the process.

I wish to underline above requirement for a matrix organization and expand
it as a general systems requirement.

In the words of Edward Deming (The New Economics p.72); If the various
components of an organization are all optimized (each for individual
profit, each a prima donna), the organization will not be. If the whole is
optimized, the components will not be.

The parts need rest time for the system to work. Idle resources from time
to time are therefore not a sign of waste, but absolute necessities.
Managers cause a lot of trouble by trying to keep all resources busy all
the time. Many take this as being exactly their job. Workers know that it
is an impossibility, conflict to constructively contribute to the whole
organization and to be busy all the time. Yet they are expected to be busy
all the time. The prevailing work ethics in such an environment is (in
words of E. Goldratt):

Look busy.

In contrast to this, work ethic in a system environment according to Davis
and Lawrence, Deming and Goldratt need to be:

If you have work, work as fast as possible. If not, don't work. (If you -
and all the others - have work all the time, something must be going

'Learning Organization' may remain an illusion as long as such simple but
fundamental ramifications of basic system dynamics are not only not DO's
but one of the most dark red 'DON'T'.

Strange that we do not see, until we see. (Andrew Campbell)

Liebe Gruesse,



"Winfried Dressler" <>

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