People Focus with LiQUiD

Introducing LiQUiD: Light, Quick, Ultra-Dynamic.

Be water, my friend” (Bruce Lee)

Version 0.2

Credit rights: Gustavo Zaera, Geir Isene

Source (pdf)

Focus on the individual

What form should an organization take to maximize the potential of each employee? What is the ideal organization for a set of individuals? How can these questions be answered if one does not know the potential of the individuals; their abilities and motivations? And if one knows the potential of each person, then should they not do what they truly excel at?

Organizing should be based on the main assets of an organization. If the asset is natural resources, like for a gold mine, then the business should be organized around the gold mine as the main value. If the main asset is a process, like that of the Toyota car manufacturer, then the business should be organized based on the process. If the real value of a company lies in a patent, then it makes sense to structure the business to maximize the profit from that patent. If the main asset is the individual employees, the organization should be people-focused.

Most companies have an organizing board – an ideal view of how an organization should work. It describes a functional machine where employees are made to fit within it. The ideal is the cooperation, the machine. This may be the best if the machine is more important than the creative genius of each individual, or if the company has no such individuals. But if the company has creative geniuses, then that is the asset that should be the basis for organization.

So, instead of drawing the map and making the terrain fit the map, one could assess the terrain and draw a map that fits. Much like marriages have evolved – from set standards of what a woman and a man is supposed to do to the modern family where tasks are distributed across preconceived limits. Much like a local community where tasks are taken by those who are best at it. And much like most societies – where no overall organizing board exists to fit the people in a country into neat departments. Except the latter were tried in places like DDR and the Sovjet Union. A liquid organizing of tasks and people seems to be the most scalable model there is.

One could assess the employees of the company, their abilities and interests and organize all tasks around the people. And without any hierarchy of tasks, every task would be on par with every other task. “Ensuring company profit” is a task just like “manning the reception”. Tasks have different importance and size, but represent no hierarchy.

Such a liquid organizing should ensure the employees best suited for the task would be the one responsible. Add the concept of 100% responsibility and one would get employees who are fully in charge of their tasks and the expected results of each. The map would be a wall with a line of photos. A list of tasks under each picture tells what responsibilities each employee has. This puts the people in focus rather than the structure. It creates people focus.

LiQUiD is Light, Quick and Ultra-Dynamic. It helps an organization adopt easily to new tasks or new employees or new business opportunities. Without a preconceived ideal for distribution of tasks and responsibilities, it is agile to the extreme. Like water.

LiQUiD flies in the face of standard organizing models. It is pure heresay. It spells the end of organizing as we know it. The following presents a simple WOIM list outlining the basics in using LiQUiD to organize a company.

Organization using LiQUiD
  An organization has the appropriate defined Tasks 
    Suggested mandatory tasks:
      Accounting
      Delivery
      Legal
      Production
      Recruitment
      Sales
    Suggested additional tasks:
      Change Management
      Knowledge Management
      Marketing
      Media handling
      Office premises
      Process efficiency
      Quality assurance
      Staff training
      Strategy generation
      Validation & Testing
      (Etc.)
    Tasks can be big or small and can be merged or split as needed
    There are no hierarchy in organization of Tasks
      EXAMPLE: Sales is a task just like Reception or Accounting
    Organizing is clarified by a list of Tasks under each employee
    Every employee has a set of Tasks
    An employee has 100% responsibility of his or her Tasks
      Tasks = Capabilities AND Motivation
        Capabilities = What the employee can do
          Ensure the employee is also free to tackle new territory
        Motivation = What the employee wants to do
          Ensure the employee is motivated to extend the comfort zone
          Foster a culture of directness where saying "no" is also Ok 
    Ensure each Task is clearly defined
      Exactly defined inputs
      Exactly defined outputs/deliverables
        Defined metrics for the outputs/deliverables
          AND/OR: 
            Quality target for outputs/deliverables
            Quantity target for outputs/deliverables

People Focus using LiQUiD organizing may have the potential of making an amazing splash.

43 thoughts on “People Focus with LiQUiD

  1. This kind of emphasis has been promoted before.

    One of the problems might be, how will the org survive when the “genius” leaves? Who will do what s/he was doing? Who will fill his shoes?

    I think Hubbard was trying to create a system by which an org could continue without the necessity of having any “geniuses” in it.

    I think the ideal system might be one in which there is a form that recognizes and accommodates each person’s “genius” or simply allows it to flow.

    I think in the early scientology orgs, the effort was made to recruit people for the posts they were really interested in/had an aptitude for.

    Another aspect of this whole question is, compensation. How do you devise fair compensation in a liquid system?

    1. No matter what system one works by, it all boils down to the people in the organization. An organizing board merely disguises the fact that it all depends on the creative intellect of the individual nevertheless.

      Also; A post on a normal organizing board has implicit responsibilities – many of which the responsible is not suited for and sometimes another dearly wants and is very capable of taking on. Explicit responsibility is the key in LiQUiD.

      As I say, the society is already organized in a LiQUiD form. Nothing scales better. Free software organizations have successfully (albeit often unwittingly) been LiQUiDly organized.

      As for compensations; It’s based on negotiations like most jobs out there – and bonuses based on measurable output should be encouraged. But every LiQUiD organization will find its own way with this.

      1. I’m amazed that such organizations as you describe above actually exist. The education system in British Columbia is based on job security and a “level playing field.” There is a salary grid based on your academic qualifications and years of experience. After 10 years teachers receive the “cost of living” increment for that year.

        Whether a teacher does outstanding work or gets by with the bare minimum has no influence on salary. Unless a teacher has been accused of sexual exploitation of students — sometimes falsely — it is very hard to remove a teacher from the system for poor performance or complaints from students.

        This system protects mediocrity and penalizes excellence.

        So much for the map and the territory, or designing an organization according to the talents of staff.

        Ah, the joys of organizations run by government ministries.

        Agnesa

  2. Ensure there’s a thetan on top and I bet this would work quite well. I like the flexibility, simplicity and reliance on individual iniative and creativity.

    I didn’t see an HR (human resources) area though, but I guess Recruitment and Staff Training could be considered that. There’s generally a need for employees to get “employment related” questions answered and disputes resolved, so I’d suggest calling this out as it’s own separate task area.

      1. Ah, I misread it then. I saw the “etc.” in the 2nd list, but I read the first list as the Mandatory tasks. But I did just notice the “Suggested” part.

        There’s no mention of “coordination” or “planning”, which is usually saved for the CEO and/or a committee of his top people in traditional mgmt systems. How does your model address the “coordination” and “planning” functions/tasks?

          1. Perhaps, but they’re also the most primary and important tasks. Without them, the rest of the tasks would not be very useful towards achieving a given goal or purpose.

  3. Geir,

    Quite thought-provoking!

    This set of tasks is best accomplished by the employee involved working in concert with those he receives inputs from and produces products for.:

    Ensure each Task is clearly defined
    Exactly defined inputs
    Exactly defined outputs/deliverables
    Defined metrics for the outputs/deliverables
    AND/OR:
    Quality target for outputs/deliverables
    Quantity target for outputs/deliverables

    This could even be used as a means to determine who should be hired to fill a particular position. A job applicant is given some basic constraints and some preliminary information based on surveys of those he will be working with. He defines the position, the inputs, deliverable and the quality targets and then presents this for review by those who he will be working with and for.

    He learns exactly what is expected of him and he also learns the tone level and rationality level of those he will be working with. Sometimes the better candidates will turn down the opportunity because of the organizational insanities exposed during this process. The really smart top executives will hire this person to replace the executive responsible for creation of the non-optimum position and irrational working conditions.

  4. Under “Capability” could also be: ‘Tools’, I guess. Also all groups and individuals have to take not lose responsibility for all others to the required degree, despite Govt org boards PRing that they have taken responsibility: like BP’s corexit dispersant destroying the Gulf Stream and world weather systems and life’s rights, etc.

  5. They (BP’s use of corexit, etc) destroy potential/validity – replace signal with noise – proclaim/defame that we could be no better, dumb down instead of brighten up, etc. We would’ve been more than this without such ‘self’ interested interference, obviously. Systems to save life from such are hoped for by many, always.

  6. Geir:

    You are right to re-examine the fixidity of certain aspects of LRH admin tech.

    I spent 10 years in a Scientology-based software organization.

    It didn’t work.

    One of the reasons it didn’t work is the “draw the map” then “fit the terrain to the map” concept.

    The biggest or best or brightest software personalities were essentially squashed by being pushed as round pegs into square holes.

    The Scientology Org board doesn’t have a slot or department or division for creative people.

    That’s because the creation of the Tech of Scientology rested with source.

    In a modern software organization, the actual product of the company (correctly operating predictable software that produces the expected change while consuming minimal resources). This is a creative, imaginative process in many cases.

    The Scientology org board discourages creativity and innovation. The “individual contributor” is merely a cog that is expected to perform his pre-programmed robotic actions without getting creative or innovative. Without even thinking of thinking outside of or working outside of the box.

    In the company I worked at, the software developer…the “individual contributor” was disparaged and suppressed from looking beyond the development plan.

    Certainly the “individual contributor” was discouraged from aspiring to a position visible outside the company. The “individual contributor” was expected not to communicate with the actual software users.

    The notion of an invisible ego-less programmer was enforced from the top of the org board.

    And the company found itself in conflict with other companies it was trying to partner with, because the other companies had different concepts of what an “individual contributor” did, and how an “individual contributor” was expected to act.

    It might be realistic to cubbyhole auditors, C/Ses and cramming officers into faceless cubicles in a Scientology Church. But software organizations run on different sensibilities. And denying those sensibilities is suppressive to the “individual contributor” as well as stymies the efforts of the company to expand and mesh with the real actual world of other companies.

    Another place where this company fell down is the statistic assigned to an “individual contributor”. It was a fine statistic where each “individual contributor” was cubbyholed into faceless cubicles. Just for discussion sake, let me say the statistic was “number of functions added to the product code”.

    But it ran head-on into reality.

    When serious bugs would arise (and they would arise) there wasn’t a separate “bug-fixing section”. The only staff that could work and fix bugs were “individual contributors”.

    By necessity, if an “individual contributor” was pulled onto a serious bug investigation and fix, the “individual contributor” was therefore pulled off the scheduled development effort for the next release.

    The “individual contributor” would write tests, run tests, even write test programs to build test databases or drive test generators. All of this work was not covered under the stat, since none of it entailed functions added to the product code.

    So an “individual contributor” would be under the gun, sometimes working 12 or 18 hours a day, and would not get a stat for the work.

    So the “individual contributor” couldn’t really maintain a 7R graph (another hypocrisy) and manage his stats. The seniors couldn’t look at the stat and see what he was producing, either.

    So the slavish adherence to LRH admin tech made the life of an “individual contributor” miserable.

    Another place where the LRH admin tech fell down was in the area of what I call “professional managers”.

    In this company, the programmers all worked in Div 4. The OES ran Div 4. But the OES hadn’t EVER written a line of code in his life, and couldn’t be prevailed on to pitch in and help when things got tough.

    No, the only thing the OES could do was “manage”. Which, in this company, meant two things: (1) issue orders, (2) interrupt each “individual contributor” multiple times a day to get a “status update”.

    After a few years, all the “individual contributors” started working overtime on weekends to make progress, since it was the only time each week when the OES wasn’t issuing orders and demanding status reports.

    And when the CEO would do a drive-by on a weekday morning at 10am, all he would see was empty cubicles. So then the OES got his own meddling order: make sure all the programmers are sitting at their desks programming every morning at 10am.

    Idiotic.

    Then, some moron from Div 1 would come through and interrupt each “individual contributor” to do a hat check, or to verify a 7R graph, or do a comm system inspection.

    It’s a miracle I got any work done at all.

    Imagine if you had an army with meddling micromanaging sergeants, lieutenants, captains, and clerks.

    It’d be a miracle if one bullet got fired at the enemy.

    It reminds me of the

    =========================================================================================
    MESSAGE FROM THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON TO THE BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE IN LONDON–

    written from Central Spain, August 1812

    Gentlemen,

    Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.

    We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty’s Government holds me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.

    Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion’s petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain.
    This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.

    This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty’s Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both:

    To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London.

    Or perchance

    To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

    Your most obedient servant,

    Wellington

    (Source: Peter G. Tsouras, ed., The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations)
    ==================================================================================

    The point is this: does the admin tech you’re using get the product?

    And, to invoke LRH more specifically from Class VIII Lecture number one: “Standard tech is not what I say it is. It’s what works.”

    As to addressing your question, I my think and observation is this: Where someone has come into an organization, applied LRH admin tech, and gotten a result, it’s not because the LRH admin tech was inherently right. It was because the organization had no workable policy or philosophy in that zone.

    For example, the three-basket system worked where everything was paper particles that had to be moved around the org. It also enabled communication system inspections.

    But at the COMPUTER company where I worked, we were all forced to build a three-basket system in Microsoft Outlook. And heaven forbid if you left a read particle in your in-basket. It was chit time.

    Even though Microsoft Outlook tells you if the particle is read or un-read.

    So when the robotic Dir Comm would inspect the in-baskets of programmers, he’d bust a vein. Those damn programmers wouldn’t read their mail and move it to their pending baskets!

    What was the Dir Comm doing inspecting comm baskets for this purpose, anyway?

    It was possible to write a Visual Basic/Outlook script to do it automatically, not requiring a manual inspection.

    But would the COMPUTER company consider implementing such an animal?

    No.

    It’s much more efficient to pay someone to come in on Saturday to do it manually.

    Violating HCO PL 16 FEBRUARY 1984: The state of mind to assume in using a computer is “Now how can I use this thing to enormously increase the production and income of an area?”

    Finally, even the lowliest non-Scientologist at the company illuminated the final indictment of LRH admin tech for me one day.

    “If we have written policy and were supposed to follow it, why don’t we follow it?”

    So it’s not necessarily policy failure, it’s a human failure, too.

  7. Very interesting concept and I like the “human” approach in it. I can see the rightness in your answer that coordination can be a task but I think that coordination is an extension of leadership.
    There should be someone who not only can look into the future and steer the organization, but can also decide which action to take if there are more than one solution (or opinion).
    An example. Normally the sales department wants to sell as much as possible, and the production tries to stop increased sales because of the stress it brings to production. Who will then decide which way to go? and if he has the right to decide, it implies broader scope of responsibility overriding the responsibility of other staff.

    1. The answer to this is as usual the simple one. Deciding which way to go is also a task. Just like the bus driver when you are on his bus. He decides quite a lot there.

      1. The driver has a predefined map and has to navigate it. The passengers do not participate in the activity.

          1. “Decision by committee”, when done by trained, experienced and/or “on board” individuals, quite often ends up being a better decision than just “decision by one guy”.

            But either way, high-level and game-changing decisions, planning and coordination do often need to get made/done and whoever(s) has the task, I do think that it needs to be recognized as a “higher priority task” in any management system.

            I guess what I’m saying is, I think heirarchy … of some form … is needed no matter what.

            The buck has to stop somewhere.

            And all tasks are not created equal.

            (Not saying you don’t recognize this Geir … but just a suggestion for Version 0.3). 🙂

            1. There are of course tasks that are of more importance than others in a given organization. But those tasks are not necessarily the same for different organization. Getting rid of the garbage is not priority #1 in most organization. It may be for a garbage/renovation company. With the adoption of 100% responsibility for every task, the person doing the dishes need no boss and über-boss and super-boss and ultra-boss to administer his task of cleaning the dishes. If needed, one person would have the task of ensuring task are don in an area – that too is a task 🙂

          2. Geir, you wrote: “With the adoption of 100% responsibility for every task, the person doing the dishes need no boss …”

            Yup yup, I get it. And I like it.

            From a broad view though, I see three things that I’m not seeing addressed, which I believe are common to any organization:

            1) (As already mentioned…) Planning, coordination and steering of the overall organization. This, by its nature, needs to be “senior” to all other activities, as others in the group will be required to follow these plans, directions, etc.

            2) Conflict resolution, which innately (since it adjudicates over those in conflict) also needs to be “senior” to other tasks.

            (The above two require, minimally, imho, that all members of any group recognize the seniority of certain tasks … even if the task is accomplished by committee. And so if there’s any “required hierarchy”, I suppose these would be it.)

            3) Temporary gap filling. In LRH’s system, he addresses this with “held from above”, “hat writeups” and “replacing oneself”. I think these can be useful tools, but in the real world, where we have unplanned absences, pregnancies, “sick days”, etc., I’ve found that “cross training” or using “generalists” (i.e. training a number of staff in a team on many different jobs or hats) is a much more practical and efficient way to fill in the gaps when posts/tasks/hats are not filled on an unplanned basis for a short’ish period of time. I mention this one because having someone be 100% responsible for “replacing themselves” while sick or otherwise being absent unexpectedly might be difficult to mandate.

            (This last one, though, I suppose could fit under the Training task, and so may be moot — though I would be careful with the possible inflexibility of “100% responsibility” because in the real world, there are no absolutes — or so it seems.) 🙂

            1. Good points, I will address them in order, but first:

              There is hierarchy of sorts in the society like pointed out before; When you are on a bus, the bus driver is your boss, if you commit crime, you get the police as you boss etc.

              1) In building a house, the architect does the design, but that task comes before building the house and is not senior to the building task. Although I realize that this example does not fully answer your point, so let me offer another as food for thought; On the soccer field, the referee is in a way senior to the players on the field – but not in the usual organizational hierarchical sense as he cannot command the players in their execution of tasks. Refereeing is simply another task on the field. I am skeptical to the actual necessity of the usual organizational hierarchy. I am not settled on this and I really appreciate your probing here.

              2) Conflict resolution in society is done almost exclusively by people not senior to you in any other way than solely in resolving an issue of contention; Judges, referees etc.

              3) One should practice substitutes on important tasks, sometimes more than one.

          3. On each point…

            1. You wrote “I am skeptical to the actual necessity of the usual organizational hierarchy.”

            I do understand what you’re saying … your goal is to make each person feel like their own boss … that they are self-motivated and fully responsible. Making them feel that they are “junior” to someone or something, or that there is a “senior”, takes away from that.

            Then I would say simply use a different (less loaded) word than “senior” that expresses the actual function of this “planning/coordination task”. But somehow, imo, the “leadership role” of the task does need to be conveyed. In my experience, by getting people to be part of creating the “planning/coordination”, they feel it is more theirs and therefore they are more responsible for it. Not sure how one accomplishes this after-the-fact (i.e. months or years after the plan has been setup), but if it could be accomplished, you’d probably have the most self-determined group of employees ever assembled.

            2. Good point on “conflict resolution”. However, we all have societal training that courts and judges are the agreed-upon adjudictors and we learn this from our earliest days. Though in the legal sense they are not “senior” to us, we do in fact recognize their “seniority” (at least judges) in matters of adjudication — so for all practical purposes, their decisions are “senior” to our own (particularly if we disagree with their decision).

            In an organization, it is usually HR that deals with conflict resolution. But you do make a good point that it is simply the “referee” function, and so perhaps that’s all you need to call it in an organization (in fact, I kind of like that title). 🙂

            But I do think that no matter what, there does somehow have to be an agreed upon acceptance by all employees that the two above functions (planning/coordination and referee’ing) are “senior” or “boundary defining” or “leading” or whatever word(s) effectively conveys the concept.

            1. As all tasks carry with it a 100% responsibility, there is no referring or escalation of tasks – just as the Chairman of a company cannot escalate a matter to anyone – except to tasks that are designed to pick up pieces, doing refereeing etc (in case one needs that = determined by the organization’s needs).

              Obviously LiQUiD requires people who actually takes 100% responsibility for their tasks. People who do not would be transfered out of the organization (via the task in charge of that).

  8. Wow !
    Dear Geir,

    Exactly what I’ve been doing now for one year !
    After haven given up on Org board. I
    It’s kind a natural thing that any normal person would do
    when evolving a business.
    Very fluently (liquid) written.

    1. After 8 years of running a company, trying to run it with admin tech I gave up and started from scratch (it cost me lots of money).
      I wanted to work with intelligent people, that can work on their own. So, at our meetings my new employees were attacking me and asking that I resolve the problems and play the Boss and give them orders. I refused and told them I’m not interested to be a boss, if they think for themselves and be creative they’ll be able to resolve the problems themselves. Once, I even told one employee to run the meetings as the boss. He did it only for somes days and didn’t talk anymore about it. I kept repeating to them I don’t want to be a boss, only dull people need a boss. What happened finally was an explosion of creation and production I never have seen in my career. People having fun, producing, having great ideas, pulling in big deals. The company now runs runs and runs , if I’m there or not. Everybody does what he can do best. If you would put in an Org Board you would kill the whole company. For example one
      guy that is very good in production, is also very good in sales and div1 but also handling the whole treasury and reminds me constantly with a smile of what I still have to do. If you would give him a definite post on the org board, he’ll propably will become quite confused and functionning production lines would fall apart.

          1. Indeed LO, I think you really made an excellent point. There’s nothing like simply saying: “Here’s the needed product/task … go for it.” And then just being there to help when/if various things come up.

            My sense is that LRH recognized this in many of his policies early on … and I wouldn’t be surprised if he operated this way in general. In fact, the use of the Admin Scale, I believe, allows for this exact sort of “prioritization in admin activities” to take place.

            And I do think Org Boards evolve naturally as an organization grows and task groups get created (as Geir’s model allows for). But I think trying to “fit the task into the Org board” feels a little backward, and too often stultifies production, creativity and personal responsibility.

            The use of the Admin Scale (or some variation of it) feels much more natural to me when setting out to create a group activity.

            (NOTE: When I was on staff, not once was the CoS’ Admin Scale [does it even exist? has it ever been published?] ever used to help staff align their activities with the CoS’ overall purpose, goals, etc. That would have been quite useful, imho.)

  9. I remember writing to LRH my understanding of the Organizing Board in 1973 once. It was a daily report written to him on Apollo. I drew three concentric circles. The innermost circle consisted of Divisions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in that sequence. After Div 6 came Div 2 again because Div 6 fed people to Div 2. This circle was surrounded by the middle circle, which simply said, “HCO Div 1.” These two circles were then surrounded by an outer circle, which simply said, “Executive Div 7.”

    As I remember, LRH responded to my daily report with a simple “Thank you.” I was very happy to get that response.

    .

  10. I believe that there should be a minimum of structure and maximum of flexibility, but some structure is essential as I mentioned in my previous post in terms of three concentric circles: (1) a smooth flow of operations by org personnel, (2) surrounded by management of org personnel, (3) surrounded by overall planning and organizing function. These layers are necessary in my opinion, and they may exist not only as an overall scheme, but also as a fractal formation at any level.

    It is true that not all tasks are equal in importance, and any compensation would depend on the importance of a task, the skills that one brings to the responsible execution of that task, and one’s actual performance of that task. Such compensation should be placed on a relative scale. There should be encouragement and training available for people to move up this scale. Of course, there are going to b many branches on this scale. Some branches may lead to higher compensation than others, and people may decide upon the branch they want to move up on.

    In my opinion training would be a very important part of a LIQUID organization, especially the kind of training that removes barriers to full manifestation of one’s potential. This would include training on LOOKING as covered by KHTK essays.

  11. As pointed out by “PlainOldThetan,” it is interesting to note that in a Scientology Org board creativity rests only in the “Founder” and it is not encouraged at any other level. This goes against basic Scientology principles. This sure puts brakes on any originality and to unbounded expansion.

    Again, as pointed out by “PlainOldThetan,” a manager in Scientlogy-based Org Boards simply manages and is not able to perform technical functions below him. Such a separation between admin and tech would be deadly. People who manage technical functions ought to be good at those functions themselves, else understanding in management would be missing.

    1. vinaire, you wrote: “a manager in Scientlogy-based Org Boards simply manages and is not able to perform technical functions below him…”

      But I believe that LRH does make a point that any really good manager needs to be capable of doing all the hats below him. This rarely happens in the CoS unfortunately, but it’s at least recognized as valuable and important in the system/policy.

      1. Lake, Vinaire,

        I love your intelligent comments.
        Flexibility is the Key point. Intelligent people are flexible, and can change their viewpoints very fast, and this was one of the main attribute of LRH.
        Less intelligence equals more self importance, more rigid opinions and sticking to learned stable data for to not be immersed by not knowing and not understanding. Any stable datum will make it for people that don’t understand. They don’t evaluate it, but just use it the way it can fit. That’s the main reason for the failures of our orgs, as intelligent people leave staff very fast and thus orgs are psychotic with rigid policy being applied to mask the “not understanding”.
        Any technology, badly applied by people not understanding it will have a bad name.
        Imagine an hospital recruiting like mad unqualified people with the hope that they can train them, in no time, on their posts. You dare not become ill or have a bad accident.
        So lets build an liquid organisation that teaches to look and then evaluate what one has seen and then act accordingly.
        One of the greatest thing I studied on the student were some ideas of lrh about that when a person understands the significances of a thing there is instantly the right action (doingness) without any commlag or confusions.
        It’s simple. In’t it ?

  12. By the way, Geir … I love the name: LiQUiD: Light, Quick, Ultra-Dynamic

    Very clever. 🙂

  13. As an additional note, I worked in a non-Scientology software company before I worked in the Scientology software company. The non-Scientology company was the best place I ever worked. The Scientology company was the worst place I ever worked. Part of the difference is summarized in the paper ‘Not All Programmers are Created Equal’ (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=291203). Access to the paper is by subscription only, but the Abstract tells a lot. This paper is near and dear to me because the data collected over 12 years in a group of 200 programmers was the organization I worked at. In fact, I did the data retrieval and reduction that resulted in the paper, albeit 18 years ago.

    The pertitent point is that the management system used on that project resulted in utilization of the best people in the necessary jobs, rather than insisting that all programmers fit like pre-machined cogs into an ill-coordinated malfunctioning machine.

    Another aspect was that the programmers of which the most was asked were rewarded the best.

    The Scientology company I worked at made the mistake of intituting a policy of “no raises, bonuses only” in about 1996; then a year later put a moratorium on bonuses.

    No carrot, no product.

    Even more interestingly, the non-Scientology recognized that “organize” needed to be done in addition to “production”. Developers were encouraged to and rewarded for making programs that aided the development process in addition to the releaseable product code. The result was a highly-automated software production and release process requiring progressively fewer and fewer humans’ attention.

    In contrast, the Scientology company did not automate. every new “bright idea” added to the development and release pipeline meant more manpower.

    And since the Scientology company was allergic to hiring, added to the development and release pipeline meant more hours were demanded of the existing developers.

    The Scientology company had a non-LRH philosophy: Salaries are an expense. The non-Scientology company had a different philosophy: Salaries are an investment.

    So a lot of the managment machinations at the Scientology company were an effort to reduct the expenses. That resulted in more profit.

    However, if you don’t make the investment, you don’t get the valuable exchangeable final product.

    I think the Scientology company missed the mark on that.

    Even in a Church, it is recognized that “not all auditors are created equal”. There are, for example, auditors that the C/Ses and Tech Staff know are “Case Crackers”; some auditors are better at NED that others. Some are better at F/Ning C/S 53s and some are better at F/Ning FPRD correction lists.

    Those are SKILLS and TALENTS that need to be recompensed.

    Something that the approach taken at the Scientology software company didn’t recognize.

    Another thing the non-Scientology company had was a “dual ladder”. One could advance up the technical hierarchy or the management hierarchy, with a correspoding increaase in responsibility, contribution, and salary.

    In a Scientology company, using the LRH org board, there’s only a management hierarcy.

    Which leaves well-educated, well-producing developers in the dust.

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