Organizational structure is the actual arrangement of domains and their connections. It reflects where power to influence is located, and the channels through which information and influence flow.

Continuously evolve your organization’s structure to:

  • support the continuous flow of value
  • enable effective collaboration around dependencies
  • ensure information is available to those who need it
  • distribute resources and power to influence as required

The basic building blocks for organizational structure are interdependent, connected domains.

Domains can be linked to form a hierarchy or a heterarchy (a.k.a. complex adaptive system, or network, where multiple functional structures can co-exist).

Sociocracy 3.0 describes a variety of structural patterns to grow organizational structure.

  • S3’s structural patterns apply to different layers of abstraction
  • different structural patterns serve different drivers
  • structural patterns can be adapted and combined as needed
  • more patterns are out there and will be discovered
Service Circle

Outsource services required by two or more domains.

Delegate Circle

Delegate making governance decisions affecting multiple domains to representatives selected by those domains.

Peach Organization

Deliver value in complex and competitive environments through decentralization (of resources and influence) and direct interaction between those creating value and the customers they serve.

Double-Linked Hierarchy

Delegate all authority for making governance decisions to self-governing circles, double-linked across all levels of the hierarchy, to transition from an traditional hierarchy towards a structure more suitable for tapping collective intelligence, ensuring equivalence and building engagement.

Service Organization

Multi-stakeholder collaboration and alignment towards a shared driver (or objective).

Fractal Organization

Multiple constituents (organizations or projects) with a common (or similar) primary driver and structure can share learning across functional domains, align action and make high level governance decisions (e.g. overall strategy).