Organisations are increasingly adopting horizontal structures to foster creativity, agility, and resilience. Vertical organisations, characterised by hierarchical command and control, are giving way to horizontal structures where power and responsibility are distributed. This shift is driven by the recognition that complexity cannot be managed through simple command chains but requires collective intelligence and shared decision-making.

Horizontal organisations are built on three pillars: purpose, principles, and practices. Purpose provides a shared direction, principles guide behaviours, and practices shape how work is done. These pillars are not fixed, but evolve in response to changing circumstances.

In horizontal organisations, leaders become stewards rather than commanders, facilitating rather than dictating. They nurture an environment where everyone feels safe to express ideas, challenge assumptions, and learn from mistakes. This fosters a culture of trust and collaboration, enabling the organisation to respond swiftly and effectively to change.

However, transitioning to a horizontal organisation is not without challenges. It requires a shift in mindset, from viewing power as a personal possession to seeing it as a shared resource. This transformation can be unsettling, as it involves unlearning established habits and beliefs. Nevertheless, the benefits of increased agility, creativity, and resilience make it a worthwhile endeavour.

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