Peloton formations distilled

No line structures. No functions. No departments. No shared services. No divisions. No centralised staff. This is a different, and far more effective way of defining structure in complexity.
— Niels Pflaeging, Organize for Complexity

In a decentralized organization, there’s no clear leader, no hierarchy, and no headquarters. If and when a leader does emerge, that person has little power over others. The best that person can do to influence people is to lead by example.
— Ori Brafman & Rod A. Beckstrom, The Starfish and the Spider

Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
— Anton Ego in the Pixar film Ratatouille

Over the past few weeks, I have been exploring the idea of the cycling peloton as a metaphor for an agile and adaptive company. This has taken the form of five posts on this blog:

  1. Peloton formations
  2. The baroudeur
  3. The climber
  4. The sprinter
  5. The rouleur

I had the opportunity to share some of my thinking about, and discuss with other attendees, this kind of organisational structure at the #responsiveorg unconference on 10 May. In the past week, I then read Niels Pflaeging’s excellent Organize for Complexity, which helped clarify my thinking even further. I decided to distil my ideas into a short Haiku Deck.

I am keen to understand if this is a metaphor, an idea about responsive organisational structure, that resonates with others?

Here is a SlideShare version of the deck:

Here are the original Haiku Deck slides as images:













15 thoughts on “Peloton formations distilled

  1. Hi Richard-
    Thanks so much for using Haiku Deck, this is an awesome deck you’ve created. Sorry to hear that you were having some difficulty embedding the deck onto your WordPress site, this article might be of some help:

    Keep the great decks coming – we’re so glad to have you in our creative community!

    Lisa Ma
    Customer Evangelist, Haiku Deck

    • Thank you for your kind words, Lisa.

      I also had some guidance from the good folk at WordPress. This is what they said: We do not allow certain tags on for security reasons, including JavaScript, Flash, iframe, embed, form, and input tags. These restrictions are in place to prevent any disruptions in service due to potentially malicious code. You can read more about this here:

  2. This is an outstanding metaphor which as a cyclist, I particularly appreciate. “Responsive organizational structure” resonates for me. I would say “adaptive” as opposed to responsive, but that’s splitting hairs. I will be thinking and reflecting on this. Thanks for rekindling some ideas I have been pondering for years re. adaptive complex systems. More to come I hope in this vein.

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