There is an inherent tension in how a company is structured. Too much bureaucracy and creativity and dynamism are thwarted. Too much flexibility and carte blanche and mistakes start to accumulate. Processes are the answer to ensuring that a certain level of quality is consistently maintained, but too many procedures and we start becoming more like machines. Allowing self-organization and inventiveness to emerge within a business can promote the occurrence of breakthroughs that would have otherwise been impossible, but too loose a structure can invite chaos and angry customers.
The tension is inherent, yet unique to each company. The combination of structure, emergence, and flexibility that best suits an organization resides along a multi-dimensional continuum. Some companies may thrive on a higher dose of freedom, while others require a more balanced mixture. You may create the right blend based on the company’s goals, how its teams work together, and what it produces.