By Adrián Blanco - Socio
May 2020

Will COVID accelerate "Celullar Organization" ?

In recent times, and associated with the concept of "agile" organizations, an important and modern trend is gaining ground in the conception of human organizations within companies. The present hierarchical and pyramidal organization seems to be giving ground to the cell-based organization, and we suppose that it will bring about radical changes, not only in the dynamics of business and corporate life, but also in human relations within and between companies. different companies. Also in the career plans of managers, in the aspirations of employees and, very importantly, in the definition of responsibilities and salary policies. Although the structure by cells is not so recent, it implies a revolutionary organizational conception that many, especially digital natives, see as imminent in most companies (especially those that want to be called “Agile”). Other voices believe that the cellular organization is only applicable to organizations associated with new technologies (software developers or portals), but it will probably be adopted by the rest of the business community. This transition has already begun. The question that arises, then, is that the impact the current pandemic will have on the speed of this migration. Will it speed it up?
If we look at the evolution of the hierarchical pyramidal organization in recent decades, that pyramid has been flattened, trying to get closer to the minimum amount possible but never losing the strength of its hierarchies. There are many organizations often based on control and decision making in the upper ranks. Meanwhile, and in contrast to the hierarchical, some innovative companies (Acer among them) began timidly a few years ago to organize internally in cells. The concept is based on the fact that a cell is a living being that can act independently or in collaboration with other cells to give rise to a higher being. They are autonomous bodies rewarded for their results. In an extreme sense, even strategy should be defined within each of the cells that make up an organization.
Along with the cells appear key words that define it: collaboration, technical competence, teamwork, and achievement orientation. In contrast to the formalization, centralization and differentiation of functions of traditional hierarchical organizations. And they make their own words like evolution, self-organization, incremental change, and above all agility.
And if we refer specifically to the area of ??human resources, the contrasts are remarkable and almost unimaginable with respect to the traditional organization where some authors speak of:
- Recruitment interviews carried out only by future colleagues of the candidate for
- Absence of internal job titles.
- Training designed by the cell itself instead of HR.
- Performance management seen as a personal inquiry on the learning path
and vocation more than as an evaluation of the fulfillment of objectives.
- Remuneration self determined by the collaborator instead of it being a decision of the superior
hierarchical, like layoffs.
Without a doubt, a true revolution in the management of human resources that is making its way pushed by the technological wave and the new generations.
But will this accelerate Covid19? Probably, at the end of the pandemic, an economy will start up at 60 to 70% of what it was at the end of last year. It will be a "new normal" that we do not know exactly how it will be, but it will surely be based on the use of a lot of technology. However, until the vaccine is in place, we will navigate that new economy with new fears, uncertainty, beaten and somewhat discouraged, with little propensity to return to work and take risks, and with a slightly more marked dependence on those who can guide us or mark the way.
Perhaps strong leaders in a world with a certain nostalgia for the traditional and without the intention of adding new radical changes after the traumatic experience of recent months. Due to these factors, it is very likely that Covid-19 will stop for a time and delay this organizational migration in many companies, but it will surely be the most intrepid who will adopt this challenging and new path that seems to be the beginning of the future organizational structure.

Adrián Blanco


« Previous article

HR Executive in Pandemic

Next article »

HR Executive agenda in the current crisis environment

We know how to identify talent

Contact us