Bowtie vs. Diamond

I have a theory that there are two basic shapes of organisation when it comes to organising IT – bow-tie and diamond.

A bow-tie shaped organisation aims to keep the "business people" on one side of the bow-tie and the "techies" on the other side. The "knot" is where the two are supposed to meet, to exchange instructions.

The diamond-shaped organisation, on the other hand, has no such pinch-point in the middle – just a thick middle where business and techies intermingle, speaking pretty-much the same language. Most start-ups are shaped like diamonds – whenever I have walked into a Silicon Valley start-up, for instance, I am hard-pushed to tell who is responsible for what.

Most large corporates are bowtie shaped. There would be some merit in trying to at least thicken out the "knot".

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