💬 Hierarchies and Large Organisations

Replied to Hierarchies and large organisations by an author (Thought Shrapnel)
[W]orking in a group of 10 people within a large organization feels both right and wrong at the same time. On the surface it feels like the kind of group you’re meant to work in, but something major is missing. A job at a big company is like high fructose corn syrup: it has some of the qualities of things you’re meant to like, but is disastrously lacking in others.
Paul Graham
Doug, I am wondering what this says about schools? Is there an ideal size for teams and organisations?

2 responses on “💬 Hierarchies and Large Organisations”

  1. Good questions, Aaron. I think schools and educational institutions are slightly different in that your ‘direct reports’ as a teacher aren’t adults and your relationship with them isn’t the same as with colleagues.

    That being said, my own opinion is that there is a sweet spot for schools large enough to provide diverse outcomes and options, while being small enough to be a community.

    Dunbar’s number (link below) suggests a figure of around 150 people. However, some have argued that technology changes this and we can (meaningfully) keep in touch with a much higher number than this.


    It’s certainly worth investigating further! There’s too many variables and contextual factors to take into account to provide a generic ‘goldilocks’ number, but there’s got to be heuristics and rules of thumb for these things, surely?

    1. Thank you Doug for the reply.

      I like your point about offerings. It adds another variable to consider, not just the groups of teachers working together.

      It also makes me think about ‘space‘ and the influence this might have on teams.

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