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How Does Your Organization Make Decisions?

March 4, 2017
by Adam Churchill

Kim tells us that organizations vary in the way they are structured, and in the way they make decisions. While some organizations are hierarchical and process-driven, others may rely less on formal structures and processes. Understanding the mindset of an organization will help you tailor your approach to working with them to get the best results—and to find creative ways to introduce best practices that an organization has traditionally ignored.

Adhocracy: This organization is comfortable with change and finds wisdom in information gathered outside of it. It values external data like user interviews and research. It tends to have a lean, startup atmosphere that is iterative and creative, loose on process but high on invention. Employee roles and responsibilities might be unclear.

Clan: This organization values change, but believes wisdom can be found within the company. It invests in employees and makes everyone feel like a stakeholder. Collaboration is a necessity.

Hierarchy: This organization values internal expertise over external research. It is risk-averse, structured, and values stability. It is heavy on process and structure and responds well to templates and process.

Market: A market-oriented business likes stability and risk reduction, and tends to value external data and research. It loves data analytics, A/B testing, and anything that can tie design to metrics. Google is a classic example of this structure.