What is Sobol’s Law?

“I thought organizations were a good bit more complex than an org chart showed. I’m realizing that organizations are far more complex than I had estimated. Is that Hofstadter’s law of org complexity? Should we call it Sobol’s law?”

–  Travis Marsh from The Master’s Mark

We love this (used with permission) quote. As a company, we’ve long espoused the view that org charts (and OKR software) don’t tell you much about what Teams and people actually do in an organization. There is no shared world context for a “vice president.” Furthermore (and obviously) people aren’t titles. People fill roles in an organization, and they usually fill more than one role. In those roles, people might work toward the key result of an objective, but without context, OKRs cascade into tunnel-vision filled metric pursuits.

Sobol let’s you capture, track, and modify an organization’s complexity. This complexity grows when teams work in a remote and/or decentralized manner. Onboarding/communicating/agreeing/goal-setting etc. etc. is infinitely more difficult without an accurate “map” of a Team. As such, we present Sobol’s law.

Sobol’s Law: Organizations are far more complex than estimated

P.S. There’s a lesson here about one’s customers being much more attuned to your brand than a “brand consultancy.” We hypothesize we couldn’t have paid a “brand consultancy” any amount of money to give us the gift of “Sobol’s Law.” Thanks Travis!

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