In the past, much of the work in organisations involved large, complex tasks requiring the involvement of many people.  The “transaction cost” to get coordination between people was high, so the concept of a Manager was introduced.  As the number of managers increased, a Manager of the Managers was created … and hierarchies formed. 

This gave us order, clarity of authority, rank and power.  Reinforcing a single primary connection; manager to worker.  This approach birthed a "command and control" style of leadership that was hugely successful during the Industrial Era.

Today, technology and connectivity have increased our ability to self organise and collaborate more easily across internal and external boundaries.  Allowing people autonomy and the freedom to self organise is becoming more effective than coordinating through a Manager.  But with this new way of working comes the challenge of Alignment.  

Achieving real alignment, where strategy goals and meaningful purpose reinforce each other, gives organisations a major advantage.  With a clear sense of what to do at any given time, people can be trusted to make choices that move the business towards its goals.  This results in an organisation that can focus less on deciding what to do - and more on simply doing.