4 min read

Why Organizational Structure Must Change - The Role of Purpose in the Face of AI

Joost Schouten
Published on
July 4, 2023

The rise of AI technology is transforming the workplace in countless ways. However, without a change in the way our organizations are structured, AI will only serve to maximize efficiency and ROI for the owners of our organizations, while leaving workers with even less power, means, and freedom. In this post, we'll explore the importance of purpose in organizational structures and the role it plays in ensuring a more equitable and just future for workers.

The Limitations of Traditional Organizational Structures

Traditional organizational structures are often based on a hierarchical model, with power and authority flowing from the top down. This model tends to prioritize efficiency and profit over other values. In the face of AI technology, this model can exacerbate the risk of leaving workers with even less power and influence over their jobs and organizations and as a result, society as a whole.

The Role of Purpose in Organizational Structures

Purpose is an essential component of a healthy organizational structure. Without a clear and meaningful purpose that guides decision-making, AI technology will simply serve the zero-sum game of maximizing efficiency and ROI. Purpose provides a broader context for organizational decisions, one that includes considerations such as worker well-being, social impact, and environmental sustainability. A clear sense of purpose helps to align the interests of all stakeholders, including workers, customers, shareholders and those in the wider community.

The Benefits of Purpose-Driven Organizations

Purpose-driven organizations have several advantages over those that prioritize efficiency and profit above all else. They tend to have higher levels of employee engagement, loyalty, and well-being. They also tend to be more innovative, adaptable, and resilient in the face of change. Purpose-driven organizations can leverage AI technology in ways that align with their values and goals, rather than simply pursuing short-term gains.


In conclusion, the rise of AI technology poses a significant risk to workers if organizations continue to prioritize efficiency and profit over purpose and worker autonomy. By prioritizing purpose and creating a culture of transparency, trust, and collaboration, organizations can ensure that AI technology serves their broader goals, rather than simply maximizing short-term gains. Purpose-driven organizations that leverage AI technology in alignment with their values and goals can create a more equitable and just future for workers, customers, and society as a whole.

Joost Schouten - is partner at — If you are interested in AI-proofing your organisation by ensureing it will serve purpose? Sign-up to Nestr ans start collaborating around purpose. This article was written with the help of ChatGPT.

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