Two Networks, Two Mental Models
It is the existence of this common structure, and the ability to take the perspective of any position in it, that allows more accurate personal mental models to form
1. My mental model
We see the world through our mental models, whether we are aware of them or not, and act on what we see. Our mental model of organizations is central to how we function in them, and with them. However, size matters. As organizations grow in size from dozens to hundreds to thousands, They become harder to see. Most people can only see a couple of links beyond ourselves—our boss’s boss, our customer’s customer.
2. The organization’s mental model
An organization’s world is chunked by the internal classification system of sub-organizations, groups, and positions. This structures the mental model of the whole organization. Positions, and how they are connected, model relevant parts of the external world together with forming an internal model of work. Acting through it’s collective mental model, the organization as organism seeks survival and prosperity in the external world.
Continuous adaptation
In a time of accelerating change and complexity, small organizations and large must be in a continuous process of adapting their working mental models, changing, adding and deleting positions to better reflect internal needs and external conditions. Periodically, reorganizations sweep through and substantially redefine parts of the mental model, and every now and again a transformation shakes and reshapes the whole org as a matter of future survival.
“A complex adaptive system acquires information about its environment and its own interaction with that environment, identifying regularities in that information, condensing those regularities into a kind of ‘schema’ or model, and acting in the real world on the basis of that schema.”
  Murray Gell-Mann, The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex. Henry Holt, 1990, p 17
Dialogue in the organization
As people-populated institutions, organizations can be seen as networks of conversations. In this taxonomy, the nodes in all their modes function as the dictionary of nouns for the organization’s unique internal language (names of orgs, titles of positions, names of people, groups, places). The links (reporting, process, membership, information, personal) provide the verbs of action, how the nouns are related in a language structured for survival and success.