Part 2: And We're Off...

It’s official Donald Trump is now President Trump. While it is only the first week we can look at how the structure and dynamics of Organization USA are shaping up and the impact on President Trump’s administration.

A key element of the Integral Organization Model is an organization’s structure and the dynamics that play up, down and across the layers. We can look at how this operates for Organization USA in relation to Vertical Leverage which creates scale to execute and Horizontal Flow which creates alignment to vision, mission and strategy.

Recapping the use of the Integral Organization Model:

In the first post below we explained how the Integral Organization Model can be adapted to look at President Trump’s administration.

“By consolidating leadership, behavioral, organization and cultural models the Integral Organization Model provides a forecast into the dynamics of Trump’s Administration to predict possible future outcomes. Although the Integral Organization Model was not created with the USA Government in mind, it does have application to project what futures we may see. More details of the model can be found at “What is a Perfect Organization?” and The Integral Organization Manifesto.”

One of the biggest challenges for any leader is to have all the people in the organization execute their tasks aligned to the organization’s vision, mission and strategy. This is even more challenging for President Trump because the layers of Organization USA are not like that in a company, they can and do act independently to the office of the President. What starts off as the vision, mission and strategy at the top can quickly change if the layers are not all in sync and agreement.

As an aside, many CEOs don’t realize that even in their companies the layers are more independent than they believe.

To look at the dynamics of Organization USA let’s start with a simple diagram of the layers.

USA Organization Hierarchy.png


President Trump has direct management capability of the Cabinet. He can make the appointments, assuming they are ratified by Congress, and he can fire them. The Cabinet members are there to create the nested visions, missions and strategies for their respective departments. They translate the overall vision to “Make America Great Again” into the related vision and mission statements down the layers. They work closely with the President’s office to ensure alignment of thinking and actions.

When it comes to the Congress, State and Local Government, President Trump has no direct management control over these layers. The Republican representatives in these layers of government are expected to align with the Republican President but there is no guarantee. President Trump needs their support to have the layers below himself and his Cabinet implement actions aligned to their strategy.

However, at the State and Local Government layers we are already witnessing Democratic Governors and Mayors declaring that they will not cooperate with any changes they don’t agree with. Oxfam’s blog author, Duncan Green, writes how there is more power at these levels than we would first suspect.

The bottom layer is the American people. Here President Trump has no management control at all. We may think of the American People as the customers of the government. But a critical addition to being customers is that the American People are also the board. That is, they select the President, Congress, State and Local government officials.

Imagine if you are the CEO of a company and every two years your employees can vote your middle management layers in, or out, and every four years yourself? During the intervening years to be successful you must have everyone engaged, working at 100% of their intellectual and physical capabilities aligned to the company’s vision, mission and strategy. If you don’t then they check out, or worse start working against you. Imagine if you found on the web a countdown clock to the day you could be removed.

This is the case with Organization USA and it sets up interesting choices for all concerned.

In two years, there will be the mid-term elections which includes;

  • all 435 seats of the House of Representatives,
  • 33 or 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate,
  • 36 State Governors and many Mayors.

If you are part of this middle management group of Congress, State and Local Government you sit in-between two masters. The President and the People. The question these elected officials will need to answer, long before the mid-term elections, is does it matter to whom they align themselves and if it so which one?

The Integral Organization Model stresses the need for alignment both vertically and horizontally within an organization. This is even more important for President Trump because of the lack of control up and down the layers.

The first way to achieve alignment is for President Trump to form a strong working relationship with Congress. The aim here is to have the Congress support President Trump’s administration no matter what happens.

President Trump’s approach so far has been to criticize Congress, as per his comments in the inaugural speech;

“For too long a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country.”

While at the same time he is holding meetings with Congress to build support. After a recent meeting with Congress President Trump described it as a “beautiful, beautiful relationship”.

Whether Congress holds the same view is yet to be seen.

The other way to gain the support of the Congress, State and Local Government officials is to have the American people show their support for what President Trump is doing. In this case the politicians may not like what President Trump is doing but will need his blessing to bolster their re-election chances.

But there is a slight problem here, what if President Trump is not delivering what the majority of people want. The dynamics at play are best described using a systems dynamics diagram as per below;


 President Trump Voters

President Trump needs to deliver on his promises to continue to have the support of the American People who voted for him. However, if he doesn’t deliver on his promises that will decrease their level of support.

The amount of Executive Orders being signed demonstrate a willingness by President Trump to act. But is he confusing “activity” with “progress”. With so many actions there is an increased chance of unintended consequences.

In Freakonomics, authors Levitt and Dubner show that an unintended consequence of Roe vs Wade was that the crime rate went down;

“There are more correlations, positive and negative, that shore up the abortion-crime link. In states with high abortion rates, the entire decline in crime was among the post-Roe cohort as opposed to older criminals. Also, studies in Australia and Canada have since established a similar link between legalized abortion and crime.”

If an import tax for Mexican goods is implemented to pay for The Wall, who ends up paying the Tax? The companies that are doing the importing or the people who buy the goods through increased prices. If the companies are compensated by lowering their export duties who benefits from that, overseas customers?

If The Wall works in reducing crime through a set of intended consequences, does repealing Roe vs Wade counter balance the reduction through a set of unintended consequences.

Do the people who voted for President Trump see any of these outcomes in the short term, before the mid-term elections?

Non-President Trump Voters

If President Trump delivers on his promises we don’t know the response of this group of voters. If achieved, does creating more jobs, improved infrastructure and increased standard of living win some of these votes over? Or does President Trump’s actions on healthcare, pro-life, climate change and immigrants push these voters further away.

Does his “power leader” style of signing Executive Orders stiffen the resolve of the non-President Trump voters to make sure the makeup of the Congress changes to stop his actions.


We also don’t know what this group of voters will do in response to President Trump’s actions. However, if they disagree with President Trump’s actions they will be more motivated to vote this time, against him, in the upcoming mid-term elections.

A glimpse of what will unfold occurred through two significant events in the first two days of President Trump’s presidency.

The Inauguration

The first was the Inauguration. The major talking point to come out of the Inauguration was a dispute over the reported size of the crowd. Was this because a power leader needs this form of affirmation or was it because President Trump’s administration is aware of the importance of having the American People’s support. Does the same reasoning hold true to explain why President Trump is ordering an investigation into claimed illegal voting of up to five million people? Where all of these people supposedly didn’t vote for President Trump and if found to be true would mean that he won the popular vote.

Out of this discussion came the phrase, “alternative facts”. We are now discussing “facts” and “alternative facts” as the battle for who has the most support rages.

The Women’s March

While the discussion of inaugural crowd size was happening the second event occurred which was the Women’s March. A clear message that came out of the Women’s March was that there are many American People who do not want what President Trump is promising to deliver. Many that were interviewed referred to the mid-term elections as their first opportunity to be heard.

President Trump tweeted his view of the Women’s March;

“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”


“Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

For President Trump, he clearly believes that his vision, mission and strategy is on the right path and that he doesn’t agree with what the people participating in the Women’s March want. He believes that he has the support of the majority as he mentions in his inaugural speech;

“You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

But do the elected officials of Congress, State and Local Government share the same view?

It is no longer about last year’s election, that is done and dusted. It is now about the mid-term elections and the race is on. There is no Electoral College affect and outside of any gerrymander impact, it will be a based upon who the people vote for, State by State and City by City. Voter turnout is typically lower for these elections so it may come down to who is more motivated, the President Trump voters, voting again, or the Non-President Trump voters wanting to restore a balance of views.

If the momentum swings the other way and if, as President Trump is urging, the people in the Women’s March who did and didn’t vote, vote, support from all the layers may be lost.

The middle management layer of politicians must decide which master to follow and the clock is ticking.

 To respond to President Trump’s New Year’s tweet;

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!”

The message from the Women’s March is that they do know what to do and it is called the mid-term elections.

A final word is that the losers in all of this may be the people in the most need. Whether we agree or disagree with the Electoral College system it served its purpose. It gave a voice to the people who feel they are being left behind. However, if the American People become more divided the people in the most need may once again become forgotten.

The Integral Organization Model suggests a different approach and if President Trump was to seek advice he could begin with “Where to Start”.

As always stay tuned!