One point that stood out to me, is that all firms face a constant, internal tension between the need to do "operational stuff" that actually works very well with a traditional hierarchical management approach, and the need to do "exploratory work" which does NOT map well to hierarchy. Failing to understand and manage this tension may be why many firms feel so dysfunctional.
The other point that stood out to me, is the idea that instead of a strict hierarchy - or complete undirected chaos - the best way to combine efforts towards both goals is by having individuals with a high degree of autonomy and empowerment coupled with a strong shared vision and common goals.
In this model, the primary purpose of leadership is to imbue the members of the organization with that "strong shared vision and common goals". Or to put it more simply, you tell people what needs to be accomplished, not how to accomplish it, and trust them to use their judgment.
On a related note, the book Adaptive Enterprise makes a strong case for the idea of high decentralized teams, connected to each other through what the author calls a "Commitment Management Protocol".
I would say that both of these books have some useful ideas that could be applied to construct a better management structure than what most present-day firms use.
That might be worth exploring. I suspect there are already some highly partitionable businesses that lean this way. But I don't know any technology companies that have done it.
This is the most interesting bit in the whole article, to me. I honestly believe firms can be organized like this, and probably should be organized like this. Interestingly, there was a book that I read a few months ago.. I think it was this one (http://www.amazon.com/Adaptive-Enterprise-Sense-Respond-Orga...) that argued for something similar, and went into a lot of depth about how it could be done.
Get dozens of book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.