As a part of our new change framework the Change Journey (http://www.changejourney.org), we want to explain some of the theoretical background. This presentation is about the topic of complexity in organizational change.
The Change Journey Map<br />Background Part 1<br />Complexity<br />
We all carry images of organizations in our mind. Most of us still believe an organization is a machine.<br />please watch the following video clip…<br />
The reality is different. Organizations are complex social systems.<br />(from: zeno on Flickr)<br />
What makes an organization a complex system?<br />All people have individual concerns, purposes, and circumstances. <br />All people in an organization make many unsupervised decisions, every day.<br />All people in an organization are connected in different ways to other people within and without the organization.<br />There is a close to infinite number of external and internal influence factors that shape the destiny of the organization.<br />Social systems have a strong urge to protect their integrity.<br />
1. All people have individual concerns, purposes, and circumstances.<br />Before you continue, please read more about this model of human needs of Manfred Max-Neefhere.<br />Subsistence<br />Freedom from Want<br />(Income/Livelihood)<br />Protection<br />Freedom from Fear andAbuse<br />(Ground Rules)<br />Identity<br />Freedom To BeProud of Yourself(Self-Esteem)<br />Affection<br />Freedom fromRejection<br />(Dignity/Teamwork)<br />Creation<br />Freedom to Create YourOwn Future<br />(New Ideas)<br />Freedom<br />Freedom fromCoercion<br />(Autonomy)<br />Understanding<br />Freedom fromUncertainty<br />(Information Access)<br />Leisure<br />Freedom fromExhaustion<br />(Stress Reduction)<br />Participation<br />Freedom fromExclusion<br />(Inclusivity)<br />
2. All people in an organization make many unsupervised decisions, every day<br />Ask yourself:<br /><ul><li>How many decisions do I take every day?
…</li></ul>Each of these happenings add to uncertainty. No computer can calculate the effect of these compounding influence factors. <br />
5. Social systems have a strong urge to protect their integrity<br />An organization can be compared with a cell. The main purpose of the cell is to survive and to reproduce.<br />HumbertoMaturana and Francisco Varela called these self-protecting and self-generating behavior “autopoiesis”.<br />Any organization tries to make sure that it is not corrupted, which can easily happen in a change process. This is often felt as “change resistance”, but it is a natural behavior.<br />Here is some reading for you to do before you proceed:<br />Autopoiesis(Wikipedia)Autopoeisis in the business organization (PDF)<br />Autopoiesis in virtual organizations (PDF)<br />
How to deal with complexity in organizations?<br />Source: Cognitive Edge<br />Most change processes aresituated in the left quadrant (complex), few are in the knowable sphere, some are in the chaos sphere and none are in the known sphere.<br />This is why the effect of an intervention into a system cannot be predicted.<br />The quicker we accept that, the easier we can find strategies to cope with it.<br />
The Change Journey Map is a Tool for Dealing with Complex Change<br />Read More: The Change Journey<br />