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Managing Change and Complexity


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Quality Professionals are challenged by the need to deal with some of the most complex issues in the organization requiring decision making and problem solving, even at times when the future is unclear or uncertain. Many aspects have to be considered such as local and global regulations, changing resources, increasing or changing customer needs, vendor issues, overlapping systems with differing needs and priorities, as well as staff competencies and training needs.
Very few Quality Managers are trained to effectively handle managing change in times of organizational complexity. In order for the organization to thrive and last, long term plans must be made to address an often ambiguous future.

• Understanding Information Complexity and Problem Complexity that will lead to greater success in achievement of long-term organizational quality goals and organizational innovations in services, processes and procedures;
• Assess for others and self, the Current-Actual-Level of Information and Problem Complexity;
• Increase quality completion of goals and task assignment, due to proper delegation in the proper way with the proper level of complexity and change;
• Use specific tools and methods to coach and mentor others to flourish into their potential and increase their own ability to handle complexity and change as this creates a strong succession plan for ensuring the future of the organization.

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Managing Change and Complexity

  1. 1. & Change Managing ComplexityMichael Cardus -
  2. 2. Quick fixes to organizational problems:•“New Age…the hierarchy will topple with this new e-generation”•Everyone acts “autonomously” doing what is right andeveryone cooperates, without being clear of who is accountableor for what.•The walk about and everything will work out•Be like the Japanese•Be excellent; go from good to great; all in under a minute;while looking for your cheese; on your iceberg.•“We need more leaders and less managers”We can all agree that it is good to be innovative, creative, and successful.The question is how to create the conditions to make it possible to be so. Michael Cardus -
  3. 3. Deming to the Editor of Time Magazine 1981;Dear Sir,Your article about Japan in TIME for 30 March 1981 is excellent, but the paragraphconcerning my work is ridiculous and can do a lot of harm to American industry atthe very time when they need guidance.Dr. Deming did not just give a lecture in 1950. He gave 35 lectures in the summer of1950 to engineers and to top management. Six months later he was there again, andsix months after that yet again. He has made 19 trips to Japan.One trouble with American industry today is that top management supposes thatone lecture or one day will do it.“Come, spend a day with us, and do for us what you did for Japan, that we too maybe saved.”It is not so simple. Few people in top management in America understand theirresponsibilities and know that they must serve a life term on quality and productivityfrom now on, under competent leadership. (Emphasis added)Found in The W. Edwards Deming Institute 3rd Quarter 2005 Newsletter Michael Cardus -
  4. 4. Deming and Ackoff’s systems ideas enable usto manage what we cannot control.Organizations today are increasingly complex;they are beyond powers of traditionalhierarchical management. Learning tomanage for improvement of the system hasbecome urgent in all fields. It pays greatbenefits.Systems thinking enables continualimprovement, something that old-stylemanagement cannot attain. It improvesbusinesses, hospitals, schools, nations,families–even ourselves–in this rapidlychanging, increasingly complex anddangerous world.Amazingly, systems thinking helps us managecomplexity and at the same time improve thequality of life for everyone involved. Michael Cardus -
  5. 5. The application of overly simplified solutionsadds cost in 2 ways:•First, it leads to continual reorganizations andchanges.•Second, the repeated changes attack themorale of your people and increases theirchange resistance. Michael Cardus -
  6. 6. Complexity may be identified in terms of the number of variables that have to be dealt with in a given time in a situation, the clarity and precision with which they can be identified, and their rate of change. (Jaques 1998)Michael Cardus -
  7. 7. Goal QQTR ty exi pl om C t of gh ei W lt Fe & nWhere Spayou are e m Ti now Michael Cardus -
  8. 8. Goal QQTR n spa ter e- ea ter tim e gr rea . he Th e g cles xity r t ct. Th ta le n ge je … bs m p lo pro uity n o C o he he big ow T t t of f am nkn o e u ei gh th the lt W Fe &Where anyou are Sp e m now Ti Michael Cardus -
  9. 9. We all think about complexity and time differently. Michael Cardus -
  10. 10. How big is your bucket (how complex is the project)?What is the time-span of the longest goal to be completed?Who is BEST to fill the bucket (who has the requisite CAC)?How do you know? Success will only move as high as the ability to handle complexity of the individual managing the work / staff. Michael Cardus -
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  12. 12. Complexity Based Upon Time-Span Management2 to 5 Years1 to 2 Years3 Months to 1 Year1 day to 3 Months Michael Cardus -
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  17. 17. Images in order of appearance: Michael Cardus -