A systems approach to leading change


Published on

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Slide 14. Based on this slide, could you answer this question:We listed and briefly discussed eleven qualities of systems – the twelfth quality was left up to you. What would you add to the list (and briefly describe the characteristic)?
  • Slide 14. Based on this slide, could you answer this question:We listed and briefly discussed eleven qualities of systems – the twelfth quality was left up to you. What would you add to the list (and briefly describe the characteristic)?
  • Question: What might be the characteristics of an ineffective implementation of purposes?
  • A systems approach to leading change

    1. 1. Building Change Leadership That Others Will FollowA Systems Perspective on Change Leadership
    2. 2. Becoming a Leader OthersWill Follow I have identified fourteen systems principles (at this time) – these are principles that all living systems share. In times of significant change it is crucial that we revisit these fundamental principles and the truths they can teach us.
    3. 3. The Universal Truths ofSystems All HEALTHY living systems share the same 14 qualities: 1. Purposefulness – the dominance of goals 2. Differentiation – specialization of parts 3. Wholeness – subjugation of parts to the whole 4. Interrelatedness – interdependence of parts 5. Openness – environmental influence and adaptation 6. Transformation – input-output process 7. Control – maintaining focus and order 8. Rhythms – cycles and patterns 9. Competition – seeking competitive niche distinction 10. Decay and death – natural entropy 11. Intelligent design – irreducible complexity and beauty 12. Learning – adaptation and specialization 13. Sustainability – through substantive advantage and harmony 14. Equilibrium – punctuated and dynamic 3
    4. 4. The Universality ofSystems• Some observations: – These systems properties or principles provide insight into leader- follower • Cause and effect relationships • Primary and secondary sequence – In the end, human behavior is infinitely complex and ultimately irreducible. However, the systems properties do provide perspective that allows us to see more deeply and precisely. 4
    5. 5. The Universality ofPurposefulness • Purposefulness – the dominance of goals Health promoting leaders marshal all their energy and effort to attain important change goals Health promoting leaders seek simple, clear, compatible purposes. Health promoting leaders adapt to environmental changes by making adaptations to their leadership approach in order to continue to meet their fundamental change purposes (fanatical devotion to ends, flexible adaptation to means) 5
    6. 6. The Universality ofDifferentiation • Differentiation – people exhibit a great deal of differences in preparation, personalities, and perspectives  Health promoting leaders develop insights and initiatives that respond positively to the different characteristics and skills of their followers  Health promoting leaders do not try to force everyone into a particular “mold” of thinking or acting. They celebrate differences, and are not threatened by the inevitable “friction” that arises when different people work together on a common purpose. 6
    7. 7. The Universality ofWholeness• Wholeness – the subjugation of parts to the whole  Health promoting leaders lead their individual team members to recognize the need to sub- optimize by each part to the good of the whole  Sub-optimization in healthy systems is a good thing because it focuses on the cooperation of parts in service to the greater collective gain of the system  The leaders seek to act in ways that reflect a preference for harmony and rationality even during chaotic times. 7
    8. 8. The Universality ofInterrelatedness 8• Interrelatedness – the interdependence of parts Health promoting leaders create an internal communication process that minimizes conflict and maximizes cooperation Health promoting leaders are ware of the impact of process and workplace design – developing processes and procedures that facilitate rational and orderly flows of consultations and decisions
    9. 9. The Universality ofOpenness• Openness – environmental influence Health promoting leaders are sensitive and responsive to their environment Health promoting leaders continually adapt to changes in their environment Health promoting leaders resist the tendency in times of conflict and chaos to allow communication and cooperation to cease. 9
    10. 10. The Universality ofTransformation• Transformation – input-output process Health promoting leaders are creative and focused on the relationship between resource inputs and outputs used by the system and valued by its environment Health promoting leaders seek efficiency – the optimum proportion of inputs to outputs that achieves internal conservation and external value-added Health promoting leaders creatively adapt to changes in input-output competitive challenges and innovative technologies 10
    11. 11. The Universality ofControl• Control – maintaining focus and order and innovation  Health promoting leaders develop optimal controls to insure effectiveness (goal attainment) and efficiency (resource utilization)  Health promoting leaders place controls at the key points where recognition and response are best located  Health promoting leaders achieve economy of control – control always serves clear value-added purposes  Health promoting leaders promote innovation though control – control does not always mean maintaining direction – it can and should mean learning, growing and changing 11
    12. 12. The Universality ofRhythms• Rhythms – cycles and patterns health promoting leaders are sensitive to cycles • rest – work – recuperating • birth – growth – maturity – decline • daily – monthly – seasonal – annual Health promoting leaders seek pacing and sequencing that preserves and restores the system 12
    13. 13. The Universality ofCompetition• Competition – seeking competitive niche distinction Health promoting leaders know that they are in competition with others for resources – that competition helps make the system stronger and more adaptively resilient Health promoting leaders compete by focusing on a an environmental niche and marshalling resources to attain a competitive edge in that niche 13
    14. 14. The Universality of Decayand Death• Decay and death – natural entropy Health promoting leaders know that everything and every person have a finite life – no system last forever All systems lose, gradually and eventually completely, loss of energy and function Healthy systems experience decay and death (and rebirth and repair) in various parts throughout their lifetime All systems experience momentum, inertia, gravity and entropy – either succumbing to these forces or growing by resisting these forces 14
    15. 15. The Universality ofIntelligent Design• Intelligent design – irreducible complexity and beauty  Health promoting leaders see structural design and process integration that is impossible to achieve accidentally  Health promoting leaders recognize that systems are irreducibly complex – their minimum requirements could not appear merely sequentially by a natural evolutionary process  Irreducible complexity highlights such truths as non-determinism, unexpected outcomes, and non-linear/multi-level cause and effect.  So, healthy systems are both intentionally designed and spontaneously emergent 15
    16. 16. The Universality ofLearning• Learning - through environmental adaptation and specialization  Health promoting leaders learn from their environment through sensitivity to environmental cues and responsive adaptation to those cues.  Health promoting leaders create specific structural and performance capacities to thrive in a particular environment.  Health promoting leaders avoid “over learning,” that is, so greatly specializing that they are incapable of adjusting to new environmental cues. 16
    17. 17. The Universality ofSustainability• Sustainability – the development of external and internal mechanisms that build system longevity  Health promoting leaders seek long term growth through mechanisms which balance the competing demands they face from external and internal stakeholders.  Health promoting leaders develop ways of utilizing resources in ways that optimize the total system’s welfare, rather than maximizing one particular component at the expense of all other components.  Health promoting leaders seek competitive advantages that are significant, supportable and enduring.  Health promoting leaders place primary focus on acquiring and utilizing scarce and valuable resources 17
    18. 18. The Universality ofEquilibrium• Equilibrium - dynamic and punctuated  Health promoting leaders understand that systems are cooperative networks of complimentary and supportive subsystems and seek to continuously share through the management of dynamic flows of information and resources .  Health promoting leaders know that systems go through periods of both continuity and change – long periods of relative normalcy punctuated by periods of rapid change, often keyed by the accumulation of small internal adjustments or small external pressures that have reached some tipping point 18