Our August #orgdna chat was a deep dive on the #futureofwork, with the transcript posted here.
One area we touched on was social compexity, a modern, relatively robust way of looking at the forces at play inside the 21st century enterprise. To get us thinking about this exciting area, let’s contrast it with older models.
Consider two extremes:
- Old hierarchical models. Not unlike a factory, control is administered via top down decision-making, seeking to drive efficiencies and compliance through standard practices. Variance is minimized in order to deliver according to a master plan. Assumptions are routinely made about cause and effect. Emphasis on structure. Works well when manufacturing widgets. Less effective at mobilizing a workforce.
- New social complexity models. Diverse actors across an organization work together in countless interactions to produce change or ’emergent’ results. Actions can’t be directly controlled, but the conditions can be influenced. Cause and effect are not the focus. Emphasis is on flow. Provides the broad possibility of new thinking, on an accelerated basis.
To me, this is breakthrough-level material. Among OD practitioners, these ideas come up for discussion often. But how can we bring social complexity into real time? What factors make it work?
- Q1. How do independent, diverse Stakeholders change org dynamics?
- Q2. Why do System & Design Thinking shift our thought processes toward complexity?
- Q3. How do Patterns and Simple Rules (e.g., culture) work in a social system?
- Q4. How do Initial Conditions impact our success?
- Q5. Why do the quantity and quality of Connections play a major role?
- Q6. Why does Adaptability – for both learning and change – become a differentiator?
To capture our ideas, there’s a mind map coming together, using Coggle, courtesy Jamie Billingham. I am hoping our chat on social complexity will help inform broader discussions on the future of work.
So, please join us Monday 9/18 from 9-10:30pm ET. We’re putting a dent in these exciting topics. And it’s always a lively conversation.
Chris (aka @sourcepov) Charlotte NC
ABOUT THE GROUP. Over the last 5 years, a self-selecting band of OD thinkers has been discussing the future of the organization, using hashtag #orgdna. The number of active contributors seems to hover around 20-25. On any given month, you’ll find 5-10 of us actually come together for conversation. Please join us. The chat is open to all. For the chat itself, we recommend a tweet streaming app like TweetDeck. Just add #orgdna (and optionally, now, #futureofwork) to your tweets, and we’ll see you at the appointed hour.
ABOUT THE TOPIC. Much is being said on “the future of work” and its unfolding dimensions. Don’t miss Deloitte’s recent Tom Friedman interview, hosted by Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert and their senior strategist John Hagel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR. A thinker, instigator, and explorer of edges, Chris Jones has been unpacking the forces inside organizations for 30 years. Look for more here on the #orgdna blog, on Medium – or for his deepest dive to date, over on Amazon.