Let’s face it. People are hard to influence. We are complex creatures, difficult to predict and downright impossible to control.
Large groups of such people only serve to compound things. Insightful leaders know this, or at least sense the immensity of the challenge. It can take years to achieve significant organizational change, if it ever happens.
New on this front is the topic of social complexity. It’s an appreciation for the many variables in play that hi-jack simple “cause and effect” strategies. As an example, say we decide to give a cash bonus to everyone who behaves in a certain way. Some will play. Many will not. But leaders will often rehash the carrot (or stick) strategy in efforts to change the organization’s behavior.
Eventually leaders tire or the bonus money runs out, and they move on to other battles. Or other organizations.
True change in an organization requires a deep appreciation of the complexity dynamic. We must setaside cause and effect thinking, to instead look at what can be accomplished when we view the organization as a network of social connections, people interacting, seeking to be accepted, seeking to learn and to grow, often in spite of the odds. Let’s attack the important topic of leadership in the context of culture change from a fresh angle. We’ll take the complexity view, and see what we uncover.
We teed this up initially 10/19, but let’s keep the focus here, as we dig deeper. Our chat on MON 10/26 from 9:30-11pm ET will use this frame:
- Q1. Connections. Does thinking of a #21cOrg as a network of social interactions help us understand the #complexity forces at work?
- Q2. Environment. How do initial conditions in the #workplace influence the opportunity for #orgchange to take hold?
- Q3. Fundamental Rules. Can we identify a few specific, simple groundrules that leaders can embrace to #leadchange?
- Q4. Edges. Does change at the edge provide new thinking on how leaders might look at #21cOrg change strategies?
I find culture change to be both fascinating, and in the right conditions, possible. No doubt it is a difficult journey. But leaders must understand people and social dynamics to drive change.
Carrots and sticks? Leave them for building snowmen.
The #orgdna community generally meets every 3rd MON 9:30-11pm ET. We use the #orgdna hashtag to compare notes and ideas, and we’ll publish a transcript right here on this post afterwards. Join the conversation. It’s a lively crowd, perched on a corner of the internet that’s prone to providing insights .. a great place to learn about learning.
Join us !! Hope to see you online.
Chris aka @sourcepov, Charlotte NC US.