Organizational change seems to be top of mind for most leaders. Makes sense, since no matter what we do, we are always in the middle of change. It is the one true constant in our world. In organizations, the nature of change is no different. If we know change is continuous and ubiquitous, why do we have so much trouble with it in organizations?
For one, organizations are a human design form. We humans have issues with the design of many things, from government and organizations to strategy and even the path of our own lives. Then there's our resistance to change. Too much change in our lives is simply not comfortable. Another reason is our mistaken belief that the universe needs our help to organize things. And possibly, we're just not that good at organizing. Margaret Wheatley describes an alternative way of looking at organizations and change.
"There is a simpler way to organize human endeavor. It requires a new way of being in the world. It requires being in the world without fear. Being in the world with play and creativity. Seeking after what's possible. Being willing to learn and to be surprised. This simpler way to organize human endeavor requires a belief that the world is inherently orderly. The world seeks organization. It does not need humans to organize it" (Wheatley, 1996, p. 5).
In her seminal book, A Simpler Way, Wheatley points out that life is an expert at self organizing. Life self organizes around us without strategic planning offsites. My point is, we over plan and over think a lot of things, and we fail to notice the nature of things. Everything around us is constantly transforming—changing form, and every aspect of an organization is constantly changing as well. Yet, we continue to design inflexible structures within our organizations.
Resistance to change is futile, to be sure, and embracing change is wise. How we design change matters. It is possible to over design. One of the best ways to understand and guide change is systems thinking. This way of looking at organizations has been around for a long time, but it was Peter Senge who brought it to the mainstream with his book, The Fifth Discipline. While it isn't necessary for clients to understand change or culture or systems thinking as we do—that's why we exist—we do share many insights and develop such capabilities with our client organizations. Along the way of working together, we learn together. Many organizations today are overwhelmed with change initiatives. They struggle with balancing the resources for so many initiatives and keeping them on track. At Mindshift Consulting we come to you with a deep understanding of change and organizations.
An organization is a reflection of the values and beliefs of its leadership and members. The degree of congruency between the values and beliefs of an organization's leaders and its members correlates with the power of an organization’s culture. When they are aligned, change is a lot easier. After working with us, I believe you will see organizations differently, as well as your role. I hope we will get the chance to work with you, learn together, and make a difference in your leadership .
Hans Kuendig, Ph.D., Founder
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