We are living in a world that is ruled by laws of complexity and dominated by an ever increasing degree of uncertainty. However, projects are still managed from a reductionist and mechanistic viewpoint. So far, there have only few simple and applicable models that help organizations to look at their change projects from a complexity viewpoint.
|Collaboration in a mechanistic environment||Collaboration in a complex environment|
|One clear big picture||many perspectives|
|divided into simple tasks||overlapping responsibilities|
|performance based||based on common thinking|
|mostly technical problems||mostly paradigm problems|
|stable and predictable environment||changing & unpredictable environment|
|easy to work alone||high need of dialogue|
Ashby-Ross’s law of requisite variety suggests that organizations cannot be controlled or managed if they do not have as much flexibility as their environment. In an intensely connected world, this degree of organizational flexibility is very difficult to achieve. However the shift to a heterarchical structure will create many additional dimensions of flexibility, as information flows become less constrained.
In diverse and somewhat complex environment collaboration and interaction become more significant than ever before. Effective collaboration is defined by constant co-thinking, rethinking, questioning and looking things from different perspectives. How can you assure this complex and unpredictable collaboration process?
1. Change has its borders: Change is partly given to us.
2. The journey will teach us: Problems become our friends.
3. Widen the circle of involvement as much as possible and necessary.
4. Connect people to the content of the change and to each other.
5. Identify or create containers where new thinking can happen.
6. People do not resist change : All people have concerns, purposes and circumstances.