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All the best articles available on-line about Organisation Development and Corporate Culture. This enables OD, HR, Change and OE practitioners to be more effective in their attempts to improve the culture of the organisations and businesses they encounter.
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Handling Complexity in Decision-Making: Avoiding The Bike Rack Effect in Meetings

Handling Complexity in Decision-Making:  Avoiding The Bike Rack Effect in Meetings | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

Why would a $100M power plant zoning approval take 3 minutes and a request to build a $10,000 bike rack for city sidewalks take hours?


It's easy to be swept up in the trivial and fun stuff, starving the big issues for the time and consideration they merit.  Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British historian and operations researcher, penned this extreme example of decision-making in meetings in his book Parkinson's Law. Paraphrasing the Wikipedia entry, the powerplant is so expensive, the sums of money are hard to frame.

 


Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, March 24, 12:27 PM

This is a post useful for anyone connected to public sector meetings, or any meeting with complex topics.  I've posted this in change leadership watch for the reasons of asking you, the reader the question, have you ever helped a decision making body avoid the The Abilene Paradox, a classic management film about avoiding mismanaged agreement?

This post also illustrates the power of Parkinson's Law where board members lazily skip over the seemingly impenetrable problem in the meeting, deferring to the team managing the project. There will be implications for years of this city council meeting's decisions, and yet it is decided in three minutes.  It's astounding, assuming we haven't been excluded from a long list of previous meeting discussions.   ~ D

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 24, 11:58 PM

Most humans have no comprehension of $100 million, but understand $10, 000.

Tom Russell's curator insight, March 27, 7:00 AM

I'm sure we can all identify with this scenario. It reminds me of a school football game when everybody is running after the ball regardless of their agreed position on the pitch. Clearly where there is passion there is engagement, so focussing on, and agreeing, clear outcomes is a key starting point if one is going to avoid everyone being kicked in the shins.

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Three ways of seeing organizations – Complexity and Performance Evaluation Systems

Three ways of seeing organizations – Complexity and Performance Evaluation Systems | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

Since the “Scrum” methodology became popular trend in the SW organizations, the problem of performance evaluations has been in the …Continue reading »


Via Iñaki Agirre, Philippe Vallat, David Hain
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Leadership in the Age of Complexity - From Hero to Host | Margaret Wheatley and Debbie Frieze


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WorldsView Academy's curator insight, September 19, 2013 3:29 AM

"It is time for the heroes to go home, for us to give up those hopes and expectations that only breed dependency and passivity", indeed, it is time to realise we all have a responsibility to come up with the solutions.

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Video: Aiden Choles on the Frames of Mind to Nurture for Engaging with Complexity

Video: Aiden Choles on the Frames of Mind to Nurture for Engaging with Complexity | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

Aiden Choles talks to us about the mindsets needed for engaging effectively with complexity.  Aiden also touches on the Cynefin Framework, and how waiting can be a legitimate form of action.


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Managing Complexity: The Battle Between Emergence And Entropy

Managing Complexity: The Battle Between Emergence And Entropy | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

The business news continues to be full of stories of large companies getting into trouble in part because of their complexity. 


So what is a leader to do when faced with a highly complex organisation and a nagging concern that the creeping costs of complexity are starting to outweigh the benefits?


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen
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Olivier Arnould's curator insight, December 1, 2013 3:40 AM

Une approche intéressante des organisations...

luiy's curator insight, January 17, 9:34 AM

1. There is a design process –the allocation of roles and responsibilities through some sort of top-down master plan. We all know how this works.

 

2. There is an emergent process – a bottom-up form of spontaneous interaction between well-intentioned individuals, also known as self-organising. This has become very popular in the field of management, in large part because it draws on insights from the world of nature, such as the seemingly-spontaneous order that is exhibited by migrating geese and ant colonies. Under the right conditions, it seems, individual employees will come together to create effective coordinated action. The role of the leader is therefore to foster “emergent” order among employees without falling into the trap of over-engineering it.

 

3. Finally, there is an entropic process – the gradual trending of an organisational system towards disorder. This is where it gets a bit tricky. The disciples of self-organising often note that companies are “open systems” that exchange resources with the outside world, and this external source of energy is what helps to renew and refresh them. But the reality is that most companies are only semi-open. In fact, many large companies I know are actually pretty closed to outside influences. And if this is the case, the second law of thermodynamics comes into effect, namely that a closed system will gradually move towards a state of maximum disorder (i.e. entropy).

 

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Professor Dave Snowden or Cognitive Edge | Design thinking and complexity pt 1

Professor Dave Snowden or Cognitive Edge | Design thinking and complexity pt 1 | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it
Dave Snowden discusses the differences that complexity theory makes to design thinking.

 

I started talking about the differences that complexity theory makes to design thinking some time ago - In Malmo at the XP conference as I remember it - and have now introduced that material in modified form onto day four of our accreditation programme.  I should make it clear this is early thinking and I know that people like Ann (who is with me here) are working on this as well and I am really looking forward to her new book on the subject with another good friend John Seely Brown..."


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Video: Aiden Choles on the Frames of Mind to Nurture for Engaging with Complexity

Video: Aiden Choles on the Frames of Mind to Nurture for Engaging with Complexity | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

Aiden Choles talks to us about the mindsets needed for engaging effectively with complexity.  Aiden also touches on the Cynefin Framework, and how waiting can be a legitimate form of action.


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Overcoming Perplexity - Frames of Mind Required for Engaging with Complexity, by Aiden Choles

Overcoming Perplexity - Frames of Mind Required for Engaging with Complexity, by Aiden Choles | Corporate Culture and OD | Scoop.it

A curious thing happens when it comes to making decisions in contexts that are complex. Psychological mechanisms seem to pull the carpet out from under our rationality. Here’s a story to illustrate this …

 

An up and coming manager in a minerals company based in Johannesburg was offered a promotion to lead a new team at a rural mining operation. Being in a far-flung rural area, the manager had to uproot his young family from suburbia where they were fairly comfortable and established. His wife agreed and they entered the new chapter of their lives, moving to a house provided by the company on the new mine. The new house had no garden and no grass for the kids to play on so the manager’s wife set about establishing a modest garden. Just as the grass was turning green, after weeks of intense effort, the husband returned home one evening with a memo from senior management. Water usage on the operation and in the surrounding communities was too high, it said. Seeing that the company supplied water to the community and that the operation was in a water scarce region, the community had to reduce their water usage. Amongst other restrictions, watering gardens was now prohibited. This infuriated the wife, but they had no choice. They could not have a garden. They had effectively relocated to a desert, she thought. This was not the lifestyle she wanted, or had chosen.

After a short while the manager resigned due to the family pressure of the relocation and moved back to Johannesburg. After encountering similar resignation stories, the mine’s HR manager escalated the exit interview transcript to the MD because she felt it was unacceptable to lose such promising talent over what she thought was a silly water restriction. The MD was unperturbed. ‘We operate in a water scarce environment’, he said. ‘We need to save water. We cannot be distracted by wives and children who want nice green grass to play on. This is a mine after all.’

 

This story is an example of how, when faced with a complex problem, managers can slip into a reductive frame of mind and deal with the problem by splitting off the adaptive challenge from the technical problem.

 


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