An unlikely tonic for organizational disorder – nuno borges – Medium

Another great piece of organisational systems thinking

Source: An unlikely tonic for organizational disorder – nuno borges – Medium

 

An unlikely tonic for organizational disorder

nuno borges

nuno borges
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Nov 10 · 16 min read

Many modern organizations are in a state of disorder. Prior success for the large enterprise generally ossifies through the preservation of structure, practices, and norms. As we rocket along the law of accelerated returns through the 21st Century, the world around us, the environment, is changing context so quickly that organizations struggle to synchronize their internal rate of change. A quick survey of the Fortune 500 over the last 50 years yields the graveyard of persistent disorder and change-averse behaviour. Organizations that refuse to acknowledge the growing complexity around them, and seek to preserve their tenuous hold on historical success, often simply die. This should not be misinterpreted as an unethical outcome, but rather, a natural consequence of a self-organizing system that lost the tension between environmental change and its own adaptive response.

This article will examine large hierarchical organizations struggling to adapt within their changing environment, and offer a set of perspectives, or an avoidance strategy, crafted from the lens of complexity. I will use Cilliers’ paper What we can learn from a theory of complexity? (2000) as a structural frame for constructing an approach. Sonja Blignaut has given similar critical treatment to this topic in her fantastic article 7 Implications of seeing organizations as complex systems.

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