What informs my practice
A different way of thinking about organisations
The prevailing way of thinking about organisations is to think about them as if they are machines to be engineered. In my experience this prevailing view informs much managerial practice which leads to an over-emphasis on the importance of, and need to control behaviour, through structural, procedural and programmatic solutions.
An alternative way of thinking, which is, in my view, closer to our lived experience, and supported by the emerging study of complexity, is to think of organisations as complex social processes.
This rather radical perspective suggests that organisations have a much greater capacity for ‘self-organisation’ than is generally assumed, which, if taken seriously provides the basis for that somewhat overused mantra of ‘empowerment’.
I see my role as a ‘change agent, seeding and encouraging self organising processes while working with senior management to discover a leadership role that is powerful, influential and not oppressive.
In working to foster change I focus on creating conversations across departmental borders, and hierarchical boundaries. I encourage the expression of diverse views, and healthy challenge to the formal management consensus. I encourage senior managers to participate in the conversation as equals, thereby minimising power differentials. I invite people to pay attention to how things actually are done, rather than how they are supposed to be done. I draw attention to the norms and patterns which can be noticed in these conversations, and hence raise awareness of repetitive patterns of interaction which inhibit change, thus 'freeing up' the organisation's capacity to innovate and change.
For more information about how I might work with you, contact me at: