THE up-dated INTERNATIONAL EDITION OF "Organize with Chaos" (ISBN1852522976) is available on amazon.co.uk and on mb2000.uk (Sad that amazon.us is preventing its customers from quickly acquiring the vital ideas this book offers!)
Chaos ! A formula for disaster, or an essential energising companion to any modern business organisation?
In this groundbreaking new work, Robin Rowley and Joseph Roevens expose the foundations of contemporary management theory and practice to be outdated and, in many instances, irrelevant. They show how currently fashionable ideas about Vision, Motivation, Leadership, Rewards and Strategy are either only half right, or totally obsolete, for dealing effectively with today's increasingly chaotic global business conditions. The authors offer a fresh approach based on the principles of Chaos theory - previously thought of as an obstacle but now recognized as a vital energiser of innovation, performance and sustainable profit.
The book shows readers how they can shift the thinking and the performance of their organisation, and introduces a new concept of "change efficiency". The authors replace the complexity of conventional wisdom with a more simple, natural methodology. Above all, they offer a systematic, practical guide to starting up and running a change programme, which will really work.
Organize with Chaos will make intuitive common sense to anyone who is actually involved in running a business. Because it understands, welcomes and fully utilises the natural chaotic dynamics of the real world, it represents and important step forward in management thinking and business development.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
"There will be no strong governments in the West for the next 10 years. So you will have to be able to do business in an unstable political situation, where no government is going to be able to govern effectively. Therefore, you need a feel for the major directions and fundamental trends in a very chaotic situation so you must look to the outside and prepare yourself before you prepare your people." (Peter Drucker in a 1992 address to managers) This is not a technique, or a recipe book however. It is a lens. This lens will enable you to look deeply inside the processes of modern business and organisational change, and to view unfolding events from a fresh perspective. Change is not static. An informed, more dynamic model of the change process is urgently required, in order to make sense of today's fast changing business environment. To shape this new lens, Robin and Joseph have borrowed heavily from many fields of knowledge. We hope that it will enable you to welcome and to understand the unstable and chaotic business world described above by Peter Drucker, in a totally new way. In modern science, as well as in business, the days of predictability and certainty are over. As we approach the end of the twentieth century, it can come as a shock for many executives to realise just how far, even a hard science like Physics, has moved away from the static engineering view of reality, which most of us learned at school and which still governs so much managerial thinking. Last year for example, Robin and Joseph were invited to speak on the platform of a 'new-science' executive seminar in Brussels. For many of the managers and consultants at that meeting it was a jaw dropping experience, especially when one speaker, the distinguished scientist and Nobel laureat Ilya Prigogine, quite casually remarked that in his view of Physics today ...material and physical reality (the very stuff of which we are made) is just one aspect of probability! Probability, irreversible luck and random accident has entered the equations of science. In conventional management and organisation, we do not welcome such random chaotic factors, because they cannot be determined or controlled, and can wreck our carefully designed strategic plans. However in recent years, for most of us, the experience of business reality itself has totally and fundamentally changed. Our root assumptions about the very nature of this reality must also change, if we are to be able to deal with it effectively. Things are no longer static today, nor is change incremental, it is all too often discontinuous and quite unexpected. Adaptive flexibility must somehow be incorporated into modern organisation design. The question for any business person today is how can you possibly set up and run an efficient profitable organisation and also simultaneously manage to change, to cope with today's uncertainty? AIM: TO ALIGN THE PURPOSE & TO WIN BROAD COMMITMENT A word of warning first. A profound level of organisational change of this nature, requires absolute personal integrity from all change leaders. You should not attempt this exercise with leaders who are not ready to commit to values of openness, honesty and sharing, and who do not demonstrate a genuine desire to coach other people's success. All company information will also eventually have to become open and available for inspection. The exercise will test and probably change everyone involved, both personally and professionally. Once begun, this kind of change cannot easily be stopped. "Those who choose to remain shareholders must make an explicit commitment to the values currently articulated and practiced by the company." Robert Haas, CEO, Levi Strauss In the above outline, the first thing to do is to secure the mandatory power base, to both undertake and protect the full change cycle. Who owns the company? Is it public or private shareholders? Is it a family? What is important for these people: immediate or future earnings, growth, market dominance, etc ? Before you initiate the change, you must either obtain the approval and commitment of the key power-holders, or personally accept the risk, to run it as a scaled experiment and to get the credibility of the results. If you need permission, make sure that the powerful stake holders understand clearly what a deep Strategic Change really involves. Educate them to feel the same urgent pressure as you, to know 'why' you must change this organisation. Also tell them honestly that change is an investment, which may cost money for a while. ________________________________________________________ The Enhance dimension, just like the final Excite stage, is manageable. This is where you can prepare as much as possible to go through the other three dimensions coherently. Setting up the 'initial conditions', even if you can't predict specific outcomes, is crucial. Your objective here is to align everyone to the purpose and to win wide commitment. Once you have a solid go ahead from the powers-that-be, it's time to consider getting help. Work out a new reward system for the first group of primary Strategic Change Leaders, before you even put them together. Fix their rewards on internal cooperation (performance bonus) and total company long-term performance (stock). Then personally select, invite and group these people into a Strategic Change Team. This small group will carry the heart and the spirit of your emerging new organisation. The team should consist of a diverse range of people, holding various levels of hierarchical power and coming from each major functional department. They must be people who trust you enough to strongly disagree with you and to tell you the truth. They must also fully commit to the change, and eventually, to each other. Change Leaders should be very focused, determined, willing to break rules, and be well respected by their own troops, or colleagues. Depending upon the mandate from the shareholders, the Strategic Change Team (with you in it), then debates and sketches out its own collective future vision for the organisation. We emphasize "collective". As the boss, you should listen far more than you talk at these meetings.You need to develop the rapport of an initial outline vision together, or else it has no value. As the new vision emerges, you can begin to identify and to share some specific individual tasks of: - What to do? - Who will do it? - When will it be done? - How to measure and to reward it? When these activities become clearer, ask each person to specify and to write their own contribution down on one single sheet of paper. Then personally make a deal with them in front of the whole Strategic Change Team, and let everyone have a copy. Once everyone knows exactly who is doing what, you can let them all go off to do it, in their own way. To help the Strategic Change Team to begin to scale the extent and the risk of the total challenge, each member could list 3 to 5 key things which they want the firm to start doing, and also to stop doing, plus also add what they would personally welcome to happen spontaneously, in the firm. They will clearly understand from the mandate, whether they are aiming to fundamentally transform the architecture of the whole firm, or only to run experiments in the margin. If change is new to your existing culture, sometimes it is wiser to start a full experiment in a subsidiary, or a new aquisition - something like a controlled explosion - and if successful, to transfer the acquired knowledge and skills of the self-organising culture, back into the mother company. Ford did that with the Ford Taunus project. The Taunus teams became extremely successful in developing new, self-directed ways of working together. Their excellent performance results also gave the early pioneers credibility! and status with the rest of the firm. Management then asked them to coach people in other areas of the company. When the extent of the challenge is understood, the Strategic Change Team then sets an outline change budget to allocate enough time, space and resources. They then create a new downline reward system to favour entrepreneurship and horizontal cooperation, focused on customers. In training and developing this new customer approach for example, everyone could be asked to list 5 things about their own job that cash customers love? Rumours will spread long before people start to 'feel' the effects of any change. In order to avoid any unwanted "talent bleeding"; where essential people get nervous and start sending out their resumÈs; individual leaders can identify and anchor this talent well before the changes start to happen. Give such people enough security and invite them to develop or to find an exciting new role for themselves, or simply discuss how they would like to see their own future develop in the company. "Without constraints we get utter confusion, but with constraints we get chaos." Ralph Stacey Leaders can also begin to set up regular paid open meetings, to get 'critical' upline feedback aired and out in the open, and also to create a common sense of urgency. To find creative ways to educate people about customers and to 'benchmark' competitors, they must tell people the painful truth about the new business reality; introduce them to real flesh and blood customers and suppliers, and make it personal. With a new downline reward system in place, they can begin to open up the financial information and to start to educate widespread business literacy. Their job is to get as many key people as possible focused on working with the change, not on leaving the company, or on resisting it. A typical problem with secrecy and downsizing is that it destroys real communication and trust and also invites political maneuvering. This creates the wrong kind of self-interested 'boss fear' that destroys change momentum. Boss fear splits people up. People can't work together looking for ! the opportunity to win in the marketplace, if they feel under constant threat of losing their own individual jobs. Strategically the team isolates the cash cows. It limits disorder from seeping into areas of the organisation that generate money from existing business, for now. It looks more towards innovations in products and processes to attract new business. Chaos obviously is not allowed into departments that function best as hierarchies. Educate any hostile change resistance to the new reality of the market place. Use this energy. Encourage people to speak their doubts and fears openly and safely, in public meetings. Open healthy conflict builds trust. This is not about manipulation, it's about survival and reaching world class standards. Assign the most cynical change resistors to go out and to actively benchmark the top competitors, and to visit high performing operations with similar processes to yours. These people need to know and feel the purpose of change the most. Don't fire these people, create the opportunity for them to experience the truth. New Paradigm management assumes that everyone does the best they can with what they've got, and treats them accordingly. Give your people a reputation to live up to. Let them feel proud and honoured to work in your organisation. Enhance the spirit of the change. No deep pessimism among the leaders, beyond this point. "The spirit is really the bouquet of life, it is not something breathed into life, it comes out of life." Joseph Campbell The final suggestion is for each Strategic Change Leader to start to cascade the change initiative down and accross the firm, and assemble a Operational Change Team, comprising of people in her/his own network of known associates, throughout the organisation. Each Operational Change Team will essentially do the same kinds of things that we've suggested to Enhance its own part of the fractal. This is known as 'training to train'. These kinds of actions will "Enhance" the start of a coherent change on any scale, from a small department or business unit, to a large multinational corporation, and will naturally roll into the following dimensions of Perturb, Attract and Excite. DIMENSION TWO - "PERTURB" "Phase transitions are turbulent. So in order to change a system from one predictable state to another, nature uses a period of random behaviour in which the symmetry of one form of order is broken and another emerges. Instabilty is an essential feature of change from one state to another in nature." Ralph Stacey "PERTURB" "To facilitate the renewal process, top level managers must take on a new role- one that disturbs the organisational equilibrium." C.A.Bartlett & S.Goshal EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Typical forces which PERTURB.
Let The Market Enter: -
Introduce direct (cash) customer feedback on all levels. -
Open, invite and share all strategic market and financial information. -
Communicate and debate any new signals and competitor information. -
Seed diverse new projects and empower people to try. -
Welcome unconventional differences. -
Make a new employment offer based more on results, than time. Perturb The Fear of "The Boss": (Self-Organisation) Champion open feedback, big meetings, upline criticism and new proposals. Abolish oppressive status symbols, rituals, rules and dress codes. Encourage people to manage their own time and to organise their own space. -
Invite some teams to elect their own leaders. -
Liberate departmental stockpiles of talent, goods and space. -
Build a horizontal 'fast track'.
Seek out fresh opportunity, space, time and resources. -
Train HRM in entrepreneurship and change management. -
Grant paid time for training on demand and individual initiatives. -
Authorise new emerging roles and relationships. -
Protect those who dare, to 'seek pardon before permission'. Support downline operational decision making. -
Employ the intelligent use of executive silence and time. -
Under-Manage - refuse to command and keep out. AIM TO RELEASE: CUSTOMER PURPOSE, URGENCY, COMMITMENT,
WIDE INFORMATION SHARING, DIVERSITY,
SELF- ORGANISATION, CREATIVITY, RANDOM CHANCE. "The discovery of new ideas cannot be programmed. This is why revolutions and other social cataclysms often have a positive influence on science. By temporarily interrupting the routine of bureaucratic chores and putting the organizers of scientific research out of commission, they give people the opportunity to think." Simply Enhancing the change, will produce Perturbations. People will start to think and to behave differently. They will begin to live with more uncertainty, which is an essentially new way of doing things. You don't need to 'manage' Perturbation. It will happen spontaneously as a natural follow-up to some of the actions taken previously. If you want to fuel and accelerate the level of Perturbation, there are certain additional actions that the members of the Strategic Change Team can take, which are included above. The changing heart of the market has to govern the running of your business, not the fixed pyramid heads. An effective business change should liberate the natural energy that flows from customer love, competitor fear, open information sharing, and self-organised creative experimentation, to get people out of the old comfort zone, to create turbulence, and then to evapourate walls and internal resistance. The dust of change will never settle unles...From the Author:
Our purpose in writing this book, is to give you a very practical organisational tool to change people's behavior and habits, and also to reveal a new way for you to prospect your own organisation for new levels of performance, commitment and innovation. The book should take you only a few hours to read and to absorb. To start to write it, back in 1994, we practically had to re-invent the whole subject of business organisation. We used what Rob Kuijpers, the CEO of DHL Europe & Africa NV, called "A Greenfield Scenario" and started out with a clean sheet, to test many of the existing assumptions and current practices of management and organisation. When your market environment is hostile, or it starts changing fast, that's no bad thing to do.
It is very gratifying for us in this edition, to know that much of what we wrote then still holds and can now be expanded, to incorporate what has now become common executive reality. We are still discovering that so much traditional management thinking about people and organisation, particularly the need to over-control, is quite obsolete for today's volatile business conditions. Although we do try to explain why throughout the text, our first objective is to offer you a very practical, if sometimes radical, new way to recognise and to deal in practice with the changes affecting your business.
If you've got a change problem, or a change opportunity at the moment, we're sure that it will do you the world of good to read this little book.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
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