Bringing Life to Organizational Change-Margaret Wheatley

“If organizations behave like living systems, the following description of change should sound familiar: Some part of the system (the system can be any size – an organization, a community, a team, a nation) notices something. It might be in a memo, a chance comment, a news report. It chooses to be disturbed by this. Chooses is the important word here. No one ever tells a living system what should disturb it (even though we try all the time). If it chooses to be disturbed, it takes in the information and circulates it rapidly through its networks. As the disturbance circulates, others grab it and amplify it. The information grows, changes, becomes distorted from the original, but all the time it is accumulating more meaning. Finally, the information becomes so important that the system can’t deal with it. Then and only then will the system begin to change. It is forced by the sheer meaningfulness of the information, to let go of present beliefs, structures, patterns, values. It cannot use its past to make sense of this new information. It truly must let go, plunging itself into a state of confusion and uncertainty that feels like chaos, a state that always feels terrible. Having fallen apart, having let go of who it has been, the system is now and only now open to change…”

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