Complexity and Creativity in Organizations by Ralph Stacey

By Ralph Stacey

This article seeks to illustrate what management potential in an atmosphere the place entire regulate isn't really attainable. Explaining what self-organization capability in human platforms, it offers a version of the educational association that takes into consideration the real-life anxieties which are concerned.

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I believe they know just how much I appreciate their understanding and their contribution. RALPH D. STACEY LONDON, ENGLAND FEBRUARY 1996 Page 1 INTRODUCTION In this book I invite you to explore with me how the newly emerging science of complexity might provide us with more useful frameworks for making sense of life in organizations than the approaches that currently dominate our thinking and therefore our acting. Let me make it clear right at the start that I am not about to present you with a new recipe for organizational success, that is, the latest successor to Culture Change Programs, Total Quality Management, Business Process Reengineering, Future Visioning, Competitive Competencies, Investors in People, or the like.

Our experience, however, is dramatically at odds with this belief. In fact, organizational life produces one surprise after another. The state of stable adaptation hardly ever seems to come in this life, and just when it does seem to have arrived, the whole system falls apart. When we look back we nostalgically see golden times that were stable and we devoutly hope for such times again, but in each sequential present, that stable state is quite clearly absent. And yet despite the fact that we are so frequently surprised and have been unable to grasp the kind of control we thought we should, the whole system works reasonably well, generating rapid technological advances and producing rising living standards for many.

The other side of this stability coin, however, is that when I join a team of consultants and design with them a program to change an organization in accordance with the wishes of its most powerful members who are our clients, the project almost always fails, and often this is a result of what happens in the organization's shadow system. Those who want to change organizations often experience major frustration as these organizations stubbornly stay the same no matter how sophisticated the culture change, Total Quality Management program, or Business Process Reengineering program.

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