Does the quickening pace of change or the accelerating pace of complexity pose a greater threat for humans and organizations?
Change can be incredibly disruptive to both humans and organizations.
So much so that I decided to create a more modern, visual, collaborative and effective set of methods and tools to help organizations beat the 70% change failure rate and better keep pace with the accelerating pace of change – the Change Planning Toolkit™ – introduced in my latest book Charting Change.
In the book I highlight that the pace of change is accelerating, and use the increasing rate of change in the S&P 500’s membership as a proof point:
Another proof point is the fact that all of our high technology has been developed in roughly the last 100 years.
There can be no doubt that the pace of change and disruption is quickening.
But how much of the accelerating disruption that we see can be attributed to what I see as an increasing pace of complexity?
If anyone doubts that we live in a time of accelerating complexity, I encourage you to check out the book The Toaster Project by Thomas Thwaites, or this TED talk given by Thomas:
I find this video quite frightening because it highlights how fragile our high-technology society is, and how much we need each other.
If a single person can’t make the simplest of electrical appliances by themselves, even over the course of a year, then imagine the complexity that organizations must manage to make even more complicated products.
Imagine the challenge of making changes to our organizations after we’ve optimized things to successfully manage this complexity.
If both complexity and change are accelerating, how can we cope?
Here are four key ways to better manage complexity and change:
- Choose carefully which complexity to inflict upon the organization
- Learn how to architect the organization for continuous change
- Continuously evaluate your organization’s trade-offs between flexibility and fixedness
- Leverage the modern, visual, and collaborative tools from the Change Planning Toolkit™ that are easily adapted to our new virtual work environment
Grab the ten free tools from the Change Planning Toolkit™ before purchasing a license so you can keep these three key frameworks front and center as you plan a more modular and conscious approach to managing the growing complexity in your organization:
- PCC Change Readiness Framework
- Organizational Agility Framework
- Architecting the Organization for Continuous Change
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