| ||Roger Lewin, Birute Regine |
This book looks at the application of complexity theory to organisation design. This increases the emphasis on how things interrelate, on relationships between individuals and among teams and between businesses and other parts of the commercial and community environment. It carries a message that executives cannot control their business, merely influence the direction it takes. The actual route will emerge from the larger environment, and the detailed actions of staff.
After explaining the relevance of complexity theory to business, the authors present case studies demonstrating the practice of complexity:
- Muhlenberg Medical Centre
- St Lukes (Advertising)
- Cornelia St and River Cafe
- Babel's Paint & Decorating Store
- The Industrial Society
- The Guardian.
The lessons from the case studies are explained:
- The businesses built a sense of community which engendered loyalty and excellent performance.
- That leadership needs to be re-written as the ability to see at both the macro and micro levels of detail, to provide clear values and live them for all to see, to provide empathy and use intuition.
- That there needs to be uncertainty, ambiguity, redundancy and contradiction within organisations, with things allowed to emerge in their own time, experimentation and failures permitted.
- Allow teams to emerge to meet a need, with all staff allowed to contribute.
- Valuing and supporting relationships, real relationships that are authentic and from the core of people.
- That it's important for the business to have a soul – a genuine purpose that people can be passionate about.
A thought provoking book with some excellent case studies. From a knowledge worker context, it provides many lessons on how to manage any worker in a way which is ethical and acknowledges their abilities and desires, and which can build a productive, enjoyable and committed working environment.
Dr Ian Gregory, 2004