I’ve been exploring the Change Curve, a framework for understanding organisational change and what we can do to ease the process. It characterises three states: ‘Resistant‘ organisations, who reject change and deploy antibodies to kill it, ‘Constrained‘ organisations, who are unable to relinquish enough control for it truly to gain momentum, and ‘Dynamic‘ organisations, whereby change comes naturally, not as the exception, and the change is co-created and co-owned. It’s a state of true agility, making it ideal for an organisation facing the challenges of the Social Age.
The diagram above represents the Dynamic Change Approach: we start with the organisation framing the change, then co-create a path forward. As the change starts to bite, we listen and adapt, always working within the frame, and co-creating solutions. As we find traction, gain amplification and momentum, we narrate the change back into the wider organisation, building tacit knowledge and tribal experience, all of which eases the process next time around.
In an agile organisation which takes a Dynamic approach to change, we do not just see this process once: it’s lived in every aspect. Frame the need, co-create the solution, work, listen and adapt, then narrate the experience. Again and again. The agile organisation is one that is setup, through infrastructure and resource, to be reconfigurable and adaptable. The agile organisation can work dynamically because it’s not fighting the hierarchy and system: it’s optimised for it’s ecosystem.
Indeed, this Dynamic Change approach represents the difference between a Constrained and Dynamic organisation effectively: the Constrained organisation is constrained because it loses energy by fighting controls. It’s willing to change, but ultimately hostage to it’s own processes and hierarchy. The truly dynamic organisation has moved to a more socially moderated hierarchy, where formal authority and permission is complimented by social, giving greater authority to formal leaders, and unlocking the value of Social Leaders. It’s rather like having your cake and eating it: the best of the old, the best of the new.
Over the next few days, i’ll be decoupling the different aspects of this model, exploring more of what i mean by it and how we achieve it in real life.