I’m spending the whole of this week #WorkingOutLoud, trying to complete a full draft of the book called ‘The Change Handbook: Building the Socially Dynamic Organisation’. Regular readers will recognise that, through various iterations, i’ve been working on this for the last three years, so it’s a substantial body of work. Certainly my largest book so far. If all goes well, i will publish it around August this year. Currently the manuscript stands at 65k words, around 350 pages, and 70 illustrations. So far this week i’ve reworked the core model, which sits in part 3. It’s the Dynamic Change Framework, and the new version looks like this.
Previously, i showed it as two models, one (the outer layer) was ‘from Resistant to Constrained’, and the second (the inner four, currently in blue) were ‘From Constrained to Dynamic’. But i didn’t really like it: it was too tidy, and one of the core messages of the book is that change is not tidy, and that change is not a process. So i’m currently representing it as these eight aspects of change: eight tiles which can move around, indeed, the other eight blank tiles represent that ability to move, that balance between the formal and social spaces. As i’m dedicating this whole week to writing, i’ll just share the initial overview of the model that i’ve just written for the book.
“I do not believe that holistic change can come about through a change process alone: a change process would be something that is owned by the organisation and gives an impression that change is a linear activity. Instead, we have spent our time so far exploring the notion of a Socially Dynamic Organisation, one which has a deeply held capability to change, maintained in a dynamic tension between the formal organisation and the communities that it houses.
But whilst change is not a process, I believe that we can represent aspects of change, an approach that we can take over time to support us as we co-create and co-own change. I’m representing that with this change framework.
The framework represents eight aspects of change: around the outside we see how the organisation can frame the change, work with the community to co-create answers, adapt in response to its actions, and narrate the learning back into the organisation. In the centre we see how a community can segment the resistance to change, own or allocate the challenges that come out of that, build individual agency, and embed the change.
The actions around the outer edge are broadly meant to represent those actions that can be taken as part of a change programme, whilst the actions in the centre largely take place within communities, but the distinction is not intended to be absolute. Indeed, the tiles should be movable, and presence of the blank tiles represents that fact.
A Socially Dynamic Organisation will hold all eight tiles in constant motion.
The organisation will frame the change, the community will segment the resistance, ideas and innovation will emerge from the communities in an act of co-creation, individual aspects of change will be owned by individuals or allocated to teams, there will be a high level of individual agency, the organisation will adapt as it goes, using constant iterative cycles, change will be embedded, and narrated. A learning organisation, an organisation with a deeply held ability to change.
I’m fully aware that this model is less tidy than a linear change journey, and that’s really the point: a Socially Dynamic Organisation has a diversified strength, a strength that is held partly in its formal ability to drive change through direct control, and partly in its ability to socially co-create and socially moderate change within its communities.
Under this approach is not really feasible to block out some things and say that they purely sit within the remit of the organisation, and other things, which sit purely within the remit of the social communities. Instead, we feel this constant dynamic tension between all eight aspects, between the formal and social communities.”