Reflecting On Radical Complexity

Yesterday i published a major piece around ‘radical complexity’, and considering whether some organisations can become ‘too big to succeed’. Today, i’ve shared part of that work in a Masterclass, specifically the thoughts around scale: that the formal structure of hierarchy is infinitely scaleable, whilst the social structure, being more granular, and becoming polluted through political forces, cannot.

Radical Complexity

It may well be that there are ultimate limits to scale, and that growth may involve exploring new organising principles, new modes of connection, new forms of power, not simply trying to scale the visible, formal aspects. For me, this is about the design principles of the Socially Dynamic Organisation, one which gains it’s strength not from it’s formal mass and hierarchy, but through it’s dynamic, interconnected, sense making, social communities.

Sketching the Socially Dynamic Organisation

I’ll be exploring this further as i continue work on ‘The Change Handbook’ next month, but for now, i find myself revisiting that writing from yesterday, and remembering that whilst the formal aspects of scale are easy to see and manage, the social ones are not.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
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