Kew Gardens - Chihuly2 v2015-05-01
Kew Gardens – Chihuly

My work is not about management ‘best practice’. It is about working in the real world and understanding the key relationships, processes and beliefs etc that allow what emerges from an organisation to thrive and appropriately serve our world.

With this in mind, it is important that we look at both the organisation, and those who participate in it, as wholes and parts (as a holarchy).  This supports a holistic view where mutual support and interdependence are fundamental in a complex and fast changing environment.  We are not cogs in a machine.  As an organisation we are alive with all the complexity and vibrancy that emerges.

What follows are some suggested reference points that can help develop and maintain the health and well-being of our organisations and what emerges from them:

A.  Elements of an organisation – where what emerges is greater than the sum of its parts

  1. Purpose, objectives, values and beliefs – Appropriate ongoing focus and direction?  (eg. Do you have a clear focus that serves us and our world – where people and planet matter?)
  2. Key relationships – In place, supported and healthy – with a focus on networks and holarchies (individual, organisation, community, society)?  (eg. Are the/your key relationships healthy and based on trust?)
  3. Task cycles, processes & resources – Is there resilience? Are they effectively and sustainably managed? (eg. Are the/your task cycles efficient? Do they support a sustainable way forward? Is there clear responsibility and accountability? See relationships)
  4. Feedback/learning/adjustment – Is there renewal? Accurately informed ongoing innovation and evolution? (eg. Are you learning and taking appropriate action?)

B.  Some opportunities and challenges influencing an organisation

  1. Change – Flourishing in constant and rapid change
  2. Complexity – simplifying the complicated while managing complexity
  3. Creativity – planning structures and processes while allowing emergence  (see post)
  4. Paradox – accommodating ambiguity and balancing dilemmas  (see post, and another post )
  5. Interdependence – recognising and working with the inter-connectedness of things
  6. Working together – finding common ground while encouraging differences  (see post)
  7. Trust (nurturing consistency with adaptability, transparency with accountability, mutual support/care with responsibility)  (see post, and another post)
  8. Leadership – as an enabling art. Encouraging talent and potential while ensuring clarity, competency and capacity throughout  (see post)