And who are you?

Does how you respond get conditioned by who asks the question? In what circumstances? In what environment? Do you always answer exactly the same or do you change it? Understanding and forming identity is a key element of change, of leadership, of organisational survival. For any change to be meaningful it needs to engage as closely as possible with our identity because our existing identity will have already set the bounds to preserve the status quo.

How the Organisation Subverts its Subversives

Just as a virus is constantly adapting as the immune system tries to defeat it, the change movement must learn to evolve. Being wedded to the form that lead to early success is a sure route to failure. Unless the change effort mutates to fight the organisational anti-bodies its legacy will be nothing more than a sense of what might have been. You may not be able to plan in advance just when or how you will need to change the way you change, but you need to be very aware that at some point you will have to. What you end up with may not be what you first envisaged, but it will be real and lasting.

The illusion of control

‘Take back control!’ was the slogan for the UK’s leave campaign. A palpable desire to have control over our own affairs throughout the campaigning and the vote to leave the EU. Yet the immediate aftermath of the vote is a brutal and sharp reminder that control is illusory. The harder you grasp for it the more slippery it becomes. Control does not reside in the structures we create or in winning a referendum. (By John Atkinson)

Linear to Complex

Here are some sound pieces of advice: the more you know about a system, the better you are at predicting its behavior. If you want a large outcome, then put a large amount of effort into the process. For the best execution, plan ahead. These are all powerful strategies – but only if you are dealing with a linear system. For a complex system, this approach spells disaster

Seel: The Nature of Emergence

Intention is not a simple intrinsic property of human agents. Instead, it is often—perhaps always—co-created as a result of interactions with other people. Intention, therefore, can be thought of as an emergent property created from the interactions within a human system which then feeds back into the system and influences its future development. In particular, it influences the way in which at least one of the complex agents in the system will behave in future.

Social Media: Destroyer or Creator?

Over the last few years we’ve been treated to a number of “Facebook revolutions,” from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street to the squares of Istanbul, Kiev and Hong Kong, all fueled by social media. But once the smoke cleared, most of these revolutions failed to build any sustainable new political order, in part because as so many voices got amplified, consensus-building became impossible.
Question: Does it turn out that social media is better at breaking things than at making things?

Cognitive Dissonance Theory for Inspiring Social Change

The significance of cognitive dissonance needs to be understood to rationalize the theory underlying social change processes. Social change in the context described might be applied within a personal or family relationship, a work organization, or within society in general. And, the theory can be rationalized in its application in terms of scale for example in inciting the conditions for civil revolution and changing political systems of governance, or complex organizational change within multinational corporations.