Organizational Change


Living systems neither pursue nor expect stability. To stay viable, living systems must constantly change and grow. The same is true of organizations. Fluctuations (in customer preferences, for example) are a primary source of creativity, and disturbances (such as changes in technology, in leadership) stimulate systems to let go, reconfigure, and renew.

In today’s environment, challenges shift and change shape while we’re in the midst of tackling them, and surprisingly intractable problems hold on no matter what. Classic approaches to change and problem solving are only modestly effective in this dynamic environment. We help our clients thrive by embracing the practical principles of complexity as skills and tools to navigate chaos and change. For example, we teach our clients when to use Simple Rules (a small set of simple rules which generate purposeful, complex, and dynamic behavior), and how to foster small changes that could generate big effects (rather than big plans that generate modest results).

When managed well, organizational changes are often remembered as times of great progress, creativity, and partnership. When not managed well, they are confusing and uncertain times in which productivity drops, relationships suffer, and opportunities are lost. We provide an integrated and disciplined approach to change and transition management that incorporates fast-cycle as well as longer-term processes.

Changes impact systems on the individual, group, and enterprise-wide level in both obvious and subtle ways. We attend to the change and transition needs at each of these levels, addressing how each impacts the other. We help clients to “model the end from the beginning” by designing the transition process in a manner that practices the desired end state, thus generating early progress and confidence. With a common picture of the future, or simple rules for navigating chaos, individuals are more likely to find hidden synergies that allow them to be both efficient and opportunistic, even when managing multiple changes at the same time. We bring a systemic lens, which leads to an inclusive transition process, ensuring that all stakeholders who impact (or are impacted by) a change understand it and have a role to play in moving the initiative forward. This combination of strategic clarity, inclusion and an explicit transition process often generates a “path of least resistance” toward the desired outcomes.

  • Are you able to drive change or capture narrow windows of opportunities when you need to?
  • Is your organization free of the chronic issues and practices that bog down other organizations in your field?
  • Are you and your team confident in the midst of uncertainty, able to maintain solid footing in the midst of unpredictable change?
  • Do you need to transform your organization in a substantive way – you aren’t the organization you need to be to achieve what you want to achieve?