Understanding organisations as complex social systems and co-creating enabling environments using the principles of complexity can bring about fundamental change. There is no ‘black box’ or magic in this process; it is simply a matter of addressing complex challenges in an appropriate way. However to do this effectively implies a shift in perspective and a different way of thinking. This is what can bring about changes in relationships, in behaviour, and in organisational culture…
A complexity approach acknowledges and attempts to identify the multiple interacting dimensions of a complex problem-space, such as the social, cultural, physical, technical, economic, political and other dimensions…
Complex problems often do not have a single definitive solution, but an enabling environment which is responsive and co-evolving with its changing broader social ecosystem, is much more likely to address the issues effectively…
These extracts are taken from Identifying the Multi-Dimensional Problem-space & Co-creating an Enabling Environment by Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly, Director of the Complexity Research Programme at the London School of Economics. In this paper * she discusses five fascinating and diverse case studies from around the world to explore how a deeper understanding of the complexity and characteristics of organisations is required to address what at first seem like intractable problems within these institutions.
For an “Introduction to complexity” you can listen to podcasts of Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly speaking at Suffolk County Council – Listen here >>
Download the full article here: www.schumachercollege.org.uk/files/PEMK.pdf
Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly will be teaching Complexity and Collaboration: Applying Complexity Theory to Organisational Transformation at Schumacher College on July 15-19 2013
(*) Please note: All material, including all figures, is protected by copyright and should not be reproduced without the express permission of the author.
This paper has been published in E:CO (Emergence Complexity & Organisation) in 2011 & as Chapter 2 in Moving Forward with Complexity, 2011
Edited by: Andrew Tait & Kurt A. Richardson 2011, ISBN 9780984216598, Emergent Publications.