Change is a Natural Process

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Organization and Change > Best Practices > Change is a Natural Process

Change is a Natural Process
amani gera, Accountant, Egypt, Member
If we think about change as a natural process in life...
This occurs from two related lines:
1. The theory of chaos and self organization on the one hand, and
2. Complexity theory on the other hand.
As Gareth Morgan said: 'Examine the flocking of birds; inspite of all the unpredicitability, coherent order always emerges out of the randomness and surface chaos'.

Cynefin Framework and Types of Change
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
Amani: check out the Cynefin framework. Complexity and chaos theory is applied here to distinguish between traditional "idealistic" and "naturalistic" change.
- Idealistic change is appropriate if the situation is on the ordered side (complicated and simple domain) because cause and effect relationships exist.
- However, where there is unpredictability, uncertainty, and no known cause/effect relationships, we are on the unordered side of complexity and chaos. Here the change process must be naturalistic; that is, we let the system find the solution. This is where your statement "change as a natural process in life" makes sense.

Natural Change?
Gary - what if order is only created by human societies - which means idealistic change can only happen there?
We live in a natural system where change is the 'order of the day'. Though we may not see or measure it as we set our parameters incorrectly.
Hence idealistic change cannot actually occur - we only think (or perceive it within our limits?) it does. Change is dynamic.

Chaos is Natural
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
Dolva: I agree with you. Order, stability, consistency are all human desires. But it's a two-edged sword. When we have too much order and stability, problems begin to arise that can only be resolved by disrupting existing patterns and systems.
In the Cynefin framework, Dave Snowden depicts this by describing the boundary between the simple and chaotic domains as a slippery edge. We become too complacent and comfortable and begin creeping closer and closer to the boundary. And when we cross the simple/chaotic boundary, it's not a gentle decline but a significant drop and crash.
The occupy movement is a good example. Unhappy dissidents have plunged people into chaos. In response, the politicians in charge try to restore order and move back into the simple domain. Alas, we end up doing a pendulum swing between simple <-> chaotic.
The smart alternative is to move from the chaotic to the complex domain. These leaders advocate experimenting with social change ideas rather than returning to the status quo.

We Must Embrace Complexity
Fantastic Gary. I wonder if in our attempt to force our chaotic/complex systems to conform (current economic, social and other theories) and therefore we deconstruct them, have we lost our natural ability/acceptance to live with uncertainty?
Uncertainly guides the evolution and adaptation of ecosystem components that ultimately ensures their resilience. But as you say - it is a slippery edge - can only push systems so far before they search for a new state.

Resilience versus Robustness
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@Dolva: Your use of the word "resilience" is very apropos. I sense there is a shift away from "robustness", a paradigm that doesn't like failure and therefore, we spend countless hours and dollars attempting to build a fail-safe system with redundancy.
'Resilience' is recognizing that failure is acceptable as long as we learn from it. It also means changing our thinking to "safe-fail" and embracing the fact that errors will naturally occur.
The challenge, therefore, is not to prevent them (robust) but to develop quick recovery processes and systems (resilient).
I am currently focusing on resilient engineering, a different way of thinking about safety in a complex/chaotic world.

Change is a Natural Process
Prakash Peter, Consultant, India, Member
From uncertainty order, stability and consistency occurs. When desires gets strengthened by commitment, mind will become free of lust and confusions and will overcome all its limitations and the renewed consciousness will lead for change.

Chaos is Dissipatory, Complex Emergence of Order is Constructive on Its Own
TSE Pak Hoi Isaac (Dr.), Professor, China, Member
@Dolva: chaotic situations dissipate energy and resources. Nature resolves surplus energy and emotion by allowing self-healing (autopoiesis) and the emergence of new preferences.
New preferences make a new order and begin to reshape itself to accommodate the maximum number of stakeholders.
The new order is the result of significant change. Else, the system falls back to the original position, stalling again until the next wave of unrest stirs up in time.

Have Humans Lost the Ability to Live with Uncertainty?
Darryl Lynn Jones
Hi Dolva, if may interject a brief observation, consider that self-preservation drives technology which originates within cognition for all beings.
As you know, homo sapiens sapiens occupy the highest rung on the survival ladder due to technology of the human mind outpacing, thus outdistancing, other earthly cohabitants. The quest for survival and the innate need toward self-preservation continues to be positively reinforced by the inculcation of unceasing effort for reduction of environmental uncertainty; which is the primary threat to human survival.
Hence, we are taught that through the elimination of uncertainty, which assuages risk of injury; humans increase the probability of situational survival far ahead and more often than any other being on earth.
Finally, humans have not lost the natural ability to live with uncertainty. It has only been suppressed in favor of comfort while the odyssey moves forward.

Change is Embedded in Life
Joseph Adedio Egievba, CEO, South Africa, Member
Change is embedded in every living being that exist on earth. Human development and growth entails change. Therefore, it is necessary.

Organization and Change

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