How can change management help achieve sustainability in agriculture?
Sustainability is like a kaleidoscope – many different pieces need to shift, sometimes a lot, sometimes incrementally – so that a new picture can emerge. To achieve sustainability, you need to know which pieces to add, which to take away and how to move them around relative to one other to achieve the right picture.
When you say "change management", many people think of employee-focused programs, usually associated with a change in working procedures, such as the introduction of new IT systems, but change management can – and should – be applied at three levels:
1. Internally to mobilize people and processes to achieve outcomes that are critical for organizational success;
2. At the level of the operating framework to identify institutional legacies that will slow down or prevent change if not addressed;
3. To the wider stakeholder ecosystem where many complementary changes may be needed for your change to endure.
In praise of redundancy: how fractal structures create adaptability and flexibility
This is the second article in a series looking at biomimicry as a management approach.
The combination of the economic crisis, a growing awareness of the need to improve the sustainability of human activities, and the rise of social media, among other factors, call into question whether traditional hierarchical organizations -- with task specialization -- are best-suited for today's imperatives. Fractals may provide a better alternative.
This is the first article in a series looking at biomimicry as a management approach.
Human organizations are increasingly loose networks of actors surrounded by constellations of stakeholders, and researchers are discovering that human organizations actually are living organisms. But in many cases, we have actually been impeding their natural functioning with our linear, hierarchical procedures. Managers need to learn how to facilitate the interactions that will foster "swarm intelligence".