We need to become increasingly fluid but why?

Organizations are facing increasing a dilemma in how they organize and manage within their systems and structures.

They are being forced to deal increasingly with complexity and environmental turbulence and ‘adapting the appropriate response’ remains increasingly a difficult one to master, within the existing regime and structures.

On the one hand, the value in our stability is still essential; working within specific routines and practices gives a clear ‘path dependence.’

This allows for efficiency and effectiveness to be constantly at practice, constantly building the problem-solving processes, so as to master tasks in complex environments to resolve ‘known’ problems in ‘given’ ways.

Yet there is considerable discussion around changing structures and models to become more adaptive, agile and fluid, to react and deal with this increasing turbulence occurring all around us.

We need to react and become more responsive, becoming more adaptive to changing environments and business challenges, that are often unknown, unexpected, or not yet explored or exploited.

Yet we need to face this paradox of fluidity and stability.

Those growing conditions of uncertainty and complexity also need boundary building, identity formation and problem-solving architectures that are stable and can provide replication of essential actions or activities. We need to seek out and maintain yet constantly challenge to “undo” and redesign.

We are still struggling with the dominant linear logic of much of what we do in organizations, and often this constrains innovation, restricts us to provide radically different business models and limits our abilities to change fast enough.

We are learning to be far more adaptive in our learning but this is constantly meeting up with resistance, often based on this past practice of pursuing only linear logic.