6 challenges for organisations in a non-linear world

January 18th, 2012

We have arrived at the edge of the adaptive range of our industrial world. At the edge, because that world, our world is being overwhelmed by a trilemma of social, organisational and economic complexity. We are in transit from a linear world to a non-linear one. Non-linear because it is for all of us socially, organisationally and economically ambiguous, confusing and worrying. Consequently we are faced with an increasingly pressing and urgent problem, WHAT COMES NEXT? And also we are therefore presented with a design challenge: HOW do we create better societies, more able organisations and, more vibrant and equitable economies relevant to the world we live in today? No Straight Lines presents a new logic/literacy and inspiring plea for a more human centric world that describes an entirely new way for true social, economic and organisational innovation to happen.

In NO Straight Lines: I argue that we now have the possibility to truly transform our world, to be more resilient, to be more relevant to us both personally and collectively, socially cohesive, sustainable, economically vibrant and humane, through the tools, capabilities, language and processes at our fingertips.

The key to unlocking this opportunity, so we can design for transformation is through understanding the interlocking concepts of the six key principles of No Straight Lines, which our research shows are the 6 big challenges that organisations have to navigate to thrive in a non-linear world.

These are:

[1] How do organisations of all creeds deal with a more complex and increasingly ambiguous world?

[2] How do those organisations push through from living in an ambiguous world to one in which they can begin to design for adaptation?

[3] How do organisations learn to design for a more open world – which will be necessary for survival?

[4] How do organisations learn to design for a more participatory world?

[5] How do organisations develop a methodology for craftsmanship at a personal and more organisational level?

[6] How do organisations prepare for and design for transformation?
The six key principles of No Straight Lines, these are:

[1] Ambiguity [2] Adaptiveness [3] Participatory cultures and tools [4] Openness [5] Craftsmanship [6] Epic (designing for transformation).

What our research shows us that whether executed digitally or in our analogue world or indeed blended together – those organisations that have addressed these issues with conviction are the ones that have moved from being stuck in a world of concussive ambiguity.

 

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