Managing change: think 'organism' not 'mechanism'

This is about managing change in organisations. It's about organisms and mechanisms; the model of the world we carry in our heads; and the importance of words. The model of the Industrial Age was all about mechanisms. Naturally.  But, the Knowledge Age is about organisms.

Today, if you work in an organisation, listen to the conversation and the words people use.

How much is 'mechanical' language?...

  • "We must build a new team."
  • "We need to make this happen.
  • "This set-up is not working."
  • "This approach is broken."
  • "Lets put together a plan"

And how much is 'organic' language?...

  • "We should grow that community."
  • "This project is not really flourishing."
  • "We need to germinate some new ideas."
  • "Let's propagate that way of doing things."
  • "We are properly in the manure." (OK this one is a joke.)

If you want to change a mechanism, there's no point getting your gardening gloves out: you can't grow a new flywheel.  Equally you can't build a new hydrangea. Or an organisation (really).

Whoever chose the term 'organisation' was smart: they put a GREAT BIG CLUE in the word. When it comes to changing organisations: think organism not mechanism.

And use organic words.

Because words change minds.