Fractal Change Management is one variation on complexity theory applied to human systems. It is the product of my doctoral dissertation and subsequent work with my mentor, David Boje.
In a nutshell, it capitalizes on the ways that groups of people organize themselves. We see patterns that happen again and again if we listen to the stories that are told by people from the same organization or social network. Just as elsewhere in nature, groups of people seem to act out the same kinds of patterns in big and small ways over time, what I like to call their “signature dance moves.”
Like other approaches to complexity, fractal change management involves identifying repeated patterns of behavior and perception in organizations. Once we identify those “signature dance moves,” we can begin to explore the deeply held beliefs that drive them and consider how we might use that information strategically— whether that means trying to shift a pattern, ignore it, reinforce it, or react.
Can you spot these kinds of patterns in nature? What if you looked for them in the behavior of your company, your circle of friends, even the world at large?
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