This critical first step in navigating in the Complexity Space is to surface the underlying patterns and context in which the organization operates. Predictive and guaranteed results become highly improbable in the constantly changing, self-organizing and often unrecognized organizational ecosystem, however a deeper understanding of the dimensions of the ecosystem offer a new paradigm for organizational success.
We identified three dimensions of the organizational ecosystem that seemed “true and useful” in creating awareness and conversation about any team or organization’s unique context.
History: The organizational system’s traditions, significant historical milestones
Context: The surroundings in which the organizational system operates
Culture: Who and what the organizational system is at its core
Each of these deeply embedded dimensions allows greater precision in creating awareness of the environmental “context” and deep structures in which the organization operates. These dimensions are characterized by the following properties:
- Always present
- Operate at multiple layers simultaneously
- Not immediately visible
- Not predictably influenced
- Inputs/outputs not proportional
- Open to external systems