The dominant world view of Western culture – the world as machine – doesn’t help us to live well in this world any longer. We have to see the world differently if we are to live in it more harmoniously. Leadership and the New Science, (p. 172), Margaret Wheatley, 1999
We need to think less like managers and more like biologists. …Companies are actually living organisms, not machines. …Perhaps treating companies like machines keeps them from changing… We keep bringing in mechanics – when what we need are gardeners. We keep trying to drive change – when what we need to do is cultivate change.
- We must view organizations as organic rather than mechanical structures.
- Change comes about through growth from inside the organization rather than through a mechanical repair of existing systems.
- To quote Senge, “Just as nothing in nature starts big; the way to start creating changes is with a pilot group – a growth seed.” Start small.
- For these seeds of change to survive and grow, organizations must have line leaders (people at the heart of the value-generating process – who design, produce, and sell products; who provide services; who talk to customers) who will nurture and care for the change efforts.
- Meaningful and lasting change comes from inside the organization.
- The planting of seeds in areas that are surrounded by gardeners in the form of committed and motivated people is much more likely to result in lasting change than programs that are the result of top down efforts.