Disruption after transformative events: the Satir Change Model

July 28, 2009
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The impact on group performance of a well assimilated change during the five stages of the Satir Change Model

Steven Smith has a very interesting post discussing the Satir Change Model – a model of group process which charts the impact of innovations in organisational dynamics.

Smith discusses the impact of change on organisational dynamics.  The Satir Change model is derived from family psychology, which tracks the changes in family behaviour after the introduction of a new or disruptive event.

What the model finds is that after a new way of acting or behaving is adopted, there is a drop in performance often followed by a period of chaos or disruption.  This then restabilises to a higher level than before after group members internalise and embrace the circumstances of the new condition.

Clark Quinn then comments upon this, applying the model to organisational change.  He suggests that breaking new conditions or changes of behaviour into small, bite sized chunks might actually help reduce the negative aspects associated with change adoption.  Introducing these at the right time, and in the right order, may be the key to progressive, ongoing organisational change.

Smith then summarises this process in a table, reproduced below:

ctions for each stage that will help a group change more quickly and effectively.

Actions for each stage that will help a group change more quickly and effectively.

Many thanks to Steven and Clark for discussing this issue in the context of organisational change.

What lessons might this hold for humanitarian bearocratic change in the face of increasing numbers of disruptive, change-inducing events? Depending on the magnitude and frequency of these events (both increasing), it is possible that such organisations could hypothetically be driven down a process of ever decreasing performance if such changes happen fast enough.  On the other hand, embracing and understanding a model such a this (if it works in the context of your organisation) could help managers better navigate these changes.

UPDATE – This also suggests that in order for organisations to learn and improve, they must be subject to creative, disruptive, potentially even destructive events.  If one is serious about change management and organisational adaptation, doesn’t it make sense to bring about such small events in order to help agencies and organisations better strengthen their “immune systems” in this regard?  In this case, do the ends justify the means?


Mobility VIP cards; a creative and effective tool for rapid scenario generation

March 27, 2009

mvip

The Art Center College of Design have created an intermixable deck of cards designed to jump start the scenario creation stage of futures workshops.

Jamais Cascio brings our attention to another extremely interesting and relevant development for those involved in futures work, scenario planning, or strategic design at any level.  Called the mVIP cards, the deck loosely follows the “STEEP” framework for identifying various elements of change in the future.  

The best part about the deck is that they are presented as an online Flash application for anyone to explore.  Check out the Flash site here.

We played around a bit and created a future with the following components:

  • All electric utilities
  • Rapid learning networks
  • Ubiquitous bugginess
  • Carbon rations
  • Fertile soil is gold
  • Asia invades Australia
  • Genetically modified crop failures

While perhaps random generation of futures, I-Ching style, isn’t the best strategic orientation strategy, the deck does a very fun and effective job of mixing and matching different developments to open the mind to new possibilities.  Very useful and effective.


“A Force More Powerful” serious gaming to teach non-violent strategies

December 19, 2008

This is another fantastic example of combining contemporary gaming technology with humanitarian, training, and learning expertise on crucial issues.

A group of filmmakers and nonviolence activists at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) have created a serious game simulation which teaches players nonviolent resistance strategies under oppressive regimes. A Force More Powerful: The Game of Non-Violent Strategy”

From the website:

Can a computer game help people learn how to defeat dictators, military occupiers, and corrupt rulers–not with laser rays and AK47s–but with a non-military strategy and nonviolent weapons?

Featuring ten scenarios inspired by history, A Force More Powerful simulates nonviolent struggles to win freedom and secure human rights against dictators, occupiers, colonizers, and corrupt regimes, as well as campaigns for political and human rights for minorities and women. The game models real-world experience, allowing players to devise strategies, apply tactics and see the results.