Toolkit three: Working in organisations

Toolkit three: Working in organisations

Tackling wicked problems and the transformation of large, interconnected systems is one thing but we all work within organisations that have their own structures and ways of doing things, which often seem to make the work of transformation harder. Is it possible to transform our organisations? And if so, how can we begin? Ongoing organisational restructurings, visioning processes, and leadership changes don’t seem to have changed the character of organisations much over the past decades.

Where does systems thinking lead us? In this toolkit, we tackle two broad topics: complexity and organisations; and public sector transformations.

Acknowledgements: This toolkit was created by the Interaktiv kapacitetsutveckling för systeminnovation i utvecklingssamarbete/Interactive capacity development for system innovation in development co-operation​ (IXUS) collaboration, supported by a grant from Sida, and building upon thought leadership in a number of changemaker programmes from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, University of Cape Town, Adapt, Southern Africa Food Labs, University of Waterloo, and University of Victoria.

Please note that if you encounter any difficulties accessing the links, we recommend switching browsers for seamless access to our resources.

Chapter 1

Complexity and organisations

What are the implications of complexity in organisations? Do we need different approaches to organisational structures and leadership? To incentives? To knowledge management? To change management? This, and much more, is what we’ll explore.

Resources: complexity and organisations

6 resources

Chapter 2

Public sector transformations

Complexity, with its inherent non-linearity and unpredictability, demands non-bureaucratic approaches to government, governance, and public sector work. This is an enormous challenge, but there are numerous groups and networks tackling it. The resources linked here are just a sampler, to get started.

Resources: public sector transformations

9 resources