I write regular Strategic Snippets because I care about the success of your business. If you care about the success of someone else's business click "Send this page to a friend". Ask them to let me know that you were involved.


Bruce Holland

mob+6421 620 456

To Bruce Holland's web page...

To go back to the Snippet Index page...


In today's environment business leaders have to respond to more sophisticated customer demands, new sources of competition, the power of technology, capricious financial markets and knee-jerk economic policies.

Some companies are really struggling because they are still following policies based on a mechanical model of how the world works. They sometimes fiddle with new ways as fads. But with no integrity or deep understanding as to why they should change, these companies "flip-flop" between various tensions and supposedly opposing demands; they lurch from one state to another: centralise/decentralise, function/process, control/empower, price/quality, order/chaos. Does this sound familiar? I see it every day.

I think that this crazy lurching from one set of policies to another may be the most disruptive and expensive disasters of the last 20 years of New Zealand business.

Other companies are winning by following policies consistent with the laws of life (which are now becoming clearer through the study of the science of chaos and complexity). By unblocking their structures and processes, freeing up their grass-roots workers, developing P.A.L.s (partnerships, alliances and linkages) more widely and providing supports systems they are able to ride the roller-coaster and maintain service and business performance.

Understanding chaos and complexity is vital because it provides a new understanding of how the world works and with this understanding we can design our organisations with integrity, understanding that we are not just following a fad which can be changed at the first sign of a problem.

Studies in chaos and complexity show that winning organisations in the future will be those which, like insects (the most successful and numerous species on earth), are good at three things:

  1. Flexibility. This means the organisation can quickly adapt to a changing environment. This requires being good at sensing the changes, raising awareness of the changes within the organisation quickly, and responding quickly.

  2. Robustness. This means the organisation can still perform its tasks even when one or more individuals within it fail. This requires multi-tasking, a degree of decentralisation and a degree of redundancy built into the system..

  3. Self Organisation. This means the group needs relatively little supervision or top down control. Self-organisation requires a common vision, strong values, strong leadership (but a different type), trust and people development.

We have experimented widely with these three things in the way we operate Virtual Group Business Consultants. It started with a belief that there is a more successful way to human endeavor. This is the subject of the next Snippet.

In the meantime let me know if I can help or if you'd like to discuss these ideas further.

Very best wishes


Bruce Holland

Helps large organisations be focussed, fast and flexible. Places where people have more meaning, depth and connection.

Expert in Strategy, Structure, Culture and Leadership Development.

One of NZ's most experienced change agents.

Liberating the Human Spirit at Work
Web site design by Web Success CONTACT   |   make an enquiry   |   search   |   site map   |   home