Tag Archives: mental model

The conflict of mental models: The key to organizational transformation

One of the most important reasons why organizational transformations fail is the existence of a conflict between what the organization wants to do and who it really is. This conflict can be understood by means of the notion of mental model, which corresponds to the way the organization sees its environment and itself. With this perspective, transformation is about changing the organization’s individual and collective mental models. While this is difficult in itself, it is even more so when the current model, which must evolve, is perceived as valid, because this leads to a conflict between the existing and the desired model. Surfacing this conflict and explicitly addressing it is the key to successful organizational transformation.

Continue reading

Advertisements

How Mental Models Prevent Organizational Change: The Tragedy of the Greenland Settlers

What prevents the transformation of organizations? More generally, what prevents us from changing in the face of a changing environment? There are many causes, but among them is the way we perceive the world and how we perceive ourselves, i.e. our mental model. The importance of mental models is particularly exemplified in an important historical case, the disappearance of the Norwegian colony of Greenland.

Continue reading

Collective myths and the challenge of organizational transformation

Why is an organization so difficult to transform? The issue continues to challenge the senior management of many large organizations. In large part, the difficulty comes from the fact that what makes an organization unique, that it is a social artifact (a collectively shared artificial object), is not recognized. Viewing an organization from this angle, rather than as a machine or a node of contracts, opens up an interesting avenue and provides the missing key to transformation.

Continue reading

Why Transforming an Organization is Difficult: Resources, Processes, Values and the Migration of Skills

Why do organizations find it difficult to change when facing a disruption? The question is not new but it continues to puzzle researchers and managers alike. Part of the answer lies in the observation that over time, what an organization knows migrates: its capability initially lies in its resources (especially human), then it evolves to processes and finally to values. It is at this last stage that change is the most difficult.

Continue reading