Openfield
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Openfield

The Future of Work is Built on a Continuous
Change Set of Principles

I cannot predict the future, but if I am convinced of anything, it is that it will be full of change.

The concept of ‘change’ is to become different, to evolve. Change is central to how a person or system develops and evolves over time. It therefore follows that how we deal with change should also evolve as we seek to respond to our environment. Decision-making sits at the centre of this evolution. Consciously or unconsciously, we make a choice to change. By understanding our patterns of decision-making we are able to question and thus influence changing environments to reflect our shifting needs. Each situation, each person, each business and system is unique in this way, because they all exercise the choice to change.

I am an expert in change. I support individuals and organisations develop plans to address and influence upcoming change while achieving ambitious goals and remaining true to their guiding principles.

Recently, I paired up with an Agile expert to explore how our decision-making patterns have changed as a result of the digital era. Together, we developed a model that explains how decision-making patterns, working principles and capabilities can work together to respond to our evolving digital environment. In other words, if you’re sitting at your desk thinking “I didn’t learn this in school, what now?” — then this model can help you figure out what to focus on. The model is comprised of three tiers:

  1. Decision-making patterns
  2. Principles for ways of working, and
  3. Building capability.

We chose each of these tiers as together, they form the basis of a systemic
change strategy.

We started with Decision-Making Patterns as these form the basis for how we respond to emergent issues. In the heat of a moment, in an impromptu elevator chat, when deciding between a rock and a hard place, it is our patterns (our habits) of decision-making that tip us towards one response over another.

We then built in Principles for Emerging Ways of Working. If our Decision-Making Patterns are the accumulation of day-to-day behaviors, then our principles for ways of working is the method by which we work. By evolving our method, we can create space for new decision-making patterns to emerge. As a result, these two concepts work together — each supporting and enabling the other to develop over time.

Finally, we looked at the Capabilities required for people to develop these Principles into Emerging Ways of Working and Decision-Making Patterns. Capability is the power or ability to do something. It is also defined as a feature capable of development. As our world evolves, we too must change. By supporting our own capability development, we can enable the evolution of our Principles for Emerging Ways of Working and Decision-Making Patterns.

What do you think? What stories do you have to demonstrate how these Capabilities, Principles for Emerging Ways of Working, and Decision-Making Patterns helped you respond to the digital era? Use the comment section to join the conversation.

Interested in learning more? Stay tuned for the next post where we will explore the model in more detail or check out our Openfield Institute for our course on Guiding Change.

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