Organisational Challenges and Questions – INQUIRE©
Welcome to our four-part mini-series introducing the INQUIRE© Agile Evaluation tool. The series considers ways in which INQUIRE© helps organisations to look beyond the obvious. By doing this, we can better prepare and respond to whatever is thrown at us. It also enables us to invest where there is a real need. We begin this series by providing some topical context in the form of the explosion of data, the polling of the Brexit vote and critical questions organisations need to address.
Are We Coping With The Pace And Complexity Of Change?
Organisations today are constantly challenged by the prevailing climate of change. An example of one such challenge is in the explosion of information and data. Speed and complexity are both ‘ramped up’. Indeed, IBM estimates that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years (https://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/what-is-big-data.html). However, the workplace remains largely human. Much of the tension in these changing and unpredictable times comes from a lack of clear insight into how organisations should adapt.
To know what to do next, organisations are having to find ways to make sense of complexities and the challenges they face. This, in turn, affects organisational purpose, direction and teamwork.
How Good Are We At ‘Reading’ Situations?
A second consideration is how we form views which, in turn, lead to decisions. Indeed, we are living in a world where accepted ‘readings’ and ‘predictions’ are not necessarily a sound way of formulating future actions. Take Brexit, for example. The recent and well-publicised variance of polls measuring how people would vote, compared with how they actually voted (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37949527). Accepted approaches were not able to reliably ‘tap-in’ to voter thoughts and feelings which may, in themselves, be dynamic.
So, if we are facing large scale change and not, perhaps, quite so confident in reading the signs, there are big questions to address. An on-looker might comment that this is a time for strong leadership and decision-making. This may be the case, but, in order to identify what needs to be ‘done’ within an organisation, we must first ask:
- How well is the organisation really ‘understood’?
- Do we really know what needs to change?
Typically in organisations, there is an ‘accepted’ view of how things ‘are’. This perception might be held by a relative minority such as senior leaders, Human Resources specialists or organisational development teams. This raises a further question:
- Could there be dynamics at play which are significant (for better, or for worse), but not ‘revealed’?
In our next post, we will consider some ways to provide insight…
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