Three models of change

There are three major models to change a system, whether human or corporate:

Small changes

Postulated by French philosopher Edgar Morin in his paper “The ecology of technical civilization“.
It states that hypercomplex ecosystems only can be changed by little steps, because their inner nature disallows integral transformation: The machine can’t be stopped to be redesigned all at once. And the attempts to do it in a phased and ordered manner die because they just don’t fit with all the rest of organs. And these expulse the alien body.

Does it works? No.

The problem: Baby steps simply don’t work. They are dragged down under massive inercy or the periodical storms caused by random reasons or scheduled chaos.

Make it obsolete

One of many Buckminster Fuller’s great ideas: you simply build a better system aside the existing one, and let them face the darwinian reality.

Does it works? Well, it works. Life is plenty of examples.

The problem: While you are building your fancy invention, the old system is still the more powerful reptile. And sure it will try to retain that status. An example: the electric car.

Elf exit strategy

When things go wrong, you give up.
Sauron power is raising. Mordor prepares for war.
The Community of the Ring asks Elrond for help, and his answer is:

“Oh, I’m so sorry. We are heading to a beautiful island, out of the reach of all this crap, to live happily after. Best of lucks”

Does it works? If you are an elf, you have an island and you are disengaged enough from this world, it works.

The problem: You are not an elf.

***

None of these authorities can convince me.

The real problem I see is that their approaches deal just with systems, forgetting about people inside.

  • In baby steps, those people fighting for keep little changes alive, are fighting with not a chance to win.
  • In obsolete systems, the old one has many captive innocent victims. Coal supply based economies learnt something about that.
  • In elf runaway, human casualties are the leftovers of systems interactions.

I guess that there is a common key missed in every case: agreement.

  • Major parts of the system don’t agree with how the change is being done.
  • Major parts of the system don’t agree becoming obsolete alongside the system.
  • Elves don’t agree with being part of any system than one of their own.

Free agreement is the greatest conquest of civilization. I’m starting to think that behind every human madness there is a lack of this.

Posted in Consulting, Social Design

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