The Interdependent Organization provides its readers with a template for the development of an individualized transition plan to guide their journey toward becoming more organizationally sustainable. We as humans tend to rely on our current set of assumptions when we evaluate our actions and their potential impact on the future. With today’s ever-increasing rate of change in technology, our access to information, and cultural interactions (interdependence) around the world, the reliance on old ways of thinking (linear) will not allow us to effectively transition into the systems-based world of tomorrow.
The Interdependent Organization presents a deeper understanding of the financial, operational, and cultural crossroads we are facing as a planet, and introduces a systems-based transitional path that individuals, organizations, and societies can draw on to move towards a more holistic and sustainable future.
The book provides readers with the necessary understanding and insight into systems, systems-thinking, and the use of systems-based business tools to guide the sustainability journey while producing a positive impact to the organization’s bottom-line, its employee engagement, and its stakeholders’ expectations in each of the journey's three stages. The journey begins with the adoption of simple yet powerful systems-based tools for managing the organization’s operations and projects.
These proven tools provide increased productivity with a proven bottom-line improvement that exceeds 30%. This introduction to systems-based tools and thinking provides the organization with the time to become more familiar with this new way of thinking and making business decisions before they expand their exposure to broader, more complex systems-based and sustainable practices. The second stage of this journey is focused on introducing new tools and practices to insure a consistent set of measures are used across the organization. The third and final stage focuses on aligning the organization’s people-management practices.
Today, more than ever, our executives and managers need to have at least an introductory background into how today’s business paradigm has evolved and be able to recognize the many flaws and inconsistencies within it. They also need to recognize the positive impacts associated with systems thinking and sustained organizational learning. In my mind the first five chapters of The Interdependent Organization provide that needed insight about the evolution of today’s business processes and practices along with a solid introduction into systems thinking and its potential impact on decisions and actions. While this describes the pieces of the puzzle that today’s managers must deal with it is the last three chapters that discuss putting the puzzle together: what an interdependent organization is, a broad process to move to this ever-moving target and thoughts on how an organization can start their journey.
The Journey to Today’s Crossroads
Chapter 1 - More of the Same or Something Different
Chapter 2 - Foundation for the Path Forward
Chapter 3 - The Evolution of “Modern-day” Business
A New Way of Seeing: The evolution of Ecology and “Seeing Systems
Chapter 4 - The Evolution of Systems Thinking
Chapter 5 - The Integration of Systems and Business
Putting the Pieces Together
Chapter 6 - The Interdependent Organization
Chapter 7 - A Model for the Transitional Journey
Chapter 8 - Thoughts on How to Begin the Journey
REXFORD H. DRAMAN is Visiting Assistant Professor of Management & Marketing at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.