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Scientific Newsletter #28

The practical implications of the human element

I remember when I was a kid, nothing changed as fast as it does now! Did you also pay attention to the magnification of the speed of change? I talk a lot with change leaders and consultants today and find that they all have something in common:  They don’t know how to deal with the constant changes in processes, tools, and ways of working, or how they can realign employees to a new strategy when everything changes every week or every month. I firmly believe that it’ll take more of the industry to lead organizations to be  I firmly believe that it’ll take more of the industry to lead organizations to be always ready, always responsive, and always innovative. These are the 3 outcomes of Enterprise Agility.

So how can you achieve that state of continuous well-being for companies? Knowledge and new theories are the keys here. And this is something where we can help!

In just over a month, the event of the decade for executives, change consultants, HR/People professionals, Agile coaches and many more will take place! The Enterprise Agility World Conference is just around the corner, and it will have live translations in 36 languages! 

There are 3 things we are also including that weekend, aside from the great speakers who’ll be joining us:

#1 You will see new models that are at least 6 years away from what you’ll find on the market.

#2 You will understand alternatives and new frameworks to lead in times of constant and accelerated change.

#3 You will learn new techniques to realign your business in record time when the market flips.

I believe this conference can add undeniable value to your career and drive the organization to be always ready, always responsive, and always innovative. And these are the 3 outcomes of Enterprise Agility! Know more about this fantastic learning opportunity here.

On the other hand, I want to thank Luca Miundel for a great article you can read today about the practical implications of the human element!

Learn for free about Enterprise Agility and get a $100 Amazon card

To celebrate the launch of the world’s largest conference on science, organizational change, and enterprise agility, we’re giving away 2 tickets! Click here, fill out the form, and be the winner and be at EAWC2022 in November!

Free training on Enterprise Agility (Part II)

This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the new Enterprise Agility models. In this free training, you’ll learn the key concepts for always-ready, always-responsive, and always-innovative enterprises. To attend the free training, click here.

Training with EAU Certified Partners

This is a great opportunity for you to learn about the various training opportunities available to take your organizational change knowledge to the next level. Several training sessions will begin in the next few weeks by Enterprise Agility University’s partners. Contact one of the trainers to find out how they can help you.


Greg Pitcher, Asia Pacific, Certified Change Consultant, October 21st 

Sandip Rananavare, Asia Pacific, Certified Change Consultant, October 25th

Sandip Rananavare, Asia Pacific, Certified EA Leadership (I), October 29th

The practical implications of the human element

The human element is often referred to as ‘soft‘ in teamwork literature and in management literature. Think about ‘soft skills‘ for example. But in reality, the practical implications of the human element are hard and very tangible.

This is true in all sectors: in Software Development, as well as in Financial or Legal services, as well as in Civil and Mechanical Engineering. Regardless of the type of activities that one is doing: creative thinking and decision-making activities and all cognitive activities, as well as in linear process activities and repetitive predictable low-variability activities.

For example, the human element at the team level is fundamental to improve:

  • Effectiveness: When you want to avoid delays caused by the hands-overs, the re-work caused by misunderstandings, and solve difficult cross-disciplinary problems => the ability to collaborate in a fluid, synchronous, non-scripted way, across functions and departments is essential.
  • Innovation: When you are dealing with new endeavors and so you need to bring together a diverse skillset, give space to creativity, let the end goals emerge gradually => the ability to co-create and be comfortable with sharing your creative space with others and with uncertainty, ambiguity, and change is essential.
  • Speed and agility: When you are trying to increase speed and agility, to adapt quickly to evolving circumstances, and to be resilient to mistakes and local failures as well as unexpected events => it is people’s intelligence and initiative the most flexible element in the organisation.

The same is true at the organisation level. I don’t need to tell someone smart like you how the division of labour, standard job-role descriptions and any RACI matrix prevents you from using your full potential. How performance appraisal based on yesterday’s goals and criteria limit your ability to do the right thing today. How traditional Change Management applied to your intellectual work prevents you from expressing your natural creativity and from being innovative. Etc.

Traditional organisations may try to limit individuality (because they are optimised to deal only with standard work, and they may misinterpret harmony as suppression of diversity and dissent), they may try to limit initiative (because they are optimised to follow only standard processes as in the old assembly-line) or they may try to “limit” information and intelligence (because the thinking is delegated only to those at the top).

So what is the Human Element then?

IDENTITY: Among all the people that we know, and every human being who ever was, no two are the same (watch this emotional video). Each one of us is unique, we are heterogeneous. This can protect us from groupthink and blind spots.

INTENTIONALITY: We have free will, we have agency, we are spontaneous. When we have the freedom, can act, adapt and react quickly.

We are driven by more than instincts, pain or pleasure, needs or desires. But by beliefs, values, principles, sentiments, emotions, intuition, irrationality, and much more.

INTELLIGENCE: We can learn and co-create new knowledge as well as share it. Because we are social.

Social Complexity and Anthro-Complexity study these characteristics of the human element and they study the Human Complexity as well as Human Self-Organisation and Emergence (of common understanding, collaboration patterns, structures, consensus, goals, solutions). Below are a few quotes I’ve collected from Nobel Laureates and world-renewed scientists on this topic.

This web of life, the most Complex system we know of in the universe, breaks no law of physics, yet is partially lawless, ceaselessly creative Stuart Alan Kauffman

Nature is indeed related to the creation of unpredictable novelty, where the possible is richer than the real Ilya Prigogine

The future is uncertain… but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity Ilya Prigogine

It is this order of interweaving human impulses and strivings, this social order, which determines the course of historical change Norbert Elias

We are agents who alter the unfolding of the universe Stuart Alan Kauffman

You can also watch the podcast with Luca Minudel at the Enterprise Agility World Conference Studios:

From Enterprise Agility University, we hope you found our scientific newsletter useful, and we’ll see you next week.

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