Posts tagged ‘organisation’

February 23, 2013

Play to build organisations’ social capital

Social Capital is more than the individual / human capital- Build it with LEGO

The simplest questions are the toughest to be faced. Methodologies like LEGO SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) are said and proved to have a huge effect on organisations. Right, organisations. But what are organisations? And how LSP can be beneficial?
It might sound a stupid question, though I think that there are no stupid questions just wrong assumptions. In order to  better understand the context, I had a look to some classical authors in organisational theory. I’ve looked back at what literature says about organisations: literature is still a huge resource when it is part of a search for answers. I’ve started with classics, those authors that most managers today should be familiar with to better understand the context as it is.
Weick (1979) says that organisations are ‘identifiable social entity pursuing multiple objectives through the coordinated activities and relations among members and objects’ (:3) and later, in 1984, Daft & Weick write that organisations are ‘open systems that process information from the environment’ (:285) so that are seen as meaning systems (:293).
Scott (1987) focus on people when stating that “organisations are social structures created by individuals to support the collaborative pursuit of special goals” (:10).
Chia (2000 :514) says that organisations are social objects constituted by discourse.
The social nature of organisations seems clear: organisations are made by people.

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February 10, 2013

Situated identities: a safety net to serious play

Situated identitiesIdentities and roles, in any kind of organised society, are said to be socially constructed: they are based on the implicit rules of collective agreement and acceptance. This makes most of such roles static, repetitive and defined independently by the individuals.
These socially constructed role-based identities are entwined with a number of implied relations that determine the quality of the relationships and define a set of rules of conduct that are accepted and never put into discussion. Such a situation is symptomatic of a society based on the ‘myth’ of hierarchies, scared of failing, motionless.
While the economic situation in Europe sinks, this immobile situation, that would call for changes and creativity, rather than experimenting on innovation, allows the fear to fail to prevail on the risk to succeed.
Society and people prefer to play safe rather than to put themselves into play and rather than assuming the responsibility of a change and play with those rules, they follow and reiterate practices that, being static and mindlessly repeated, have lead to a stagnant situation. A change is needed: Innovation is claimed as the key solution. But Innovation is not a good, is the result of a creative and dynamic approach.
Creativity requires flexibility, action and courage to try something new and the the will to explore what ifs. Rather than playing safe, if the aim is to discover new opportunities, we need to play. Seriously.

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