Friday, November 19, 2010

A mathematical model: Why are large organizations slow to change and how to make them faster


Recently, in a meeting, a person mentioned that the organizations are like a sliced pizza. Each slice a function or a business. We were discussing change management and he said that any change that cuts across all the groups (of a delta r) would have a change impact of r-squared.

Not quite, as I thought about the problem he had made a mistake, the impact is more 2*pi*r*delta r. However, the mistake was not quite as important as the corollary on organizational change management.

A large organization is like a large pizza. Trying to make a change is directly proportional to the size of the organization (2*r*delta r where r is representative of size). Well, it is mathematically proven that elephants can't dance.....

Well, while we discussed the same, we were also quoting the example of a smaller BU that had implemented the same change and was very successful. Mathematically, all that the BU had done was to reduce 'r' and hence made it easier to provide the 2*r*delta r change!!!

While it looks simplistic and too obvious, its rather rare that a lack-lustre meeting with an analogy can provide this practical insight! (Its also shows that meetings close to lunch time can provide better time for introspection!)

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1 comment:

  1. I’m not a good enough mathematician to understand your formulae, but I certainly agree that the more complexity you chuck into the pot the harder it is to get it to work! Read the upcoming blogs on complexity starting next week