Stepping through Transitions
The authors have woven together ways of thinking about levels of complexity, stages of development, and the Tripod of tasking, trusting and tending, to create a new perspective on how not-for-profit or "common-good" organisations grow and develop.
The underlying pattern of organisational development is the architecture of complexity. To divide stages of development and levels of work and then to combine in the way the authors do creates a rich model. Their "5 Cs" (capacity, capability, composition, context and complexity) enhance that and clearly help to make the ideas readily accessible.
I was very struck by the way people had been able to take the ideas and use them to reflect on the way they are working. In particular, they use the levels descriptions not as “labels” but as language that simply describes the work to be done without any implication that any is more or less important/significant than any other. That is a testament to the way the authors offered the ideas. They have “played with the concepts” to such good effect.
I admire the ways the authors have woven together ways of thinking about stages of development and levels of work/ways of thinking that are patently of such help to people. Their clear descriptions and the way they have provided them to people is of such value to common good organisations and has a great deal to offer to organisations in other sectors as they seek sustainability.
Judith is also the author of an excellent paper about work, capability and flow: "Are you big enough for your job? Is your job big enough for you?: Exploring Levels of Work in organisations" for the University of Aukland Business Review (Volume 7 No. 2).