Letting go! What attractors for the performance?

Letting go, "guru" thing, really?

"Letting go" is more effective in complex environment than our stubborn habits to control everything. Or 'how to emerge the performance rather that monitor KPIS'.

You have certainly heard words like "sect of the agilistes", "guru of coaching" or "the game within the company, but it's a joke!". Theories of complexity, psychology, theory of games, the neurosciences are, with empirical knowledge, the Foundation of "modern" practices of management and management of project such as agile, lean, systemic coaching, etc. Here, I would like to highlight these scientific and formal basis. To enhance the credibility of these tools for decision-makers and help deepen mechanisms that make it so powerful these tools and practices. Try to apply this in the game control VS letting go: why the reduction of control in favor of the autonomy of the teams is a necessary choice.

The company in the face of the complexity

"Manager: succeed in the face of the complexity and uncertainty"

Items, trainings or events on the theme of management complexity abound. The complex is characterized by the number of interactions between the elements of a system… And the least we can say, is that the lives of our enterprises is devilishly complex. Even for a small structure, nothing can be done without taking into account the links with investors, customers, directors, partners, and suppliers etc. This is also the case in the business, links, many in quantity and in kind form a dense fabric, it is illusory to want to control the operation.

"What? Control? Impossible? "You're kidding or what, we don't play the annual results of the company to the dice!"

Here go us.

The company wants – no, she "must" – guarantee results. She has to fight against chaos, without a place at random. Then the high-sounding titles of gurus of complexity, it sounds good, but is it really from the solid? There is really effective in these efforts that promise you of "find new strategies to resolve deadlock situations, grasp the complex realities and improve by a Systemiquewikipedia approach,1etter integrate the game of interaction"?

Attractors and dynamic systems

Guide the company towards the performance by a systemic approach is not play the half-year results. A business is a dynamic system, i.e. a set of components in interaction, a system. Sometimes face the result of its operation gives it the impression of being a little chaotic. A kind of drunken boat heckled by the waves and on Board of which sailors Act quite coordinated and coherent manner. That is what intoxicates them so? That what instead can lead them to better navigate together?

Visual representation of an attractor, strange

The lighthouse in the chaos of dynamical systems is the attractor. In math, it is a limit set to which the system evolves irreversibly in the absence of disturbances. And it's a way to influence the behavior of a complex system without having to calculate the behavior of a large number of events that interact finely. Physicists use this to calculate the means of containment of plasmas in reactors such as ITER, the largest Tokamak in the world.


Langton's Ant

A well known example of attractor is the Langron Ant. It is a mathematical model without practical application but that pretty explicitly shows how order emerges from chaos in certain situations. As a general rule, knowledge of the attractors to partially (at least statistically) know what will emerge from the chaos, while the knowledge of the individual elements of the chaotic system does not help Particulierement2.

Letting go: succeed without control

Let's summarize: an attractor is a mathematical tool for physicists to control complex dynamic systems to control each component of the system. And if we were trying to find the attractors to help companies navigate the ocean of complexity? And if in fact, any attempt to bring order to the chaos in our company were kind of attractors?

Of course this is only a metaphor, it is not a mathematician read and pompous of the organization or management. No, just a way to remind that our organizations are governed by mechanisms similar to all complex systems. And an invitation to encourage instead of management or project management practices that allow to bring the performance by playing on the frame, rather than the tools or methods of control of the Organization (individuals, departments,…). After trying more or less complicated models to control the components of our complex organizations (metrics, KPI, dashboards-looking, bonuses, structures, processes, committees), it is time to deal with simpler and less deterministic approaches. This requires letting go on a number of habits and question our deepest needs as managers. Why do I need to control everything? What does the power for me?

In conclusion, I propose this masterful presentation of Yves Morieux which illustrates well enough the inadequacy of type "command & control" approaches to environmental complex. There are 6 rules that are certainly questionable when we ask them as well as the obvious. I hope that this article will allow you to approach them with a different look. And if these rules were as attractors to bring order to the chaos?

Yves Morieux, 6 rules to simplify the job more complex
Yves Morieux, 6 rules to simplify the job more complex


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