Working in a more integral way we distinguish 3 forces: content, people and context. Content is that what you want to realise. It’s always people who make this possible, within a certain context. The influence of context is often underestimated. An example to illustrate this.
Common practice is to work ‘against the clock’. On the axis from context to content organisations tend to formulate seemingly powerful policies with matching rules and procedures. Subsequently these chosen instrumental solutions are imposed upon the people within that organisation.Subsequently these solutions fail to succeed because there’s a mismatch with the wishes and needs of people involved.
This common McKinsey-like linear approach (problem -> solution) makes clear what’s needed from a technical-content perspective, but doesn’t match the reel needs within a society or an organisation and what’s needed for an integral approach. It will lead to optimisation within the column/silo from which is being looked at the problem, but is inadequate when you want real, transformative and sustainable change.
Applying decentralised context steering
The solution is to reverse the direction of the process and choose for a systematic approach. And then the challenge is to develop visions based on a more integral system approach, avoiding linear, technical-instrumental top-down approaches. From the perspective that you can only find optimal, non predictable solutions by way of understanding the system as a whole, including all present stakeholders and their relations.
This approach will lead to a wider perspective of solutions, also having more connection and integration between people, context and content. A really a smart and sustainable way to steer! People will come up with solutions that work because they believe in it and because they correspond much better to the attitude of the majority. That will lead to a raise of support.
In the beginning this reversal will take time, but it will save lot’s of time and effort eventually because things will be achieved spontaneously by creating direction together. That’s what we would like to call sustainable!