Physics of Change: 3 tips on how people can assert themselves better in the digital world

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Digitization has become an integral part of our world. Now it is time to accept this status quo and to prepare for the change. However, the main focus should be on not losing ourselves as a person. 3 tips.

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Here writes for you:


Dr. Marion Bourgeois Best of HR –®Dr. Marion Bourgeois is a certified business coach, mediator and moderator


1. Gain clarity about your own point of view

Digitization can be anything. Whether one calls a job killer or someone a panacea, we shouldn't see digitization as a curse or a blessing. It is a fact! No more and no less. That is exactly why we should be able to tackle the challenges of change together and to shape change with one another and humanely.

Where are we now on our way to the future? We have to clarify which task and which cause-effect relationships await us in the existing structures. Once we have clarified this, we can decide which problems we can solve with best practice and what we have to tackle with try and error. If we are heading towards the future, we have to find the right path for us.

2. Know and consider the typology of contexts

In constant change, we always come across known structures that can provide us with some security even in change. In 1999, the Welsh researcher in the field of knowledge management, Dave Snowden, developed the so-called cynefin framework. Having become a general strategy model in 2002, it describes four different systems or structures in which we live:

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Orderly structures

There are clear cause-and-effect relationships here: If I hold a pen in my hand and open my hand, the pen will fall to the floor. That is physics. The nice thing about it is that we can think ahead because we know that A follows B. It is enough to work out a correct solution for every problem. Once found, I can reproduce this solution any number of times. We operate in systems in which best practice approaches are extremely helpful and valid and should definitely be used.

Complicated, orderly systems

The car serves as a good example. If this oil loses and we take it to five different workshops, it can happen that we get five completely different fault diagnoses. With these complicated, ordered systems, I still have clear cause-and-effect relationships, but due to the already existing complexity, I have to call in experts. This can also be transferred to the economy: At best, everyone will come to the same solution to introduce a controlling system or integrate new software. In the worst case scenario, we end up with different solutions, but there are at least several good practice approaches.

Complex systems

Logically A follows B, but the structures are so nested and sometimes so unknown that we can only explain the cause and effect relationships in retrospect - but they are not predictable. The weather is a good example. Why is there a sandstorm here, when does a tsunami occur, why exactly there and where does it resolve? Such scenarios can be reproduced in the laboratory and we can also learn from them. However, we cannot predict what will happen in reality next time.

Chaotic systems

These include, for example, the financial system, global politics or a change process in the business environment. There are so many influencing factors here that determine future developments that we no longer have any influence on them. In chaotic systems there are no clear cause and effect relationships. There are a variety of causes, a variety of forces working somewhere - but no one can predict the outcome. Ultimately, it means that we too have to move very differently in this world.

3. Analyze the situation carefully

If these four systems or structures form the basis, the decisive step now comes: To consider in which field is the task that I just have to master. We often don't take the time to act with our autopilot. If he only knows processes, we always look for the solution to a problem at the process level. If we are someone who is more on the complex level, we tackle tasks and problems as follows: "Ok, then I'll give it a try and just see what happens ..."

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How do I find out the structure of my problem?

Is there a clear cause and effect relationship? Or is the system rather complex? If we are in a disordered room, these questions help to decide what is the best way to choose. Then your own autopilot does not start, but we control a procedure that best suits the respective situation.

Does technology support or undermine people?

The fear of loss of humanity is often cited as the greatest fear in the course of digitalization. We fear that AI, for example, will soon no longer balance at all between us as human beings, known to be imperfect, and the much more perfect "nature" of technology. We fear that computerization and digitization will simply replace us as humans at some point.

Take people

If we want to take people with us into the future, we have to take these fears into account - especially in the Guide. It is important to develop and develop skills in both directions, i.e. both the skills to deal with the technology, but also skills, so as not to be completely dependent on the technology. Digitalization can serve us well - if we use the time saved through it for more human interaction. One idea is to define and design places where you deliberately meet personally, i.e. create a balance between digital and human touchpoints.

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