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Niels Pflaeging on the Complex Workplace & How to Thrive

niels-pflaegingThere’s something broken about the way we think about change, and about how we show up and work on a daily basis. So I’m really excited to be talking today with Niels Pflaeging, the author of Organize for Complexity, which is one of the very best books I’ve read about change and how to successfully thrive within organizational life.

Niels has thought deeply about organizational development, and I can’t wait to unpack some of the ideas he presents in his book. In this interview, Niels and I discuss:

  • The difference between complicated and complex components of work.
  • Why the industrial mass production approach to work is no longer functional.
  • The 3Fs vs. 3Rs of organizational change.
  • Why we need to move from an alpha to a beta approach.
  • The characteristics of a self-organizing team.
  • Why there is no such thing as individual performance.

(Scroll down for more in-depth podcast notes.)

Listen to my interview with Niels Pflaeging:

0:00:00: Niels examines the difference between complicated and complex components of work.

0:05:05: Michael and Niels discuss the human element of the workplace. Niels explains why the industrial mass production approach no longer works.

0:10:00: Niels unpacks his concept of the 3Fs vs. 3Rs of organizational change, which he introduces in his book. He and Michael talk about the difference between alpha and beta approaches to running a company, and discuss the characteristics of a self-organizing team. Michael picks up on Niels’ point that there is no such thing as individual performance, and Niels elaborates.

0:20:00: Niels reveals a fundamental misconception about organizational change, and reflects on how power and influence actually work in that context. He concludes by directing listeners to organizeforcomplexity.com and betacodex.org for more information.

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