- Chaos is not an excuse for inaction.
Chaos can create opportunities that aren't present in a slow-moving organization. The prevailing energy, even desperation, should be harnessed, rather than resisted, to make change happen more quickly. You can take risks because you have to take risks. Out-of-the-ordinary behaviors are normal in extraordinary times. During periods of chaos, people are more willing to suspend negativity, become unstuck, go beyond their current limitations and use their creativity.
- Managing a project through chaos requires attention to three key principles:
- Future pull -the potential that systems have for fulfilling their destiny rather than fulfilling predictions based on past behavior
- Creativity -deriving from the interaction of order and disorder
- Connectivity -healthy connections with the environment. At PG&E, we stayed connected to the people in the field, middle management, technology experts and others who modify rather than guard the project. Connectivity provides the fuel, creativity the engine, and future pull the direction for a system to advance.
- Paradigm shift and incremental change can be complementary.
With the forces of future pull (the vision), you can keep moving forward toward the new paradigm. Every enhancement, if it relates directly to the vision, will contribute to shifting the corporate mindset and thus assist in the culture change.
- In a crisis such as a reorganization, it's important to keep moving, yet remain flexible.
- Believe strongly in your goals.
If you believe strongly in your goals, and these goals reflect what is best for the business, you can stay on track even in the midst of chaos.
Personnel Journal, March 1994, Vol.73, No. 3, p. 86.