Blog Archives

4 Traits of an Adaptive Organization

In the last few blog posts, we have been talking about the nature of organizational culture. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the best possible culture to support environments where there is a high degree of change or what Courtney (2001) calls residual uncertainty.

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The Tyndale Leadership Centre SeeChange Workshops


If you’ve been struggling to lead positive sustainable change in your organization, SeeChange workshops use proven tools and a complexity perspective to help you see, respond to, and facilitate change.

SeeChange is a workshop series designed by Peter Dickens and facilitated by a team of faculty and professional coaches at Tyndale University College &

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Clan Culture Beats Bureaucracy

When helping organizations amalgamate, we always look at culture. In a couple of recent initiatives involving the merger of public sector organizations, we were asked to do a cultural assessment of the “legacy” organizations.

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of Organizational Culture

Over the past three years I have had two opportunities to use the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) in conjunction with consulting work done with public agencies going through amalgamation. It has long been my observation that organizations pay far too little attention to culture when they engage in mergers,

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Listening Might Be Your Greatest Strength in Leading Change

I have been thinking about “tuning to the edges” of the system, after a wonderful discussion with Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes, the minister at Maple Grove United Church. Morar was a close friend of Brenda Zimmerman and was therefore an avid student of complexity theory. Who wouldn’t be after getting to know Brenda!

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Join us for a FREE Webinar on Leading Change


Here’s a rare opportunity to address some specific challenges you may be facing in the midst of change.

Our friends Michael and Dana Hanna, the creators of Business for Life Conference, have invited Peter Dickens to sit down with them and talk about change and 21st century leadership.

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Is Leading Change Wearing You Out?


For some, change can be exhilarating and an opportunity to learn and grow. For many others, however, it is mental, physically and spiritually exhausting.

We find ourselves obsessing over how “we” can get “them” to change or at least stop resisting the changes we want to make.

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Leading Organizations, Episode 4: Has the Church Become Too Rigid?

In the last post of this series on Leading Organizations, we looked at the 7 factors that contribute to highly resilient organizations – all based on a complexity approach to organizational leadership.

Different sectors seem to embrace this approach at very different times. Dee Hock, the founder of VISA,

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Leading Organizations, Episode 3: 7 Signs Your Organization is Resilient

Complexity theory invites us to see our organizations as adaptive systems rather than machines we control and command.

When we understand organizations as eco-systems, or living organisms, this leads to an ethic of commitment rather than command-and-control rigidity. It also leads to the reduction of quick-fix solutions as people learn to listen much more closely to the system.

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