This article seeks to inspire organisational leaders to think in new ways, and to give them a practical model to implement their new insights. Hierarchical, top-down organisational structures are not fit for purpose in the 21st century.
We need to move away from the mechanistic models of the industrial era and instead embrace the information era by drawing our inspiration from living systems.
The Butterfly Effect is a simple, elegant and effective way of doing this.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Nordic countries are both successful economically and score highly on social capital measures such as trust and wellbeing. Other countries have ought to identify the essence of the so-called “Nordic way” so that it can be adopted elsewhere, with limited success. The Butterfly Effect is a Nordic Model which enables any organisation to build trust quickly, thus providing a template for leaders to transform their organisations to capitalize on the needs and opportunities of the 21st century.
The roots of modern organisations developed during the Enlightenment and are based on a mechanistic view of organisations as machines made up of component parts and people as cogs. This has led us to the point where our corporations and institutions are inflexible and not adaptable.
Tinkering with the machine perpetuates the core problem. The solution lies in a paradigm shift in how we organise collectively by drawing inspiration not from machines but from nature.
The Butterfly Effect is based on the fundamental structure that underpins nature. Most systems, when reduced to their basics, comprise three elements that cannot be reduced further. Without all three the system, whatever it may be,is unable to function.
Just as an atom comprises proton, neutron and electron, a butterfly is essentially composed of a left wing, a right wing and a body. The Butterfly Effect holds that all functioning human systems must embody three essential qualities: Flow, Balance and Reciprocity. These are in turn represented by three distinct implementing roles: Servant Leadership, Personal Leadership and
Facilitation. Together they form the DNA of the system. If all three roles are in place at all levels and in all functions of an organisation, this will support, enable and empower the organization and neutralize forces that threaten to deplete it.
That is the secret of the Nordic Model, and is can be adopted by any organisation, anywhere.
Tina Monberg & Liz Rivers