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Last edit: 05-03-17 Graham Wideman

Intelligence and Change in Enterprises

Enterprise Change Consciousness
Article created: 99-03-12

A number of authors have noted features which characterize enterprises which have reached various stages of maturity with respect to the ability change in an intelligent manner.  Some of these approach from an Information Systems angle (ie: here's the "ideal enterprise" which our I.S. principles underpin) and some from a business management angle (notably the "Organizational Learning" point of view).

Here is a summary of features thought to be valuable:

Comprehending Structure and Behavior of the Enterprise

Actively maintained models of the enterprise's structure and function:

Meaningful enterprise mission model

Meaningful organization chart

Departments or groups have meaningful missions which tie coherently to the overall enterprise mission.

Work processes are diagrammed at least informally, and these models are used in planning new processes.  Relationships between organizational structure, work processes and information systems clearly documented and widely understood.

Process models drive ongoing adaptation of production information systems.  (As opposed to information systems defining how work is done.)

Information Systems support not only local automation, but enterprise-wide aggregation and analysis of data.  Ongoing development and critiquing of explicit models of business variables and their relationships to guide analysis and interpretation of data

Comprehending External Environment

Models of the significant players in the environment, and what impacts they might have.

Planning Change

Ability to model the impact of proposed changes under various scenarios.   Particularly the ability to think through combinations of changes.

Distilled: A Culture with Systems Thinking

The abilities listed above come down to two key ideas:

An enterprise culture in which there is widespread understanding and comfort with Systems concepts -- ie: the ability to understand many interacting influences as a system, and familiarity with typical system structures and their behaviors (such as various feedback configurations).

Tools and skills to allow collective thinking via collaborative development and sharing of explicit models.

        [Up to Knowledge Management: The Key to Enterprise Change]

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