Framework 91 Four Ways to Improve Change


Using a framework to improve international affairs as a basis for better organisational change.

Four Key Elements

1. Connecting theory with practice

As the world is infinitely complex, we need simple causal maps to make sense of it, ie to identify what is important and to anticipate likely impacts of decisions.

As many theories do not work perfectly, we tend to generalise that they are of little use. However
"...Without theory, the best we can do is extrapolate from present conditions, and that approach rarely works......everyone uses some sort of crude theory to make sense of what is happening around us, and a thorough grounding in theory is invaluable for developing our critical faculties and our ability to see the 'big picture'..."

Stephen Walt 2018

"...Strategy is about connecting means and ends......the choice of means and ends......are deployed and justified depending on one's expectations of how other relevant players might react..."
Stephen Walt 2018

2. Teaching more useful management theories (like people focus, neuroscience, ie how the brain works, etc)

Management courses are very good at explaining the actual mechanics of management or hard/technical skills like strategic planning, financial statements, etc. However, they are weak on the "soft skills" (communications, leadership, emotional intelligence, etc)

" is all about learning how to sift, weigh, and assess evidence, which is a skill we need more than ever in the year of fake news and ubiquitous state propaganda..."

Stephen Walt 2018

3. History (understanding the background)

Hardly any organisational challenge can be understood, let alone solved, without knowledge about the historical processes that created it.

Even though organisations lived through the same events, the history they tell themselves about it can be radically different. There can be competing narratives even within an organisation
"...Different not see the past in the same way and thus do not see present problems in the same light. One need not agree with another's point of view, but understanding that these alternative views exist and recognising that people may have to deal with see things differently is a crucial insight......It is recognised that if your goal is to persuade someone to do what you want, it is essential to know where they are starting from and what misconceptions you need to overcome..."
Steven Walt 2018

NB You need theory (first element) informed and verified by history (third element)

4. Incubators of conformity

There is too much acceptance of the status quo that results in complacency to change the current situation, especially if it has been successful so far. There is a need to take a critical look at what is happening, ie what is working, what needs improving or changing, etc.

Need to challenge current and conventional wisdom, preconceived notions, etc.

Diversity in thought is important.


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