The Industrial Thinking Mindset

Dance_Reflect_Move-1The industrial mindset has been much of our world view since the mid-1700’s and many of its scientific breakthroughs evolved out of Newton’s laws of motion[i] where forces act respond. Everything is in motion and process dynamics influence results. For generations, organizations have been built and have operated out of this concept. The industrial thinking approach is a dance which has four basic characteristics.

  1. Productivity & Perception: Focus on productivity first because scientific efficiency maximizes productivity. Individual thoughts and perceptions are not valued and as a result, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, values, intuition or things which motivate people aren’t important.
  2. Scarcity exists everywhere and assumes that there are solutions and resources, but they must be found.  Focus on things that aren’t working, taking on a perspective of inefficiency. (resulting in attitudes of defeat.)
  3. Isolated measures happen because it is easier to see the things that make up the system, instead of how they relate to one another. An example of this would include silos or departments in organizations. It is easy to see what makes up the system, but it is harder to see how they relate to one another because it is a lot of work to isolate reality into smaller and smaller parts. The challenge lies in answering the question; “How can these parts work together to ensure the whole system wins?” As opposed to fighting for my budget over yours. (see table below)
  4. Disconnected incidents. Change happens in separate episodes, so we can provide assessments at any given moment and analyze where the organization is at a point in time. Isolating each of these pieces across time could discount the process nature of change.

Change Management Isolated Measures as Part of the Whole

Change practitioners often refer to delta as evolutionary, transactional, operational or transformational. In more recent years, a newer emerging mindset has evolved that would form the basis for revolutionary change in an organization.[ii] Revolutionary change is larger than transformational change and occurs in a different way, which will be covered in a series of posts as a follow up to this one. It is a dance in a world of continuous motion and evolution. More importantly, it requires thinking differently about organizational agility because entities with this capability will possess a competitive advantage.

Please feel free to leave comments, thoughts or perspectives below! Thanks for visiting my blog!

[i] Jacob, M. C. & Stewart, L. (2004). Practical matter: Newton’s science in the service of industry and empire, 1687-1851. Harvard University Press.

[ii] Burke, W. W. (2008). Organization change: Theory and practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Next: The Emerging Mindset – Revolutionary Change

Weekly Photo Challenge Photo Details theme: Glass.  Distortion=7. Smoothness=4. Texture: Blocks. Scaling 78%

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One Response to The Industrial Thinking Mindset

  1. Pingback: Forming the Basis for Revolutionary Change in Organizations | ★ Kakie's Corner ★

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