Mastering Organizational Complexity. Organization Development and Executive Coaching

Mastering Organizational Complexity

The complexity and change of your work is increasing. You are constantly having to organize information available to you, and determine how to best use that information to make choices. This is a skill that can be developed and a process that can be implemented into your organization, team and leadership.

Contact Create-Learning 1.716.629.3678 today to Master Organizational Complexity. 

understand and solve


Senior level managers are challenged by the need to deal with some of the most complex issues in the organization requiring decision making and problem solving, even at times when the future is unclear or uncertain. Many aspects have to be considered such as Federal/State/Local politics, changing regulations, increasing or changing customer needs, vendor issues, overlapping systems with differing needs and priorities, as well as staff competencies and training needs. Very few leaders are trained to effectively handle managing change in times of organizational complexity. In order for the organization to thrive and last, long term plans must be made to address an often ambiguous future.

Learning Objectives

This advanced program will assist Managerial-Leaders in developing the skills needed to successfully master the management of organizational complexity including:

  • Utilize innovation and critical thinking;
  • Initiate management of organizational complexity that goes beyond strategic planning;
  • Make decisions and solve problems when faced with complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity;
  • Act to address current issues as well as those that will arise in two to five years;
  • Use evidence-based tools and strategies to navigate change and the increasing complexity that exists within organizations;
  • Understand that role competence requires that senior staff lead the organization through times of complexity, high levels of ambiguity, and change, and develop these abilities in middle management staff.
  • Gain competence in handling Information Complexity and Problem Complexity that will lead to greater success in achievement of long-term organizational goals and organizational innovations in services, processes and procedures;
  • Assess for subordinates and self, the Current-Actual-Level of Information and Problem Complexity;
  • Assess the organization’s Current-Actual-Level of Information and Problem Complexity;
  • Increase quality completion of goals and task assignment, due to proper delegation in the proper way with the proper level of complexity and change;
  • Use specific tools and methods to coach and mentor subordinates to flourish into their potential and increase their own ability to handle complexity and change as this creates a strong succession plan for ensuring the future of the organization.

Organizational Complexity and Management

Organization-Development Consulting & Coaching Process Schedule

  • What is Organizational Complexity and Change?
  • Determining the Current-Actual-Level of Information and Problem Complexity
  • Leading Through Complexity & Change in Action
  • Organizing Work Into Complexity and Change Ability of Employees
  • More Leading Through Complexity & Change in Action
  • Using Complexity & Change Models to Develop the Next Level of Organizational Leaders


Class 1: What is Organizational Complexity and Change?

Overview: Complexity is determined by the number of factors, the rate of change of those factors, and the ease of identification of the factors in the situation. Content will focus on gaining understanding of Information and Problem Complexity, its direct application to senior staff, and illustrate a systemic process of moving the organization toward achievement of long-term goals. Complexity is defined as:

1. Information Complexity: Work that moves the organization ahead requires the use of effective judgment, problem solving, and decision making. The complexity of the work will be expressed in the complexity of the information that a person uses in problem-solving when presented with a wide range and quantity of information.

2. Problem Complexity: The complexity of a problem does not lie in the complexity of the goal, but in the complexity of the pathway that has to be constructed and then traversed in order to get to the goal.  

Class 2: Determining the Current-Actual-Level of Information and Problem Complexity

Overview: Leading an organization through complexity and change requires a thorough knowledge of the organization as a whole and peoples’ Current-Actual-Level and comfort in dealing with complexity and change. Once this is known, then the proper plans and skills for making change happen and managing it can be matched to the right team, person, and process.

Content will cover the five step formula for determining Current-Actual-Level of Information and Problem Complexity. Steps to properly match organizational goals and objectives within a time-frame that makes the work achievable will be addressed. Additional focus will be spent on managing change and creating solution focused steps to build upon the strengths of the organization and its people, and how to develop a culture that continually improves and thrives through complexity and change.  

Class 3: Leading Through Complexity & Change in Action

Overview: Once the foundational knowledge and organizational understanding of Information and Problem Complexity is understood, there are a series of tools that can be used to implement the process. Senior staff will use these tools to solve and handle current complexity and change. This session will provide a feedback system to enhance the decision making and problem solving skills of the participants.

Content will cover the use of Plan:Do:Check:Act models for setting short term measurements of success and failure. Examining various complexity and change tools to assist the leader in understanding, planning and ensuring the proper level of focus to achieve organizational goal. Additionally, participants will use a Coaching for Performance Model to develop subordinates to better work with complexity and change, creating a stronger succession plan within the organization.  

Class 4: Organizing Work Into Complexity and Change Ability of Employees

Overview: This is a very different way to look at organizations. The change that is happening and the increasing complexity of the work, the regulations, and needs of the customers are not getting any simpler. Once senior staff understands how to measure and determine how they handle change, a process can be put into place for change management throughout the company. This allows for properly matching the amount of complexity inherent in the change, with the proper level within the organization. It is necessary to move all the people together in an orchestrated manner toward shared goals and needed achievements. This orchestrated plan for change will ensure that the needed changes happen, and that the people who are working with the change, are properly matched to learn and implement what is needed.

Content will cover planning for change; using examples and setting a framework for the participants to choose a change that is either happening or will happen; using the knowledge they have to effectively plan the change; learn the Planning a Change Model; determine at what level of the organization, what departments, and people are needed for the change; and using the Individual and Problem Complexity models to craft action steps to make the change happen.  

Class 5: More Leading through Complexity & Change in Action

Overview: Based on the last two sessions, participants will discuss questions, challenges, successes and lessons learned. This time will serve as a facilitated learning community to talk about, based on progress so far, what participants have applied and developed to increase their agency and their own management through complexity and change.  

Class 6: Using Complexity & Change Models to Develop the Next Level of Organizational Leaders

Overview: Any organization will rise only to the level of the skills of its senior staff. Succession planning and the ability to recognize, train, and develop the future agency leaders is necessary for the longevity of the organization. Employees who are able plan through times of complexity and change must be identified and placed on a development track to take the agency into the future. From the preceding sessions, participants have gained the knowledge of individual, informational, and problem complexity.

Content will cover how to use this information to create succession plans for the agency; how to determine who has the potential to handle higher levels of complexity and change; how to hire and determine based upon the role within the agency, which employees are able to effectively managed complexity and change. It is critical that current senior leadership leave a strong legacy of the proper people, in the proper roles, handling the complexity and change that is necessary for the agency to thrive.

Successful teams will rise as high as the competence of the manager to manage and lead

Mastering Organizational Complexity is available for individuals and teams…Contact Mike or call Mike 1.716.629.3678 to grow your company, team and managerial leadership.

Non-Profit and Human Services Agencies this process can be offered as a certificate course through the University at Buffalo School of Social Work Continuing Education Department.

Contact Mike or call 1.716.629.3678 to find out more

michael cardus is create-learning

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