“The world is made of Circles

And we think in straight Lines”

— Peter Senge

Esko Kilpi wrote this week about Men and Machines. He explored how “the sciences of uncertainty and complexity have helped us to understand that organizations are patterns of interaction between human beings.

An enterprise that is conceptualized as a social business, should (1) serve the purposes, the will, of all its constituents. It should (2) enable its parts to participate in the selection of both the ends and the means that are relevant to them personally. If the parts of a system are (3) treated as purposeful, they must (4) have the freedom to choose and to act, not independently, but interdependently. This is because the basic unit of work is (5) interaction between interdependent people.”

Relationships are complex. Interdependence is complex. None of this is easy, but it’s necessary because it’s human. Our organizations can no longer function effectively as machines. I’m excited to see more and more thinking and writing that addresses this territory, and even more thrilled to find organizations that are willing to dive into the relational aspects of business.