In a world of complexity and change, managers are asked to tackle a much greater diversity of problems. This requires the putting in place of flexible structures as well as the demonstration of transformational leadership qualities. Holism puts the study of wholes before that of the parts. It does not try to break down organizations into parts in order to understand them and intervene in them. Being holistic also means approaching problems ready to employ the systems language. All the systems approaches described in this book seek to make use of the philosophy of holism and the systems vocabulary associated with it. The book is divided into three parts. The first part presents some introductory material on systems ideas and how they came to be applied to management problems. Part II considers and classifies the most significant attempts that have been made to take a holistic approach to improving organizational performance. Many of these holistic approaches employ systems ideas in a manner that enhances creativity. The maximum creative use of holism to assist managers, however, comes from using the different approaches in combination. This is the focus of the final part of the book. Let us now consider how the book is structured based on this overall plan.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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