Re: Change vs. Development LO85

Michael McMaster (
Sun, 12 Feb 1995 10:55:11 GMT

I am happy to see temporality introduced so clearly into this
conversation. The perptive of backward or forward in time and
intentionality are both relevant to the issue of change or development.

I'd like to comment on the following statement in that conversation:

> The vision of "now"
> may define whether the next phase of transition needed is "incremenntal
> change" or "radical change."

I want to challenge the either/or nature of incremental versus radical
change that is frequently posed in these conversations. It seems that we
keep forgetting that the assessment is largely one of perspective rather
than something that can be clearly distinguished at the time of action.

If you accept that we are operating in a complex adaptive system and/or a
system that is self organising, then it seems to me that we won't know if
the change resulting from our action will be incremental or radical
untilafter the fact. And even then, remember that it will be a matter of
perspective and previous belief states.

My scond thought on this arena is that these are not mutually exclusive.
The way that I distinguish them is that I approach an area with an
"incrementalist approach" if it is within a controlled system. I approach
it with a "complexity approach" if it is an area outside of the controlled
linear systems. What we have to be able to deal with in our organisations
is that we must be doing both simultaneously - often with the same
processes at the same time.

Mike McMaster <>

Michael McMaster