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W. Edwards Deming, father of systems thinking, stated: "Effective transformation of a system is not possible without profound knowledge". He went on to identify four key interacting elements of system transformation, namely:

 

Appreciation for a system

Any business organisation, its total infrastructure, the shareholders, employees, vendors, customers and the markets in which they operate constitute a system.  Appreciation of the whole system and how it delivers value to its customers and indeed its customers' customers is a prerequisite of transformation.

Knowledge of variation

No two things are exactly alike and no process can deliver a product or service without some sort of difference.  This is due to the inherent variability in the world around us.  Deming recognised that only management had the power to affect change over  variation inherent to the design and implementation of business processes.  Transformation is thus not possible without knowledge of variation.

Theory of knowledge

Theory of Knowledge addresses three key questions: What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? What do people know? Knowledge is essential for creating value in an organisation, therefore an understanding of what knowledge is and how it can be acquired is of utmost importance, as is a means of deducing exactly what people already know. Many organisations have recognised this fact and are now focusing on knowledge management as a means of ensuring long term viability. Transforming a system requires a means by which you know how you know what you know this is the theory of knowledge.

 Psychology of people, society and change

We are naturally conditioned to view change with a plethora of responses, some emotional, some rational. Organisational change is viewed with deep suspicion, ambivalence; or great interest, depending on the perspective of the viewer and correlated to the perceived local effect that change will bring. People will universally resist a change that they do not fully comprehend (see 6 layers of resistance). Systems thinking is the key. In seeing a system, people are more likely to be psychologically driven towards the positive goals rather than dragged towards perceived negative effects.

 

 
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  Organisations cannot expect to achieve dramatic improvement in their results if they continue doing things the same way as they have in the past. While change is necessary to embrace opportunities, producing effective change is never easy. It must be supported throughout an organisation, from its leaders all the way down to those “at the coal face”, in a climate of sound values and integrity.

At TOCCA, we understand that every industry, every organisation and every individual is different. Through our experience of managing change for many diverse companies, we can ensure that any project includes:

An understanding of process, roles, accountabilities and organisational structure
The development of leadership skills and values
The identification of, and training in the competencies necessary for the new system; knowledge, without the competence to actually do the job, is not enough
The development of additional measures that will encourage the appropriate behaviour and attitudes necessary for long-lasting improvement

TOCCA’s approach is designed to ensure the necessary behavioural change is fast, non-disruptive and sustainable.

 

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