Phased adaptive strategy STRATNAV by one of the founders of the field of organization change: His Eminence Stan Herman

“Navigating the waves

Much like a sailor and surfer navigating the waves, the demands of the contemporary economy require dynamic strategic thinking and action in organizations in order to maintain the agility and adaptability required to survive and thrive.

Until the present era we have traditionally and in a deep cultural sense, made the assumption that equilibrium and stability in organizations were the rule, and turbulence and discontinuity were the dysfunctional exceptions. But, in this new era, those assumptions do not seem to apply. The phased adaptive model would seem better described in the metaphor of a surfer: “Catch the wave, ride it, then catch another one.” As Gates puts it, “Punctuated chaos” rather than “punctuated equilibrium” is now the rule.”

For further information and discussion contact smherman4@

The above is a precis of an avant gard garde chapter coming up in our Fourth Edition of Practicing OD:  Leading Change and Transformation. Dr. Herman  twists  and builds upon the change model of Scan, Plan, Act and ReAct  that he helped me create when he was my professor at Pepperdine in 1978.

Stan's  edited work for our practicing organization development series.

Stan’s edited work for our practicing organization development series.

Contact me if you wish me to send a link that you can download to my chapter on whole systems transformation in the above publication.  It  has one of the front runner methodologies to create an agile organization.  Something I believe is needed more today than ever.   Look forward to 500 words in our opening chapter by Dr. Worley  that will evidence clearly the relationship between agility and organization development.  His research  at USC,  Marshall School of Business places current change management and organization development  principles and practices in the archaic consultant sea.

The chapters are coming in now and Practicing OD: Fourth Edition will be published fall 2015.

PostScript:  I wore out Stan’s  “Authentic Management:  A Gestalt Orientation to Organizations and their Development.” in 1976.  It was one of the most popular management textbooks at Harvard in that era.

Postscript II:  I truly believe that anyone interested in changing or leading an organization today must heed what Dr. Herman says above.  We must embrace change and fear deeply the feeling of wishing to stay the same.  Personally, for me, I must perpetually strive to change and change and change as I attempt to become more perfect as a human being.  I believe the same for an organization.  As will be coming in another one of the other chapters ( by Roger Harrison)  related to the happy and joyful organization,  I believe that organizations and people who are changing towards excellence the happiest  and joyful.

One Response to “Phased adaptive strategy STRATNAV by one of the founders of the field of organization change: His Eminence Stan Herman”

  1. rolandsullivan Says:

    Maja, might you correct the three typos and see if you can republish.


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