biomatrix programmes for sustainable system transformation
BiomatrixWeb is a management education and consulting organization that facilitates the transformation of social systems through the Biomatrix Programmes for Sustainable System Transformation.
methodological approach of the programmes
The programmes promote a self-managed transformation through an education-driven and (w)holistic change management approach.
Self-managed transformation implies that a system creates its own ideal design of what it wants to be and do, and that it plans and facilitates the implementation of the design and thereby transforms itself.
To do so, the organization needs to acquire capacity for self-management. Ideally, it will develop a critical number of its members (e.g. some senior managers and the talent of the organization) as internal consultants and change managers through their participation in the Biomatrix Transformation Programme. This will equip them with the relevant theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
Guided by the programme, they redesign the organization and facilitate the implementation of the design, thereby transforming it into a systemic learning organization. They will also be able to deal with future organizational change necessitated by a continuously changing business environment. Thereby the organization will continue to develop coherently and authentically according to its ideal design.
By comparison, the current management paradigm promotes the uncoordinated change of different parts of an organization by external consultants, based on different change models. This brings incoherence, disorder, discontinuities, conflict and alien influences into the system.
The first phase of a Biomatrix Transformation Programme involves the delivery of the system specific Biomatrix Course for Sustainable System Design to the programme participants. This phase equips them with the theoretical knowledge of system transformation and guides them to apply it to creating a draft design, implementation plan and change management plan for their shared case study system. Thus the programme promotes an education-driven approach to system transformation.
The advantages of an education-driven approach are the following:
- It does not carry the stigma of externally enforced change. It is not a priori threatening to the members of the system, because education first of all provides theoretical knowledge and works with its application as a case study. Only if the outcomes of the case study (i.e. the draft design, implementation plan and change management plan) make sense to stakeholders, will top management make the decision to go ahead with the proposed changes.
- Education changes mindsets and prepares the system for change. Since participants also facilitate a stakeholder diagnostic and brainstorming survey as part of the education phase, the mind change also spreads to stakeholders who do not participate directly in the education course.
- Having created the ideal design, implementation plan and change management plan themselves, the participants have a thorough knowledge of the intended change, are well equipped to facilitate its implementation and maintain its momentum.
By comparison, change interventions by external consultants often fail to transmit sufficient knowledge to implement the change and maintain it. Often they also fail to adequately prepare the system for change.
A (w)holistic approach to transformation considers the interests of all parts of the system and other relevant stakeholders, as well as the generic organizing principles of system design.
Adherence to (w)holistic design principles ensures the internal consistency, coherence and sustainable development of a system. By comparison, partial interventions in different parts of the system at different times that are aimed at improving the part based on different change models, co-produce a “patched up” system. Such a system is clumsy and far from excellent, analogous to a car that is patched together from parts belonging to different car models. Unfortunately, the current management paradigm promotes patching, instead of (w)holistic design.
types of programmes available
Biomatrix theory distinguishes two generic types of systems, activity systems and entity systems, which differ fundamentally in the way they are organized. In application they give rise to different social systems. Accordingly, the following Biomatrix System Transformation Programmes are available:
activity system transformation programmes
An activity system is organized as a value / supply chain that serves an overarching single aim.
function transformation programme
This programme redesigns and transforms an organizational function into a value / supply chain that delivers desirable outcomes to its clients and other stakeholders in a sustainable and efficient manner.
business process transformation programme
This programme redesigns and transforms a business process into a value / supply chain that delivers desirable outcomes to its customers and other stakeholders in a sustainable and efficient manner.
industry transformation programme
This programme redesigns and transforms an industry (or a public function concerned with public goods / service delivery) and its sub-industries (or sub-functions) as a coherent value / supply chain that promotes societal development and sustainability.
public policy and governance transformation programme
This programme redesigns and transforms a public governance system (e.g. an industry regulation, public policy, legislative system) under consideration of generic governance principles so that it promotes societal development and sustainability.
entity system transformation programmes
An entity system is organized as a three-dimensional matrix around a self-referring ethos.
organization transformation programme
This programme redesigns and transforms an organization into a stable and sustainable three-dimensional learning organization that is connected to its external environment, internally coordinated and wired for ongoing change in accordance with its changing business environment.
public / private partnership transformation programme
This programme redesigns and transforms a public / private partnership into a three-dimensional learning organization that delivers public / private goods and services in a coordinated and flexible manner and according to changing client needs.
phases of the programme
All Biomatrix Transformation Programmes consist of the following generic phases.
They are managed by a Steering Committee consisting of the head of the corporate academy and representatives of senior management of the client organization, as well as a Biomatrix Learning Facilitator and Consultant.
phase 1: education: biomatrix design course
Members of the system (e.g. some senior managers and talent earmarked for senior positions) are delegated to participate in the system specific Biomatrix Course for Sustainable System Design to learn how to design and transform a system.
Through assignments they apply the knowledge to the case study system and produce ideas for its redesign and for managing its transformation.
The courses are certified by Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
phase 2: stakeholder survey
The participants administer a stakeholder survey to all parts of the system in order to identify and analyze its problems and brainstorm solutions.
The survey data are processed by BiomatrixWeb and used in a feedback report to top management and in Design Notebooks for the design teams to work with.
phase 3: team design and planning
In facilitated team work (involving on-line facilitation and / or face to face workshops) the participants work with the Design Notebooks to co-produce an ideal design for the system and a plan for implementing it. They also propose a suitable change management approach (including a roadmap for change).
phase 4: top management workshop
To ensure their understanding and support, a high level Top Management Workshop on the theory and methodology of the Biomatrix System Transformation Programme is conducted by a BiomatrixWeb consultant.
(This workshop could also be held as an introduction to the programme).
phase 5: implementation
After the team outputs have been presented to and discussed with top management and implementation has been mandated, the participants facilitate design iterations with stakeholders to refine the design.
After stakeholder alignment is achieved, the design is implemented according to the implementation plan and agreed on change management approach, thereby transforming the system.
If requested, BiomatrixWeb will supply coaching support to the facilitators.
programme developer and facilitator
Dr. Elisabeth Dostal is the developer and facilitator of the Biomatrix Programmes for Sustainable System Transformation.
Her areas of expertise are futurism, systems thinking, strategic management and management consulting and change facilitation in organization development and strategy / policy design.