This page outlines the types of services we provide relating to making better decisions in development by drawing on complexity thinking and various other related fields.
Designing adaptive change initiatives in complex spaces
We design, together with our clients, economic change programmes or organisational change initiatives. These take into account the need to co-design solutions in the context and strengthen the ability of actors to come together, detect problems and find solutions on their own. The programmes thereby aim to strengthen the institutional structures in an economy in a sustainable way and thereby improve an economy’s resilience. The programmes are designed so they are adaptive and continuously explore, learn and adjust their interventions. We also build the capacity of and coach the people involved in delivering the programme.
Building search, discovery and exploration capabilities
We assist teams from a range of economic and technological development organisations to conduct search and exploration activities to better understand opportunities for change, adaptation, innovation. We build the capacity of teams to engage with a range of internal and external stakeholders to build technological and organisational capability.
Programmes in distress – increasing impact when things don’t go as planned
Often development programmes are planned under ideal conditions with several assumptions in place. But things in the real world can change fast, or change may be harder than we anticipate. We support the team of such initiatives to reflect on the original plan and the subsequent learning from the field in order to design a new set of activities that take into account current and evolving conditions. This is like a turnaround strategy for a programme, private sector development portfolio or a project. It is not always necessarily to completely redesign a whole programme and its high level objectives, but this depends on the design and the context.
Supporting the acceleration of innovation and technological development in developing countries
The factors that enable growth, development and innovation to take place in an industry or region are complex, changing and interdependent. To set a process of ongoing improvement and creative development underway requires a process where diagnosis and improvement happens simultaneously. Such a process allows local stakeholders to deepen their understanding by taking action, while we support the teams in a facilitated process to reduces the risks for local stakeholders to discover, explore and experiment with new options for development.
Monitoring – building a framework for continuous learning and adaptation
Economic development and innovation and technological change programmes need to be smart and adaptive. Only under fairly stable conditions, pathways of change can be predefined in logic models and implemented according to plan. In complex conditions a programme needs to explore possible ways of doing things and stimulate change by introducing options into the system. A monitoring framework needs to support the programme in making decisions by providing the right information at the right time in a pragmatic yet credible and reliable way. We support programmes in designing and setting up a monitoring framework or improve on an existing one, inspired by insights from complexity sciences on how change happens in complex human systems and how to observe and measure this change.
Coaching leadership teams to become more adaptive and agile in their decision making processes
We assist a leadership team to master and apply several instruments from the complexity thinking and evolutionary sciences. This will assist the leadership team to become more agile, more sensitive to weak signals, and more able to make adaptive moves as the context changes. We also refer to this approach as joint sense making, as it helps leaders to become better at communicating their perspectives and adjusting their beliefs and responses based on what they learn together.
Learning partnerships with organisations
We form learning partnerships with whole organisations or parts of organisations that engage in complex change initiatives in various fields. We apply the principles of accompanied learning, providing a structure for more meaningful learning. What we do as external partners is to accompany your organisation and team through a learning and change process and share with you our experiences and understanding of such processes – while at the same time continually learning ourselves about your situation, context and possible ways forward. There is no step by step guide we can walk you through. Every situation is different so what we can do is learn together with you and augment your learning process.