Intrinsic Time of Organisations
If systems have time structures, then this also applies to organisations and their sub-systems (functional areas). System-theoretically, the creation of ‘simultaneity of system and environment’ is a central task of any system (How does it happen that the water snake arrives punctually as the tadpoles grow larger?). Even the functional areas of organisations must establish simultaneity. If they do not do so and do not reflect, they generate unfavourable sustained conflicts.
How can this be observed and described? Here we will list only a few of the most important questions that can be used:
Where is work carried out ‘explicitly or implicitly’, ‘carefully and thoroughly’, where ‘quickly and pragmatically’? How do such asynchronous areas relate to each other? Which communication pattern emerges from this?
What temporal rhythms do the areas have? Which delayed reaction times must be reckoned with? What runs too quickly? What runs slowly?
With what intensity and at what speed does one react to external irritations? What effect does this have on the success/failure?
Where are time constraints made? On the basis of which criteria? Urgent or important? Active or reactive? Risk taking or danger avoiding? Consistent or inconsistent?
Who can slow things down? In which way? Openly of hidden?
If the area were a symphony? Beethoven, Mahler, Wagner etc.?
From an analysis of the system’s time structure, one can gain realistic assessments about which areas in the organisation can only change slowly and with difficulty, where conflicts are difficult to solve and which linking intelligence the consultant requires in order to ‘jive’ with the client.