How it was developed

For over ten years we have been working as a network of colleagues consulting globally operating enterprises in complex change processes. Within this network there always was a great interest in exploring the nature of complex changes in organizations and the development of new and ground-breaking concepts. Some of us worked or cooperated with CSC Index and participated in the development of concepts such as "Business Reengineering".

Yet in applying these new practices essential questions emerged:


  • How does one understand the social and political process within large organizations and how does one intervene in these during change projects?
  • What determines the understanding of organization and management and on what does one base this understanding?


These questions and the fact that many large change processes failed, lead Richard Pascale to introduce us to the works of complexity science, especially to the relevant studies of the Santa Fe Institute. Our main goal was to understand their findings about the nature of complex relations and its relevance for organizations and for the practical work in change processes. Further on we also closely cooperated with the colleagues of the Complexity and Management Centers of the University of Hertfordshire, Ralph Stacey, Douglas Griffin and Patricia Shaw. Their main focus lies on the notion that organizations are strongly determined by their social and political processes.


The design of ChallengeX was based upon these insights and upon our concrete observations made during change projects: Individuals and teams show a surprisingly steep learning curve in the development of their professional and personal capabilities when they are not only given stimulating tasks but also the ability for qualified reflection of what happens with them and their project. We then developed and piloted ChallengeX with two innovative companies and market leaders in the automotive and aeronautic industry and in cooperation with the Center of Palliative Medicine of the University of Munich.