“Dynaxity”: the root cause of burnout?

The article offers an in-depth description of the changed conditions in a business world shaped by globalization. It defines what businesses and organizations need to change and explains why they need to act fast.

Burnout, its causes and the impact it has on patients and businesses is one of the big topics of our time. Usually the discussion focuses on the individual case – the employee who can’t stop working or crumbles under the pressure of his or her job. The concept of “dynaxity” offers a new, more comprehensive perspective on a widespread phenomenon that may just be more than the sum of many separate incidents.

What is dynaxity?

“Dynaxity” is a neologism comprised of the terms “dynamics” and “complexity”. Both of these phenomena pose significant challenges to modern businesses. Markets, systems, and processes grow ever more complex while response times decrease and businesses need to act faster and faster. The combination of complexity and dynamics creates pressure that often exceeds what we as individuals and even our organizations can withstand.

Life for all of us has become more dynamic than ever before. There is no doubt about that. Work schedules shape our personal lives. As the speed and volume of our communications increases, so does our mental and physical stress. But it isn’t just this extreme dynamics that wears us thin. It is dynamics in combination with a massively heightened complexity. Burnout is merely the logical consequence, the breakdown after a long period of constant strain.

This may suggest that burnout cases are isolated and ultimately personal incidents. But is this really the case? Or does the heart of the problem lie with the organizations? Namely, the fact that organizations are incapable of dealing with the accelerated and complex market dynamics, as is becoming increasingly obvious? Unconsciously and unintentionally, organizations have established an emergency procedure as default program, and more and more people are pushed into following this procedure (again, unconsciously). Dynaxity as an external root cause leads to group dynamics that may take an extreme form and begins, at a certain point, to dominate individual lives.

There seems to be only one way out: we all need to stop, take a deep breath and a look around. This also applies to the members of organizations. And it must be the management who take the lead. Stop, get your bearings, recognize patterns, break them. Recalibrate …


This is a management summary of an article first published in the magazine of Digital Tempus Germany. You can read the full article here in German, or contact me if you wish to have more information about the topic.