Befriending uncertainty

Having just returned from one journey into the unknown (visiting Sweden for the first time), I am preparing to enter the unknown once again as I pack for a residential Tavistock working conference that starts today.  Having been through this experience before, I am torn between excitement about what I will learn, and a profound sense … Continue reading Befriending uncertainty

Using Cynefin to make sense of preparing for the future of work

These past two weeks, I’ve had several conversations with executives and OD/L&D professionals who are trying to make sense of the complexities that automation initiatives are introducing into the workplace. We found it helpful to use Cynefin to understand some of these dynamics.  Now we know things tend not to fit neatly into the domains, … Continue reading Using Cynefin to make sense of preparing for the future of work

Want resilience? Nurture diversity.

One of the learnings from complexity that I find particularly valuable in the workplace, is the need for a “requisite diversity” for a system to be resilient and able to evolve. Too little diversity limits the system’s adaptive capacity and too much diversity leads a loss of coherence. This is valuable insight, especially in countries like … Continue reading Want resilience? Nurture diversity.

Coaching leaders in the networked economy: reflecting on learnings from the A-N coaching course (LOL 1)

When you’re at sea and need to find your way, it is key to first locate yourself i.e. know your current position.  Before we had GPS, mariners did this by getting a “fix” – taking a compass heading on three widely spaced objects and determining where these headings intersect to get a “fix” on their … Continue reading Coaching leaders in the networked economy: reflecting on learnings from the A-N coaching course (LOL 1)

Finding our way together

In a recent post, Jeff Goins describes that moment when the so-called “imposter syndrome” prevents a writer from publishing his work.  I could relate to that feeling … I often find myself agonising about whether or not something I’ve written is “worthy of publishing”.   Typically it sounds like “Who am I to write about this? I’m … Continue reading Finding our way together

Walking with the elephants

Today I want to share one of my favorite analogies.  I use this in almost every presentation as a way to challenge the prevailing paradigm that priveleges expert design and control. There are two ways to lay out a park … … one is to employ an expert landscape architect to design an ideal layout … Continue reading Walking with the elephants

Think like a Chef

The trouble is that, in my view, the continual bombardment of quick and simple recipes is doing nothing to teach us how to cook. We are in serious danger of becoming slaves to recipes, rather than having the confidence to be able to walk along a supermarket aisle, or look through fridge and cupboard, to … Continue reading Think like a Chef


I have always loved metaphors and analogies. Stumbling upon a really great metaphor always feels like discovering hidden treasure (see what I did there?… :-)) Metaphors are pervasive Research says that we use 6 metaphors a minute (!) – at first this seems impossible, but once we tune into metaphors, it soon becomes apparent just … Continue reading Metaphorology

Storyscaping culture

“The temptation to lead as a chess master, controlling each move of the organization, must give way to an approach as a gardener, enabling rather than directing. A gardening approach to leadership is anything but passive. The leader acts as an “Eyes-On, Hands-Off” enabler who creates and maintains an ecosystem in which the organization operates.” ―  … Continue reading Storyscaping culture

GameOn! From Gameplan to Gameplay

I’ve been doing a lot of research into what enables effective self-organisation and responsiveness.  I recently read the wonderful book, Legacy, where James Kerr writes about the culture and practices that make the All Blacks a great team.   I found it interesting how much of what they do, have application in corporate teams, especially … Continue reading GameOn! From Gameplan to Gameplay