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Ten things to keep in mind when facilitating an emergent process


“Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking. Traveller, the path is your tracks And nothing more. Traveller, there is no path The path is made by walking. By walking you make a path And turning, you look back At a way you will never tread again Traveller, there is no road … Continue reading Ten things to keep in mind when facilitating an emergent process

Learnings from Whistler: Scaffolding emergence


In June this year I had the privilege of attending the Cynefin Retreat in Whistler, Canada along with many Cynefin practitioners that up to then, I only knew virtually.  The opportunity to finally meet in person was incentive enough to attend, however even that couldn’t compete with the stimulating ideas we engaged with over the … Continue reading Learnings from Whistler: Scaffolding emergence

Two Sensemaker® projects to understand opposites on the generational spectrum


More Beyond is partnering with KLA on two open Sensemaker® based research projects to understand how South Africans on opposite ends of the generational spectrum view the future. The first project was done in partnership with The Refirement Network and seeks to understand how South Africans over 45 think about their next season.  We are … Continue reading Two Sensemaker® projects to understand opposites on the generational spectrum

Enabling adaptive space


I had the privilege this week to co-facilitate an Adaptive Space workshop with Prof Mary Uhl-Bien at a local business school. I’ve long been intrigued by her work, so it was really good to see it applied practically. As always, I’m left with a need to make sense of where it fits into other complexity … Continue reading Enabling adaptive space

Is faster always better? The case for a certain slowness


In the so-called VUCA world where greater agility seems to have be the only response, this is an important question. Even though agility is about much more than speed, the first response I often get when I ask leaders why they’ve embarked on so-called Agile Transformation processes is “we need to be faster”. The maturity … Continue reading Is faster always better? The case for a certain slowness

Seven implications of complexity for organisations


My last post was about Paul Cilliers’s 7 characteristics of complex systems.  In this post I want to explore 7 of the implications of complexity that he thought was important for those working in and on organisations  (his original text is in italics). 1.Since the nature of a complex organization is determined by the interaction … Continue reading Seven implications of complexity for organisations

7 Characteristics of complex systems


I have been re-reading the work of Prof Paul Cilliers, who truly was a pioneer in complexity thinking.  I came across this summary of the general characteristcs of complex systems in a piece he wrote in 2000.  It is concise and accessible qualitative description of complexity and I thought it would be useful to share … Continue reading 7 Characteristics of complex systems

Recent Sensemaker project roundup


Over the last year we’ve had the opportunity to do a couple of really interesting Sensemaker projects.  For those who are interested in South African cases, here’s a summary: Financial services: We have gotten a lot of traction in the customer insights space, specfically in the financial services industry.  This industry operates in a very … Continue reading Recent Sensemaker project roundup

3 pieces of advice for leading a system turn around (especially for our new SA President)


“We incline to see history through the lives of great men. That inclination blinds us to the real complexity …”  – John Kay,  Obliquity Ever since his election as South Africa’s new president, my news feed has been filled with posts from people telling Cyril Ramaphosa what his priorities should be.  He faces a seemingly … Continue reading 3 pieces of advice for leading a system turn around (especially for our new SA President)

Dave Snowden at TedX: A succinct overview of his groundbreaking work


Dave at TedX

I first met Dave in 2002 when we were both employed by IBM.  I remember experiencing an immediate resonance with his work, especially the inherent integrity of honoring context and not mindlessly applying best-practice recipes as the big consultancies tend to do. It is now 16 years later, and it has been a privilege to … Continue reading Dave Snowden at TedX: A succinct overview of his groundbreaking work