Blog

Why we suck at “solving wicked problems”


Problems: Wicked, complex, intractable or adaptive  … whatever we choose to call them, we seem to suck at solving them and we often get profoundly overwhelmed and stuck.  I believe the reason for this is hidden in the language I used in the title and previous sentence  (… and no it’s not the adjectives … … Continue reading Why we suck at “solving wicked problems”

The peripheral; extravagance; and paradox: Whistler reflections by Renée Koch


I asked my friend Renée Koch, who was a faculty member at the Whistler Retreat earlier this year, to contribute a guest blog reflecting on her experience and learning at the retreat and beyond.  I love her focus on the peripheral; extravagance; and paradox.   What struck me is how the notion of extravagance again challenges … Continue reading The peripheral; extravagance; and paradox: Whistler reflections by Renée Koch

How organisational OCD is stamping out innovation and agility


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debiliatating anxiety disorder that can have devastating consequences for the individual that suffers from it. I think there is a similar disorder that organisations suffer from … I call is Obsessive Certainty Disorder.  It too is linked with anxiety and the need for control.   And it too has devastating consequences, … Continue reading How organisational OCD is stamping out innovation and agility

8 guidelines to enable organisational fluidity


While preparing for my recent keynote at Agile Africa, I came across the work of Prof Adrian Bejan, a mechanical engineer who contributed to the field of thermodynamics through his constructal law, which is formulated as follows: “For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that … Continue reading 8 guidelines to enable organisational fluidity

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