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The soft stuff has become the hard stuff


The Gallup State of the Global Workplace report was released recently, containing employee engagement results per country.  The results are generally pretty dismal,  an indictment on the prevailing cultures in our organisations. For sub-Saharan Africa, the report states: In most sub-Saharan African countries, formal employment for an employer is still relatively rare; many residents work at subsistence … Continue reading The soft stuff has become the hard stuff

Regime Shifts: a new way to think about culture change?


Towards the end of last year I attended a Complexity Forum hosted by the Center for Studies in Complexity in Stellenbosch. There were academics, researchers and practitioners from many different disciplines, and it was fascinating to hear so many different perspectives on complexity.  A dominant theme that emerged was around the concept of resilience.  It … Continue reading Regime Shifts: a new way to think about culture change?

Building the adaptive core of your organisation


A discourse that has been gaining prominence in business nowadays is around adaptive and resilient organisations.  Some of the world’s leading business thinkers like Prof Gary Hamel are making the case for adaptive capacity as being critical for businesses today.  In this HBR article the authors speak of Adaptive Advantage as the new competitive edge.   Similarly, resilience has been … Continue reading Building the adaptive core of your organisation

Workshops with Prof Dave Snowden in Jhb & Cape Town (October 2013)


As promised in an earlier post, here are the details for the various public workshops taking place with Dave Snowden in October. In Gauteng: 1.  A full day workshop at Worldsview Academy in Johannesburg on 17 October with a focus on complexity & leadership Find out more about it here 2.  A half day workshop at … Continue reading Workshops with Prof Dave Snowden in Jhb & Cape Town (October 2013)

One sure-fire way to poison your culture


Sometimes I come across ideas in business that is just so counter-productive that I really cannot understand how they ever became accepted practice.  One such idea that I’ve seen wreak havoc on corporate culture is the so-called Forced Ranking performance assessment process (or as Jack Welch termed it “Rank & Yank“). In virtually every company … Continue reading One sure-fire way to poison your culture

Stories can change our brain chemistry


“Stories are powerful because they transport us into other people’s worlds, but in doing that, they change the way our brains work and potentially change our brain chemistry; and that’s what it means to be a social creature.” – Paul Zak I find the research described in this  short video by neuroeconomics pioneer Paul Zak,  author … Continue reading Stories can change our brain chemistry

A great story needn’t be long


People often think that a story has to be long  and follow a particular structure in order to have impact or be memorable.  This belief often inhibits us from sharing our stories, but it is simply not true.  Sometimes, the best stories are really short little anecdotes.  I came across this one in a recent … Continue reading A great story needn’t be long

Complexity, Modeling & Natural Resource Management


With the publication of our article on Complexity, Modeling & Natural Resource Management in the Ecology & Society journal, a process that started in 2011 has finally been concluded.  As mentioned in a previous post, I was one of two complexity practitioners who co-authored two academic papers with some of the leading academic thinkers in … Continue reading Complexity, Modeling & Natural Resource Management

Don’t allow others (or yourself) to should on you!


I’ve been reflecting on how often we allow other people’s (and society in general’s) ‘shoulds’ to influence our choices and even our identity.  Now I have to say up-front, some ‘shoulds’ are legitimate, for example, everyone should respect life and not go around murdering other people, and it’s probably best not to cheat on your … Continue reading Don’t allow others (or yourself) to should on you!

The restorative power of meaning


In an article in the Time magazine (26 June ed), Joe Klein writes poignantly about how regaining a sense of purpose through public service is helping US military veterans and returning troops to find their way again.  Some of these men and women suffer from severe PTSD, others are simply struggling to cope with the … Continue reading The restorative power of meaning