Video: Evolving Cynefin Shadow Domains and constraints typology


I recently had the privilege of listening to Dave Snowden give a short explanation of the evolving Cynefin constraints typology and new shadow domains.  I find the shadow domains helpful when thinking of interventions – specifically in combination with/in place of the subdomain models. This is still emerging, so expect these to change …

On mayonnaise and survival


Mayonnaise

I recently attended the 4th International Conference for Responsible Leadership, hosted at Gibs by the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership (University of Pretoria).  One of the highlights was getting the chance to facilitate a panel discussion on Complexity Leadership in South Africa with a group of highly respected local and international academics. Another was … Continue reading On mayonnaise and survival

A short chronicle of 2016


I always admire those writers who have the discipline to publish consistently regardless of circumstance. I tend to write in spurts. I find that when I become really busy with projects and speaking engagements, my writing suffers. So in case you were wondering why I’ve been so quiet, I thought I’d write a short update … Continue reading A short chronicle of 2016

Three lessons from a marshmallow


It’s amazing how much one can learn from a simple game using a marshmallow and some spaghetti.  I first came across the so-called Marshmallow challenge when I discovered Tom Wujec’s Ted talk.  I later also found his site where he generously shares detailed step-by-step instructions as well as presentations one can use as facilitation aids. In short, small groups … Continue reading Three lessons from a marshmallow

Enabling agility: reflecting on the role of heuristics


I’ve been doing a lot of work lately working with organisations to build strategic agility and resilience to continuous change.  This has caused much reflection on what potential enablers might be for strategic agility and distributed decision-making in this increasingly complex and volatile world.  I’ve come to believe that one of the key enablers is an  understanding of … Continue reading Enabling agility: reflecting on the role of heuristics

Enabling (vs mandating) change


One of the intractable problems that seems face most companies is effecting real and lasting change across the entire organisation.  Many organisations are littered with failed change initiatives and more and more it seems that traditional change management methodologies are failing.  Most large organisations seem to be profoundly stuck when it comes to enabling change; plagued with stories … Continue reading Enabling (vs mandating) change

Building resilience: what organisations can learn from social ecologists


I have been blessed with a very diverse network, which includes among others many renowned thinkers and scientists in the field of social-ecological systems.  I am therefore exposed to thinking that I would otherwise not gain easy access to.  Most of my work happens in the corporate world (although I do get to play with scientists … Continue reading Building resilience: what organisations can learn from social ecologists

Reflections on the ‘edginess’ of change


I was part of a “real play” scenario (you play yourself i.e. how would you respond in the scenario, vs playing a role) the other day, to demonstrate a wonderful coaching modality called ORSC.  The scenario we were playing out was one of a large and established insurer who had aquired a small, agile and innovative … Continue reading Reflections on the ‘edginess’ of 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

Prof Dave Snowden to visit South Africa


It’s been way too long since Dave has visited SA, so I’m really excited to welcome him back!  His thinking has evolved significantly since the last time we’ve had the opportunity to engage with him, so I’m really looking forward to a mind-stretching experience! Dave will be in SA from around the 14th of October … Continue reading Prof Dave Snowden to visit South Africa