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)

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

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

The complexities of Responsible Leadership


Earlier in the week I had the privilege of spending the morning exploring ideas around complexity and leadership with two friends who understand both fields.  Our conversation mostly centred on Responsible Leadership as we had an expert in the room (one friend runs the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership) and it’s a very relevant topic at … Continue reading The complexities of Responsible Leadership

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