Blog - Category: Innovation

WaysFinding - Enabling coherent explore spaces

Image by EvGenIt, Pixabay
I have written before about the need to embrace messy coherence or in more technical terms, coherent heterogeneity, a term I first encountered in the work of Dave Snowden. While most intuitively understand this need, how to achieve it practically remains elusive. We are emerging from a time where alignment and efficiency were pursued like […]
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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 […]
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How organisational OCD is stamping out innovation and agility

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debilitating 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 it Obsessive Certainty Disorder.  It too is linked with anxiety and the need for control.   And it too has devastating consequences, […]
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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 […]
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What Van Gogh & Cape Town's water crisis can teach us about innovation

Most people believe that innovation requires creativity, and therefore that creativity is a pre-condition for innovation.  This has somewhat "mystified" innovation and sparked entire industries focused on creativity training, design thinking courses and all manner of "creative disruption" processes to help people "think outside the box" in an attempt to unleash the latent creative genius […]
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7 principles to help organisations resist the siren song of copying recipes

“You can't replicate the end point of an evolutionary process, which by its success has changed the context anyway.  However we can seek to copy the starting conditions and enable the emergence of new contextually unique successes that learn from it.” - Dave Snowden “… the fact is, if you don't know what makes things […]
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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 ...
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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 […]
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Jungle vs Zoo - Reflections on change and resilience

In my previous post I introduced the analogy of a jungle vs a zoo to help us make sense of the complex contexts we face and the often ordered organisational structures and processes we tend to create.  In this post I want to explore this analogy further and look specifically at how change and resilience from the […]
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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 […]
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