All that jazz … making coherence coherent


One of the assertions I make quite often nowadays, is that we need to move from focusing on alignment, to focusing on coherence.  I’ve found it interesting that out of all the potentially controversial statements I make, this one seems to generate an inordinate amount of questions and disagreement.  It is understandable as this notion … Continue reading All that jazz … making coherence coherent

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 … Continue reading Jungle vs Zoo – Reflections on change and resilience

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

Connectivity or coupling: keep Goldilocks in mind (Building resilience: Principle 2)


My mother always said that nothing with a “too” in front of it is good.  That is certainly true about connectivity, too little and too much can be equally detrimental.  High levels of connectivity can facilitate the fast recovery of a system after a disruption, but at the same time some disruptions spread faster in highly … Continue reading Connectivity or coupling: keep Goldilocks in mind (Building resilience: Principle 2)

Maintain diversity and redundancy (Building resilience: Principle 1)


“Systems with many different components (e.g. species, actors or sources of knowledge) are generally more resilient than systems with few components.  Redundancy provides ‘insurance’ within a system by allowing some components to compensate for the loss or failure of others.  Redundancy is even more valuable if the components providing the redundancy also react differently to … Continue reading Maintain diversity and redundancy (Building resilience: Principle 1)

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

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