Exploring the dynamics of self-organisation and psychological safety


Join Dr Jean Cooper and I for our much anticipated experiential learning event: the Dynamics of Self-organisation. We are bringing together the best insights from the disciplines of complexity and group relations theory to demystify the dynamics of self-organisation.  If you are interested in agility, distributed decision-making or new organisational forms that depend on effective … Continue reading Exploring the dynamics of self-organisation and psychological safety

8 guidelines to enable organisational fluidity


While preparing for my recent keynote at Agile Africa, I came across the work of Prof Adrian Bejan, a mechanical engineer who contributed to the field of thermodynamics through his constructal law, which is formulated as follows: “For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that … Continue reading 8 guidelines to enable organisational fluidity

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 … Continue reading Enabling adaptive space

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 … Continue reading 7 principles to help organisations resist the siren song of copying recipes

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

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 …

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

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)