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 … Continue reading The peripheral; extravagance; and paradox: Whistler reflections by Renée Koch

How organisational OCD is stamping out innovation and agility


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debiliatating 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 is Obsessive Certainty Disorder.  It too is linked with anxiety and the need for control.   And it too has devastating consequences, … Continue reading How organisational OCD is stamping out innovation and agility

Ten things to keep in mind when facilitating an emergent process


“Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking. Traveller, the path is your tracks And nothing more. Traveller, there is no path The path is made by walking. By walking you make a path And turning, you look back At a way you will never tread again Traveller, there is no road … Continue reading Ten things to keep in mind when facilitating an emergent process

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

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

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

We get the culture we deserve


Culture is the lifeblood of an organization.  People often think that a culture can be designed or engineered, and this is true to an extent, but in reality culture is an emergent property of the people, policies and practices within an organisation.  A human system  and it’s culture co-evolves; whether in a company, a family, … Continue reading We get the culture we deserve