Learnings from Whistler: Scaffolding emergence


In June this year I had the privilege of attending the Cynefin Retreat in Whistler, Canada along with many Cynefin practitioners that up to then, I only knew virtually.  The opportunity to finally meet in person was incentive enough to attend, however even that couldn’t compete with the stimulating ideas we engaged with over the … Continue reading Learnings from Whistler: Scaffolding emergence

Levers, blueprints and roadmaps: 3 tips to combat “dark” metaphors


For those who follow me, it’s probably become apparent that I have a love for metaphors and analogies. Because much of what I do involves introducing others to new concepts, I find them to be useful “hooks”, linking the new idea to something familiar, thereby providing a “scaffold of mind” while understanding grows. Because of this, … Continue reading Levers, blueprints and roadmaps: 3 tips to combat “dark” metaphors

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)

Finding our way together


In a recent post, Jeff Goins describes that moment when the so-called “imposter syndrome” prevents a writer from publishing his work.  I could relate to that feeling … I often find myself agonising about whether or not something I’ve written is “worthy of publishing”.   Typically it sounds like “Who am I to write about this? I’m … Continue reading Finding our way together

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

Metaphorology


I have always loved metaphors and analogies. Stumbling upon a really great metaphor always feels like discovering hidden treasure (see what I did there?… :-)) Metaphors are pervasive Research says that we use 6 metaphors a minute (!) – at first this seems impossible, but once we tune into metaphors, it soon becomes apparent just … Continue reading Metaphorology

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

It’s hard to survive in the jungle if all you know is the zoo


I recently posted a tweet that created an unexpected enthusiastic response. It read: “It’s hard to survive in the jungle if you were trained in a zoo” I love using metaphors and analogies to explain the concepts I work with, like the difference between complex (jungle) and complicated or obvious (zoo) contexts. This is one … Continue reading It’s hard to survive in the jungle if all you know is the zoo