3 pieces of advice for leading a system turn around (especially for our new SA President)


“We incline to see history through the lives of great men. That inclination blinds us to the real complexity …”  – John Kay,  Obliquity Ever since his election as South Africa’s new president, my news feed has been filled with posts from people telling Cyril Ramaphosa what his priorities should be.  He faces a seemingly … Continue reading 3 pieces of advice for leading a system turn around (especially for our new SA President)

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

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

Reflections on the ‘edginess’ of change


I was part of a “real play” scenario (you play yourself i.e. how would you respond in the scenario, vs playing a role) the other day, to demonstrate a wonderful coaching modality called ORSC.  The scenario we were playing out was one of a large and established insurer who had aquired a small, agile and innovative … Continue reading Reflections on the ‘edginess’ of change

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