I have written before about the need to embrace messy coherence or in more technical terms, coherent heterogeneity, a term I first encountered in the work of Dave Snowden. While most intuitively understand this need, how to achieve it practically remains elusive. We are emerging from a time where alignment and efficiency were pursued like … Continue reading WaysFinding – Enabling coherent explore spaces
“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” ― Tuli Kupferberg A few weeks ago, I wrote about what I experienced as the “strange in-between”, knowing that everything has changed, but still feeling as if nothing has changed. So much has changed since then. As we enter our third week of lockdown here in South … Continue reading Rhythm, ritual and boundaries
“This is not just an era of change; it is increasingly a change of era.” y General Sir Nick Carter, head of the British Arm I tend to avoid using the term VUCA; it has become overused (particularly by consultants) and increasingly is ‘just another buzz word’. It is, however, interesting to reflect on why … Continue reading Facing the scary (but exciting) boundary between competence and incompetence
Too much of our understanding of complexity is intellectual. There is very little that embodies what complexity philosopher Edgar Morin would term “lived complexity”.
Too often we still view organisations through a mechanistic lens and this impacts on the flows we pay attention to. If we see them instead as living systems, organisms or ecosystems, it soon becomes clear that flow is central to every aspect of the organisation.
I’ve now been using a complex and emergent approach to consulting for around 17 years. A friend of mine read me his coaching “manifesto” recently including his approach to internal change consulting. It made me think about what I’ve learnt about using this approach so I decided it might be useful to reflect on them … Continue reading 7 lessons I’ve learnt consulting as a “complexity practitioner”
Decision-makers commonly mistake complex systems for simply complicated ones and look for solutions without realizing that ‘learning to dance’ with a complex system is definitely different from ‘solving’ the problems arising from it. – Roberto Poli Many people believe that complexity is just higher order complicatedness i.e. that there is a continuum and that the difference … Continue reading 7 Differences between complex and complicated
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
Problems: Wicked, complex, intractable, or adaptive … whatever we choose to call them, we seem to suck at solving them and we often get profoundly overwhelmed and stuck. I believe the reason for this is hidden in the language I used in the title and previous sentence (… and no it’s not the adjectives … … Continue reading Why we suck at “solving wicked problems”
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