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

Two Sensemaker® projects to understand opposites on the generational spectrum


More Beyond is partnering with KLA on two open Sensemaker® based research projects to understand how South Africans on opposite ends of the generational spectrum view the future. The first project was done in partnership with The Refirement Network and seeks to understand how South Africans over 45 think about their next season.  We are … Continue reading Two Sensemaker® projects to understand opposites on the generational spectrum

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

Seven implications of complexity for organisations


My last post was about Paul Cilliers’s 7 characteristics of complex systems.  In this post I want to explore 7 of the implications of complexity that he thought was important for those working in and on organisations  (his original text is in italics). 1.Since the nature of a complex organization is determined by the interaction … Continue reading Seven implications of complexity for organisations

7 Characteristics of complex systems


I have been re-reading the work of Prof Paul Cilliers, who truly was a pioneer in complexity thinking.  I came across this summary of the general characteristics of complex systems in a piece he wrote in 2000.  It is a concise and accessible qualitative description of complexity and I thought it would be useful to … Continue reading 7 Characteristics of complex systems

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)

Dave Snowden at TedX: A succinct overview of his groundbreaking work


Dave at TedX

I first met Dave in 2002 when we were both employed by IBM.  I remember experiencing an immediate resonance with his work, especially the inherent integrity of honoring context and not mindlessly applying best-practice recipes as the big consultancies tend to do. It is now 16 years later, and it has been a privilege to … Continue reading Dave Snowden at TedX: A succinct overview of his groundbreaking work

What Van Gogh & Cape Town’s water crisis can teach us about innovation


Most people believe that innovation requires creativity, and therefore that creativity is a pre-condition for innovation.  This has somewhat “mystified” innovation and sparked entire industries focused on creativity training, design thinking courses and all manner of “creative disruption” processes to help people “think outside the box” in an attempt to unleash the latent creative genius … Continue reading What Van Gogh & Cape Town’s water crisis can teach us about innovation

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

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