Focusing on moving from disorder in today’s world

To borrow and adapt a phrase from F. Scott Fitzgerald and those over at Cognitive Edge:The test of (complex adaptive) intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

I wanted to go back to one of my favorite frameworks, the Cynefin framework for partly thinking through the “known-unknown-unknowable” in our present world. We are seemingly more in the “unknown or unknowable” at present, perhaps in a world of disorder, in our understanding and actions relating to this coronavirus, a global pandemic.

The Cynefin framework is from Dave Snowden through Cognitive Edge. The positioning of Cognitive Edge is “making sense of complexity in order to act.”

I start by suggesting we need to find ways to navigate ourselves back into some (new) order; to stabilize the chaos we are in. What we first need to do is make sense of what is going on around us, we need to determine what actions to take and the level of action, resource and support each part needs. We need to constantly ask: is it clear, complicated, complex, or chaotic, or even worse, highly confusing. The Cynefin framework significantly helps us to determine what particular parts we are dealing with, in the decisions needed. Continue reading

Working through the current disorder we find ourselves in

In times like these, we need to “unfreeze.” It is a necessary time where we need plenty of adaptive thinking on our needs to start thinking how we are going to emerge out of this “lockdown,” so many of us are in and apply our reasoning to literally “crank starting” the economy engine again.

Even if this is one month, two months, or longer, we need to become creative and innovative. We cannot be held in this “frozen state” for long without looking to become economically productive again. It may be in different ways, in new roles, or in transition until we have a higher “grip” of what we can achieve in a very volatile, challenging world.

If we remain in our present states, then what I suggest as a ‘frozen state’ remains, we default back to what we know, based more on repeating patterns, believing everything is orderly based on efficiency, effectiveness, and doing what is necessary to manage daily. Well it is not, we are in chaotic and unpredictable times.

This, regrettably, is simply not good enough in today’s world as it has changed so radically in these last few months. Continue reading

Seeking out knowledge that feeds our innovations

Knowledge and learning 3The more we embrace change and recognize innovation demands more of our time, the more we must seek out knowledge that ‘feeds’ innovation. And the more we ‘push’ for learning, the greater chance we have of thriving in a challenging world.

The expectation ‘bar’ needs to be raised from those practicing innovation, I feel the constant need is for those working within innovation; they have this real need to raise their game significantly. Innovation needs organizing but it also needs a better understanding of its contributing parts.

Learning and Education should always start with us. Continue reading

Politics, Economics and Climate need to come together.

 

In the last few months, I have got increasingly nervous about where we are NOT going on climate change

I have never before published one article on each of my three posting sites. This post I just had to. It is shaping me in how I look at innovation, collaboration, the power of networks, ecosystems and most of all, in our world of energy transition needed to reverse climate warming. So apologies if you see it on three separate sites but I don’t apologize for my real, underlying concern on where we are seemingly heading as a world.

The bush fires of Australia have been shocking, devastating, and crippling. They catalyze the concerns we all should have.

Each of us might or likely will face a shocking, devastating or crippling “event” in our lives in the next ten to twenty years. I feel it is inevitable, irrespective if we stopped all the debates and did the level of investment, we need to reverse the climate warming.

The next ten years of our investments in cutting emissions and refocusing our energy needs must go towards clean energy (renewables). Our ability to make a change will determine if these events recently will become the new norm, as our planet spins even more out of our ability to control climate-warming through greenhouse gases.

So I have to move through this shocking, devastating, and crippling effect but have I have begun to accept  the reality that our world is in a “state of climate alarm,” not just a “climate emergency.” Continue reading

Recognizing different innovating capabilities to develop and grow

IFD Complexity WebA firm’s ordinary capabilities are the ones that enable us to perform efficiently and effectively, those essential routines and practices that often require having a high level of technical need supporting these activities.

In contrast, dynamic capabilities are those higher-level competencies that determine a firm’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure both the resources and skills to possibly shape, they have the power to transform, and then be deployed to meet rapidly changing business environments, to take advantage of these changing conditions. We need to seek out the dynamic ones and nurture these as they give us the real ability to grow and build our new capacity.

Recognizing the importance of Dynamic Capabilities

Dynamic capabilities are about selecting the right things to do and getting them done, while ordinary skills are about doing something right. The former implicates dynamic efficiency, the latter static efficiency.

Continue reading

Cracking the complexity code

Cracking the complexity code of organizationsThere was a good article within the McKinsey Quarterly published way back in 2007 entitled “Cracking the complexity code,” written by three authors Suzanne Heywood, Jessica Spungin, and David Turnbull. It still has a lot of relevancy in my mind today.

They lead this article with “one view of complexity that holds that it is largely a bad thing- that simplification generally creates value by removing unnecessary costs.” Yes, we all yearn for a more simplified life, structure, organization, approach to systems or just reducing complexity in our daily lives to find time for what we view as improving its ‘quality.’

Within the article, they argue there are two types of complexity – institutional and individual.

The former concerns itself with the interactions within the organization; the latter is the way individuals or managers deal personally with complexity.

Continue reading

Dynamics within the system are always dominated by the slow components.

The worrying thing is within any dynamics within the system they are dominated by the slow components, and the rapid components simply have to follow along.  Look at how larger organizations operate when they are discovering and learning. It seems to take for ever.

They will often wait while one part of the organization is reluctant to make a decision, even when their part of the ‘collective’ decision is not one that has real implications, it is that ‘they’ expect to be within the decision loop and will undermine any deicsion they were not partly too. So many ‘breaking opportunities’ get caught out in the lack of dynamics or that real energy and purpose to decide. It goes into a perpetual loop.The opportunity becomes a struggle to execute upon.

“Slow constrains quick, slow controls quick”.

The only way to ensure speeding up is to be more coherent on the purpose, clarify the bounds and governing principles that need to be enacted and expect delivery on a clear, set timing. If one part simply ‘sits and waits’ what chance do you have of injecting something that might have a real impact, it gets reduced down, it gets pushed back, to a point where an original idea is unrecognizable when it finally emerges. Continue reading