Posts Categorized: Complexity

Learning quicker by failing safely

I attended the Community Forests International planning session yesterday. This organization, located in our small town of Sackville, is working on two continents and recently received €1.2 million from the European Union for its work on the island of Pemba in Tanzania. The day included participation from many community groups, such as Renaissance Sackville, which… Read more »

Cooking out loud

The simple structure of the company, with its solidly embedded organizational chart restricting knowledge flow, cannot deal with the complexity of the networked economy. It takes too long to make decisions or try new things out. Looser hierarchies and stronger networks are required, but how do you go about this? Working and learning out loud… Read more »

Create space for sense-making

Listening to a story about exploitation in the ivory tower on CBC Sunday Edition this morning made me realize how much we are prisoners of our current reality. The poorly paid contract teaching staff saw no way out of their plight and the professor-turned-administrator went from questioning the current system to promoting its inequalities as… Read more »

Small thoughts, loosely joined

With a hyper-connected society, enabled by over 2 billion connected people and an expected 50 billion devices in the near future, the environment any organization is facing is much more complex than it was a couple of decades ago. But this was when most executives were learning how to do their jobs. Many are ill-equipped… Read more »

Error reduction interferes with gaining insights

Is your organization  focused on merely reducing errors or is it also promoting ways to improve insight? Fifty-eight of the top Fortune 200 companies bought into Six Sigma, attesting to the appeal of eliminating errors. The results of this “experiment” were striking: 91 per cent of the Six Sigma companies failed to keep up with… Read more »

Sense-making Skills

The most difficult part of personal knowledge mastery is developing a sense-making routine. A recent academic paper from the Association for Psychological Science examined various methods to improve learning. In this monograph, we discuss 10 learning techniques in detail and offer recommendations about their relative utility. We selected techniques that were expected to be relatively… Read more »

Build trust, embrace networks, manage complexity

Hierarchies A new model for work is required. Hierarchies, simple branching networks, are obsolete. They work well when information flows mostly in one direction: down. Hierarchies are good for command and control. They are handy to get things done in small groups. But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change. We have known… Read more »

Mastering the Internet of Everything

In a recent interview, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, stated that the major hurdle for the Internet of Everything is the underlying architecture or it will not happen, as too much effort will have to be spent on systems integration. As with most technical hurdles, this will likely be addressed, sooner or later. Many people… Read more »

Network Era Skills

It is only through innovative and contextual methods, the self-selection of the most appropriate tools and work conditions, and willing cooperation, that more productive work can be assured in the network era. The duty of being transparent in our work and sharing our knowledge rests with all workers, including management. Only people can enable knowledge,… Read more »

The rapidly changing workplace

8) So what have I learned that will help us change our own experience of work? That knowledge is becoming more abstract, conceptual, distributed and complex. 9) We know what social and thinking skills are needed for complex contexts – we know how to hone these skills through practice. – Anne Marie McEwan