Posts Categorized: Complexity

there is a crack in everything

As the pandemic emerged in 2020 I sought credible information and advice first from institutions and authorities and later from a network of expertise — encouraged to do-your-own-research — in view of growing misinformation and disinformation, even from authorities like the CDC and WHO. I am not the only person to turn to a networked… Read more »

“the future cracked open”

Race Bannon sees AI (or really machine learning) changing many jobs, such as technical writing, in the near future. “I believe within 5-10 years much of technical documentation will be written by AI. Certainly, the basic procedural stuff (Step 1, Step 2, and so on) will be written by AI, but even the contextual stuff… Read more »

an agile sensemaking framework

Agile sensemaking could be described as how we make sense of complex challenges by interacting with others and sharing knowledge. More diverse and open knowledge flows enable more rapid sensemaking. I discussed the idea of agile sensemaking in 2018 and later created a sensemaking model (framework). This week on Twitter [yes, it’s still there], Ismael… Read more »

culture eats sanity for breakfast

Last year I came across a book — All for Nothing — about the collapse of the German Army in Prussia during the Second World War. It is written from the perspective of a young boy and the characters are mostly civilians. My mother, as a young girl, lived through this. People in the book… Read more »

leadership in chaos

In our wake up call I wrote in mid-2020 that complexity and chaos are the new normal as climate change drives more crises our way — pandemics, refugees, environmental disasters, and the overall degradation of our environment. To prepare for chaos, we need people who can act. Identify these people and give them experiments or… Read more »

navigating complexity

The Cynefin framework can help us connect work and learning, especially for emergent and novel practices, for which we do not have good or best practices known in advance. When we want to create a conducive learning environment for knowledge workers, the Cynefin framework helps us see the inherent weakness of instructional systems design (ISD)… Read more »

Dee Hock 1929-2022

Dee Hock, founder and CEO of VISA, died last week at the age of 93. VISA’s success was based on its chaordic structure. chaordic [kay-ordʹ-ic], adj., fr. E. chaos and order. 1. The behavior of any self-organizing, self-governing, organ, organization, or system that harmoniously exhibits characteristics of both order and chaos. 2. Patterned by chaos… Read more »

analyzing automation

Several years ago I recommended one small change that could have a major impact would be to look at everyone’s work from the perspective of standardized versus customized (non-standardized) work. Every person in the company, with the help of some data and peer feedback, should be able to determine what percentage of their time is… Read more »

When “hope and history rhyme”

When the pandemic began — it’s not over — I stopped reading dystopian fiction, some of which I had recommended in Summer science-fiction a couple of years before. The last one I had read was Station Eleven, which I am glad I did so before March 2020. My first read this Summer has been Kim Stanley Robinson’s… Read more »

managing to lead in complexity

The military is beginning to understand that some of its leadership practices need to change as its challenges increase in complexity. Future warfare will increasingly move toward the complex domain. “Complex contexts cannot be solved; they can only be managed. In a context with variables and relationships that are constantly shifting, leaders are unable to… Read more »