Posts Categorized: Complexity

trust emerges over time

Imagine a research-intensive organization where scientists should be sharing what they learn, and the official company policy is to share information and expertise among public and private partners. However, the company is ‘downsizing’ and layoffs are based on performance reviews. If one scientist helps a peer develop a patented product, and as a result the… Read more »

six ways to make sense

One of the big consultancies is promoting ‘six ways’ to make sense of these complex times, or words to that effect. If you believe you are getting leading-edge thinking from these types of businesses, think again. Here is a story about a major consulting company, from one of its own. “Despite having no work or… Read more »

retrieving the cooperative imperative

The biggest challenges facing us today are climate change and environmental degradation. The current pandemic is a symptom of these situations. These are complex issues without simple answers or explanations, because with complex problems the relationship between cause and effect is only seen after the fact. As H.L Mencken stated, “Explanations exist; they have existed… Read more »

sometimes perfection is the enemy of the good

While many of our professions and organizations can deal with some complexity, few are adapted to deal with chaos on a large scale. Chaos — violent political action, climate change, pandemic — requires structures that promote curiosity and resolve. With frequent chaotic events to deal with we have to organize in temporary, negotiated hierarchies that… Read more »

let’s stop the war of words

A November 2019 article in the British Medical Journal showed how difficult it is to change peoples’ minds, especially with regards to vaccinations. Facts don’t change peoples’ minds. Lesson 2: don’t bring a fact to a narrative fight Experts and health professionals can arm themselves with white papers, peer reviewed studies, and symposia; but if… Read more »

get out to the edges

In March [making sense of our digital world] I wrote that my own understanding of the COVID-19 disease started with centres of networked expertise — WHO, CDC, Public Health Agency of Canada. By September [connecting knowledge] I wrote that I see information from the WHO and CDC as lagging indicators, and no longer my first… Read more »

put on your dance shoes

(Let’s dance) for fear your grace should fall (Let’s dance) for fear tonight is all —David Bowie (1983) Let’s Dance Creative work is a constant dance between complexity and order, or curiosity and resolve, as Jony Ive explained in his acceptance speech as the first recipient of the Stephen Hawking Fellowship in 2018. “You see,… Read more »

What is the Zollman effect?

In a series of three posts, Jonathan Weisberg explains the Zollman effect. Here are some highlights. What is the Zollman effect? “More information generally means a better chance at discovering the truth, at least from an individual perspective. But not as a community, Zollman finds, at least not always. Sharing all our information with one… Read more »

cynefin and pkm

I am following up from thoughts on the cynefin framework and how it has informed my own work since 2007. We are almost at the end of our exploratory looking at ways in which personal knowledge mastery and cynefin may be connected, and I hope this will lead to better ways of sensemaking in uncertainty…. Read more »