Posts Categorized: Innovation

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 »

passivity makes no sense

Last year I wrote that this pandemic has become a crisis in network leadership because understanding what domain of complexity we are dealing with is now an essential requirement for decision-makers. At its outbreak the pandemic was chaotic and required immediate action. Developing vaccines went from complex to complicated. Dealing with people and how various groups… Read more »

learning on the edge of chaos

“the future of work will be based on hacking uncertainty” —Esko Kilpi Esko Kilpi passed away in early 2020 and his work had informed my own for many years. He published a number of essays on Medium and I would like to curate some of the highlights from 2019. “Instead of thinking about the organization… Read more »

twitter enables open knowledge networks

Twitter has kept me informed through this pandemic. I have been informed by subject matter networks of experts who share their knowledge with the public on Twitter. I was even taken to task by a troll (now off Twitter) for not blindly following local public health advice — “Twitter doctors are apparently more trusted than our medical… Read more »

strategic doing through agile sensemaking

Cormac Russell has developed Asset-based Community Development (ABCD) which I see as a complementary model for Strategic Doing, especially Skill #3 — Identify the assets at your disposal, including the hidden ones. Cormac recently shared a thread on Twitter. Here are a few paradoxes I’ve noticed at play in the dynamics between institutions & communities:… Read more »

perpetual beta — our new normal

The perpetual beta model describes how knowledge can flow between professional networks, communities of practice, and work teams. It shows that it is necessary to connect all three in order to ensure a diversity of ideas and perspectives — as well as safe places to test these — in order to support increasingly complex collaborative… Read more »


Richard Claydon tells a story about a ‘super-connector’ he once worked with. This person was highly respected by everyone and could get things done across departments, ignoring the official hierarchy. “In today’s interconnected complexity of work, it is next to impossible to isolate performance to the granular, individualised level of a KPI. Everything happens in… Read more »

sparking curiosity

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” —Ellen Parr The primary work skills of the past century can be summed up as — compliance, perseverance, diligence, and intelligence. These skills were needed for routine work and standardized jobs. Historically we have used human labour to do what machines cannot. First… Read more »

value network analysis masterclass

Value Network — “A web of relationships that generates economic or social value through complex dynamic exchanges of both tangible and intangible benefits.” —Verna Allee I participated in my first value network analysis (VNA) workshop in 2007. My impression at the time was that humans work in complex environments and we are by our very… Read more »

creativity needs just enough social connections

During this pandemic and various lockdowns  there have been many discussions about the need for physical contact and how it supports creativity. The writer and scientist, Isaac Asimov, reflected on — How do people get new ideas? — after a short stint at an MIT spinoff company in 1959. New ideas are not often received… Read more »