Posts Categorized: Innovation

innovation in complexity and chaos

In 2019 I summarized my observations about innovation in — What is innovation? I concluded that while innovation may be 15 things to 15 different people, I still found nine general guidelines. The connection between innovation and learning is evident and we cannot be innovative unless we integrate learning into our work. Radical innovation only… Read more »

learning & innovating networks

Innovation comes from the edge, almost never from the centre, I wrote in moving to the edges (2014). But I noted that our inherent —  human — need for a sense of belonging can keep us in the centre and detract us from thinking critically and questioning the assumptions of our existing structures. While some… Read more »

GPT-3 through a glass darkly

I have been using the tetrad (four sides) derived from Marshall & Eric McLuhan’s Laws of Media for several decades. I find it useful for examining emerging technologies, beyond the hype. For example, according to Derrick de Kerckhove, Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology at the University of Toronto, the Laws of… 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 »

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 »