Why the Old Paradigms Don’t Work & Introduction to Cynefin (Video + Script)

https://youtu.be/ACkoVBnwaaw Script: For the next 20 minutes, I want to introduce you to a little bit of theory, and it might come across as somewhat abstract, maybe extremely abstract, but I have found some of these concepts extremely useful in understanding why the old paradigms and our default problem solving and sense-making methods often don't … Continue reading Why the Old Paradigms Don’t Work & Introduction to Cynefin (Video + Script)

Leadership in Complexity – Conversation, Values, Democracy, Slippery Slopes, and Genuine Evil

https://youtu.be/4S0K7MAT_KA Text: I posted something in an Air Force Facebook group the other day that went something like this:  I think more of our mid-tier leaders -- officers and NCOs -- need to be enabled, educated, and empowered to engage in the difficult task of rooting out, tamping down, and expelling extremist, sectarian ideologies among … Continue reading Leadership in Complexity – Conversation, Values, Democracy, Slippery Slopes, and Genuine Evil

The TIM^n Framework (video + script)

https://youtu.be/btSxtF5nwio Transcript:In the book Design Unbound by Ann Pendleton Jullian and John Seely Brown I was recently introduced to the idea of society existing and evolving on multiple levels of organization, and David Ronfeldt’s TIMn framework. TIMn stands for Tribes, Institutions, Markets, and Networks.  In early history, society only existed at the tribal level. Tribes … Continue reading The TIM^n Framework (video + script)

Alignment: Artifacts and Rituals

Allow me to be transparent in a way that might make all of us uncomfortable.  Over the course of the year that I worked at my last unit, I felt quite unaligned to their strategy and culture. I struggled to pin down who, what, and why we were, consistently coming up short. I was (very generously) handed a job that … Continue reading Alignment: Artifacts and Rituals

The Art of Wandering Downhill

Imagine you’ve ventured deep into a mountainous landscape. Picture that in every direction are miles and miles of hills and mountains, varying in elevation from tiny hillocks to majestic alps...  Now imagine that your goal is to find the highest peak possible... but visibility is extremely poor. It’s so foggy, you can’t see what’s beyond … Continue reading The Art of Wandering Downhill

Tree Care For Forest-Viewers

Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash Link to audio version On Wednesday of that week, I was certain that if the opportunity still existed four days later, on Sunday night, I would be boarding a flight from Honolulu to Austin. At the same time, I was growing increasingly agitated seeing some leaders try to publicly minimize the seriousness … Continue reading Tree Care For Forest-Viewers

COVID-19 Lessons for Leaders

The still slowly unfolding catastrophe of COVID-19 and the failures from some world leaders to adequately respond to early weak signals demonstrate a few crucial truths that any leader, facilitator, and innovator ought to understand: We are prone to thinking linearly, especially without a rudimentary understanding of complexity. Emergent phenomena within complex systems often scale … Continue reading COVID-19 Lessons for Leaders