Not a fluke
This article by Jennifer Garvey Berger considers why we are primed to see patterns that we expect to see instead of creating patterns that might be novel. It considers how we might notice the flukes in our lives – those exceptions that might not be exceptions at all but a new pattern we’re just about to be able to see?
Why the best plan might not be a good one
By looking for the best idea, our vision narrows, we try to work out the root cause of the issue, and we create a “closing the gap” kind of solution. The article explores how releasing ourselves from searching for the best means that we can search for a whole lot of good ideas.
Leading In Complex Times
Creating the conditions for emergence
How can we encourage leaders to ‘create the conditions for emergence’. Encourage them to move away from mandating and planning to finding those areas most amenable to change & gentle nudging. Doing so, creates an exciting set of consequences for leadership action.
Complexity and compassion
There are different kinds of complexity, ones which deal with the unknown, outside ourselves, ‘Big systems’ and the complexity of our own conflicting forces and wishes, ‘Little, self systems. A reframing of challenges as complex offers a compassion, to be more open to learning and gentle with error that we don’t often give ourselves. Where’s the compassion in your complex world?
Tipping into the light
How can we create a collective of goodness that can spread and help shift the world from tipping into darkness to tipping into light? Doing so means we need to grow beyond who we have been and move into new ways of being humans, ways that are more sustainable and more helpful in this interconnected and interdependent world of ours.
Three Habits of Mind
In this playful video, Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston let you in on three seriously powerful habits of mind that will help you thrive in complexity (from their book, Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders).
Taking Multiple Perspectives
Leadership in a VUCA World
Why is it that some leaders can rise to the challenge of uncertainty and ambiguity? Those that can make sense of the uncertainty to spot opportunities and innovate whilst others, performing well under ‘business as usual’ conditions, cannot adapt to the complexity and ambiguity? How can leaders keep on developing their capacity to thrive and survive under VUCA conditions?
Simple Habits for Complex Times
When faced with complex challenges or uncertain outcomes, many leaders believe that if they are smart enough, work hard enough, or turn to the best management tools, they will be able to find the right answer, predict and plan for the future, and break down tasks to produce controllable results. But what are leaders to do when this isn’t the case? Rather than offering one-size-fits-all tips and tricks drawn from the realm of business as usual, Simple Habits for Complex Times provides three integral practices that enable leaders to navigate the unknown.
Vertical Leadership Development
Part 1: Developing Leaders for a Complex World
Leaders seem to experience cycles in their own work or personal life; at different times making progress, at other times ‘getting stuck’ and then having a breakthrough. This article by Nick Petrie of the Center for Creative Leadership looks at the good news that there is a way for them to keep growing, developing a different mind-set, through something called Vertical Development.
This video clip by members of the Learning Innovation Lab helps explain how we need to see systems, promote inquiry and take multiple perspectives if we are to navigate the messiness of complexity.
The Different Sense-Making of Leaders
Seven Transformations of Leadership
Most developmental psychologists agree that what differentiates leaders is not so much their philosophy of leadership, their personality, or their style of management. Rather, it’s their internal “action logic”—how they interpret their surroundings and react when their power or safety is challenged. Relatively few leaders, however, try to understand their own action logic, and fewer still have explored the possibility of changing it
Leadership is About Changing Your Mind
It is clear that leaders can develop a greater capacity to cope with complexity and uncertainty, but how can we actually train them to develop the capabilities to do this, similarly to exercising an under-used muscle in our body? ‘Leadership is about changing your mind’ looks at the critical aspects to building the ‘mind gym’, to foster and accelerate this ongoing development of ‘capacity’ in ourselves.
Reinventing our sense of beginnings to make
better use of the present
Leaders are so often focused on what they want to change, they miss the importance of the learning which can be done in the moment to make sense of the past. In this article, Jennifer Garvey Berger considers how we can pay attention to current patterns to reflect on the nudges which can be made to shift the system in more desirable ways.
Decision Making in Complex Times
Making Sense of Complexity – an introduction to Cynefin
Jennifer Garvey Berger introduces David Snowden’s ‘Cynefin’ as a useful decision-making framework to think about how to address situations, explaining that leaders may over-rely on their habits, forgetting what sort of approach the situation calls for. Using ‘Cynefin’ helps to distinguish between things that are predictable and unpredictable, helping leaders to assess different approaches for situations which fall into one of the four domains of ‘Complex’, ‘Complicated’, ‘Obvious’ or ‘Chaotic’.
Creating Developmental Organisations
Making Business Personal
What if, instead of hiding their weaknesses, leaders were comfortable acknowledging and learning from them? What if companies made this possible by creating a culture in which people could see their mistakes not as vulnerabilities but as prime opportunities for personal growth? How can trust be created in order to build a ‘deliberately developmental organisation’?
Vertical Leadership Development
Part 2: 30 Experts, 3 Conditions, and 15 Approaches
In Nick Petrie’s first paper Vertical Development Part I, he introduces the “what and why” of vertical development. This second paper in the series explains the key conditions required for vertical development to occur and approaches which can be used to create those conditions.