A complex vision

I am immersing myself in complexity, that is, the science of complexity. Reading Quinn Patton’s book on developmental evaluation made me understand why we are having such a difficult time measuring the impact of our work – teaching people to act more like leaders, in the context they work in, is not about ‘do this and then that will happen. I am learning about Mt Fuji solution and getting at the right size for a shovel, rugged landscapes and why diversity is important to find the best solutions, and dancing landscape which is about arriving at a conclusion after much data gathering and analysis to find out that everything has changed in the meantime.  To explain all this is complicated (not complex). I have to do a lot more reading and watching before I can do this better.

I spent several hours of our long weekend watching a lecture series, starring the professor of my Model Thinking course. If only a very small percentage of the 40,000 Coursera participants (in Model Thinking) bought the video set, at 50 dollars apiece, then the business model of these free courses becomes obvious. I liked my professor and I am more likely to buy his publications than those of hundreds of others.

The video course goes over some territory that is already familiar but there was plenty of new stuff: the explore-exploit distinction that gave me some ideas for our Learning Organization task team at work, or the notion of complexity as created by a series of dials: by increasing diversity, connectedness, interdependence and adaptability you get complexity, but if you increase these too much you get chaos. And why would we want complexity? Because it allows for emergence – for us emergence is about innovations, new stuff, new connections, new ideas; and I learned that for slime molds emergence means survival.

I am doing all this exploring and thinking in preparation of my new role at work of leading a team to articulate a view point and curating knowledge about leadership. So many people have already done that elsewhere, where to start?

I impulsively booked a weekend, next week, at an immense old and creaky hotel in the White Mountains – it is ski weekend time, even though I have one leg in an orthopedic boot and a recovering hand fracture on the other side. I also haven’t skied for 6 years. Whether I will actually put on (cross country) skis or remains to be seen. I would have to ski with my hand splinted which makes it hard to put on a glove, but un-splinted is a little too risky, since falling is rather likely.  Maybe I will simply sit by the fire inside, with my embroidery, knitting, and a stack of books, learning more about complexity.

We watched Obama channel MLK and share his vision for American – something he has been trying to work towards for the last 4 years, as countless others claimed to have worked for. The reason none of them can realize the vision is, indeed, because of the complexity of our world – if the slime molds are complex, imagine the United States of America.

0 Responses to “A complex vision”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

January 2013
« Dec   Feb »


Blog Stats

  • 117,255 hits

Recent Comments

svriesendorp on Western Mass
Judith J. Haycock on Western Mass
Judith J. Haycock on The Norwegians were here
Herman on Spring and election fever
svriesendorp on Opa-Oma-vacation-fun

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 59 other followers

%d bloggers like this: