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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Agile Learning
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Getting Stronger through Stress: Making Black Swans Work for You

Getting Stronger through Stress: Making Black Swans Work for You | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"...our focus in modern times on removing or minimizing randomness has actually had the perverse effect of increasing fragility."



Excerpts - Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: 


...we all need to find ways to harness the power of randomness, volatility and extreme events to help us grow and develop more of our potential.


Focusing on Black Swans


Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about black swans [including] three books: Fooled by RandomnessThe Black Swan and, now, Antifragile.


Black Swans, in Taleb’s parlance, are “large-scale unpredictable and irregular events of massive consequence.’


The latest book focuses on approaches that enable us to thrive from high levels of volatility, and particularly those unexpected extreme events.

It...willl...prove infuriating to most of our economic, educational and political elites, for he argues that these elites have played a major role in making us increasingly vulnerable to volatility and Black Swans.


...The quest for antifragility

The real opportunity, in Taleb’s view, is to learn and grow from volatility and unexpected events – not to return to where you were, but to become even better as a result of the exposure and experience.   


He makes an important point: biological systems in nature are inherently antifragile – they are constantly evolving and growing stronger as a result of random events. In contrast, man-made systems tend to be fragile, they are the ones that have a hard time coping with random events.  


Taleb highlights a key paradox: our focus in modern times on removing or minimizing randomness has actually had the perverse effect of increasing fragility.


Related posts by Deb:


   

   

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This post was originally Scooped in Agile Learning.  It also seems a very useful perspective for Change Management Resources with the concept "Anti-Fragile" compared to resilience and resistance.  ~  Deb


Photo credit:  By Tamsin Slater

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 8, 2013 2:28 PM

Resilience, Robustness? - Nope.  The blog author references another author who uses nature to describe "Antifragility."   I see a parallel with the concept of Agile systems, including learning agility and "unlearning."  ~  Deb


Photo credit:  by Tamsin Slater, Flickr CC

Harry Cannon's curator insight, April 11, 2013 6:25 AM

Are we becoming too risk averse, in projects and society? We seem less tolerant of failure, which makes us less able to deal with the setbacks that do occur.

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Agile Empathy of the Experts Turbocharge Interdisciplinary Team Collaboration => Results

Agile Empathy of the Experts Turbocharge Interdisciplinary Team Collaboration => Results | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"...only certain kinds of people thrived in the unpredictable world where clients might ask an almost infinite set of questions."


Diversity and T shaped people


Excerpted, Paraphrased:


Working on innovation requires experience of team members and of their leadership mainly when where the combination of various disciplines is an unquestionable necessity such in the area of health.
 

Take:

  

  • People with different backgrounds and experiences who are also experts in a specific area?
   
  • To collaborate ...gather forces in two dimensions:


Plot out:


  • The vertical axis, each team member is able to answer questions specific of a discipline or area of work.
    
  • The horizontal axis ~ the ability to generate empathy and move through a common language. 

   
This is translated into opening, in curiosity, optimism, a tendency to learn by doing, and for experimentation => Those are “T” shaped people. 

  
Those are able to show a desired future, and build a path for its accomplishment.

   

...Management consultants long ago realized that only certain kinds of people thrived in the unpredictable world where clients might ask an almost infinite set of questions.

   

McKinsey and Company came up with the idea of hiring what they termed ‘T-shaped’ people.


People with deep analytical skills (the vertical stroke of the T) but also broad empathy toward those other skills and disciplines encountered in business (the horizontal stroke of the T).


These highly adaptable, rapid learners turned out to be ideal management consultants.”

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The "T” shaped = "highly adaptable, rapid learners" which sounds like aspects of the characteristics of agile learning to me, an asset to change facilitators & project leaders.  ~  Deb


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Classic to New: Learning Agility is Change Mastery

Classic to New:  Learning Agility is Change Mastery | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it
“Learning Agility, which has four dimensions—Mental Agility, People Agility, Results Agility and Change Agility—is a key to unlocking our change proficiency.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

In reading through the change research of a colleague, this approach resonates, especially cultivating the ability to be a combination of a data nerd (listener), synthesizer, developer of self & others and master communicator.  These relate well to change proficiencies touted by this author.  ~  D

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Paul Thoresen's curator insight, December 30, 2012 3:59 PM
"Classic to New: Learning Agility is Change Mastery"
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, January 25, 2013 5:43 PM
@Paul, thanks for the share.
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Strategic Agility? FLIP to thrive in our VUCA world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous

Strategic Agility?  FLIP to thrive in our VUCA world:  Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"If you stand still, you’ll fall behind in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Movement alone, however, doesn’t guarantee success." ~ Liz Guthridge


Great post by Liz!  On her blog, I commented that Liz speaks to a practical tool for VUCA preparedness so well, especially in cultivating a state of strategic agility, a big interest of mine this past year in assisting clients.


Excerpts:

.

By committing to FLIP (focus, listen, involve and personalize), you’re leading from wherever you are. And you’re serving as a role model to encourage others to be active, not passive, about your responsibilities.

.

With #3, INVOLVE, Liz talks about smart-mob organizing, bringing together groups of people for a common business challenge or social change.  This can easily include social media or other technology.

  • Liz is conducting a Best Practice Institute webinar on Change Through Crowdsourcing: How to Use Peer-by-Peer Practices to Transform Organizations on June 19 at 2 pm

.

With smart mobs, you can collaborate and cooperate in new, clever ways faster and more effective than ever before.

.

Rather than be content living with uncertainty and ambiguity in a VUCA world, you’re switching them around. You’re showing “agility” instead of “ambiguity” by seeking “understanding” instead of floundering in uncertainty.


Full post here.

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There’s No Such Thing as Leadership? Using Pull, Influence and Open Space vs. Power

There’s No Such Thing as Leadership?  Using Pull, Influence and Open Space  vs. Power | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

How many times has the question been asked, “What is management vs. what is leadership?”  Peter Drucker gets clear, "There's no such thing as leadership."

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is my blog post on Peter Drucker's surprising admission, Open Space leadership events, social media and Agility.  Just a few things to think about.  ~  Deb

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Agile Learning for Sustainable Change: Steps through the Sharp Rocks

Agile Learning for Sustainable Change: Steps through the Sharp Rocks | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it
You’ve probably experienced it, that uncomfortable feeling of letting go of something tried and formerly true without knowing what is coming next. Welcome to the Neutral Zone, coined by chang...


For now, consider that the middle state of letting go to enter the Neutral Zoneincludes building improved learning agility, a developmental process as we:


1) UnLearnlet go and prepare to accept something new,

2) Adapt, pilot and test new thinking and behaviors, and

3) Demonstrate New Learning (accept and refine new behaviors.)


A great metaphor for developing agility in learning can be found in rediscovering, and perhaps fully clarifying former misunderstanding of the classic change management research of Kurt Lewin. With credit to researcher Ron Koller, Lewin’s more nuanced, elegant original change work is diagrammed below.  His work has been oversimplified over the years as simply:  


1) Unfreeze,

2) Moving (Change), and

3) Refreeze2 (into the new state. )


See the full diagram of Lewin's original interrupted time series design in the full post here as well as what is key from Lewin and other change research.


Photo credit:   VinothChandar

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is one of my own posts in which I have the delight of uncovering a deeper, clearer understanding of the original change work of Kurt Lewin, as well as offering a Learning Agility perspective connected to current stories, Bob Johansen's VUCA perspective and Bridge's classic transitions work (a two-parter.)  


Thanks for stopping by!  ~  Deb

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The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails - Best vs. Agile Next Practices

The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails - Best vs. Agile Next Practices | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"Don’t train leaders, coach them, mentor them, disciple them, and develop them, but please don’t attempt to train them. " 

  

_____________

  
Training is transactional – Development is transformational."

_________________

  

Excerpts:  

  

A 20 item list  point out  main differences between training and development:

     

1. Training blends to a norm – Development occurs beyond the norm.

  

2. Training focuses on technique/content/curriculum – Development focuses on people.

  

4. Training focuses on the present – Development focuses on the future.

  

6. Training is transactional – Development is transformational.

  

More here:  'http://t.co/vcn5rSxa


More about leaders and being strategically & learning agile is here:




Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

How does real leadership development happen?  Through development.  The authors  20 item list  point out  main differences between training and development.  Training is convenient and can reach many people, but only development make the grade in agiiity for adapting to change.


This article also reminds me of the limitations of ADDIE, a training design approach still used in many companies. By the time leadership training gets there (after design), there isn't there anymore.  ~  D

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, May 22, 2013 11:58 AM
Wow, did this hit a nerve. Great!
Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Improvisation May Be the Key to Successfully Managing Change, MIT

Improvisation May Be the Key to Successfully Managing Change, MIT | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"Key attributes for almost any organization, and SO CHALLENGING to implement: agility , flexibility, improvisation – a company’s ability to quickly change is crucial to its long-term success."


 MIT's Leadership Center weighs in via an article by professor Wanda J. Orlikowski that equates a successful company to an orchestra.   Yes, I've heard this before.  Benjamin Zander is quite compelling in his leadership videos on this very note, pun intended.


_______________________________


...to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment
_______________________________


What is helpful in the article is yet another example of "letting go" as in, "sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead."  Well now, MIT, yes.  And Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much.  Releasing "some control" as quoted below, is the magic sauce, in my opinion, and adding in some feedback and perspective, on lessons learned, is a part of it.


_______________________________


"sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead." Yes, Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much. ~ Deb


_______________________________


It is always, helpful, however to review suggestions for how to create and sustain an agile, flexible, improvisational culture.  


Here are Orlikowski's tips for creating such an organization, excerpted:


  • Plan to improvise - sometimes you can anticipate change, and if you can do that, you should plan to address that change in a flexible way
  • Adapt when you cannot foresee – as business rules are changing, adapt and test on a smaller, departmental scale before making company-wide changes
  • Create a learning environment – encourage communication between your employees in different locations and departments, push everyone to learn from each other
  • Encourage flexibility – to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment
  • Improvise today for success tomorrow – create a culture of experimentation and improvisation even when you’re not experiencing extreme change in practice for when you do need to change



A companion article and video to this one is how Asst. Professor Steve Leybourne, Boston University experiences improv connected with the finance industry, creating a model and citing risk, reward in managers who surreptitiously improvise.   In his video, you'll see evidence of the "let go of micromanaging" and still how it is tentative in corporate culture.  It seems we have a long way to go to let go, but writing about those who research it is a start.  


  • Source:  http://www.scoop.it/t/innovation-institutions-will-it-blend/p/1715217458/moving-beyond-surreptitious-manager-improv-risk-reward-emerging-best-practice-in-your-org-steve-leybourne


What is your experience with creating a culture that is agile , flexible, and especially improvisational?



Photo credit:   ePi.Longo  Article source:  Chief Executive Magazine

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