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The Use of the Cynefin Model for Innovation

The Use of the Cynefin Model for Innovation | Business change | Scoop.it

Using the Cynefin model allows you to begin to think about the appropriate innovation and what is needed in practice and thinking approach. It allows you to begin to be prompted in what the possible constraints might be, to allow you or not to explore innovation in these different domains.


Via F. Thunus
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Everyone in complex systems should understand this model. Cynefin 101

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7 Essential Insights Normally Missed in Culture Change Efforts

7 Essential Insights Normally Missed in Culture Change Efforts | Business change | Scoop.it
This milestone post is a salute to passionate and experienced culture and performance change agents. You understand the power of culture in organizations and the challenge, frustration, restlessness, and exhilaration inevitably linked to intentional culture-related action. We’re living in the absolute best time in history to be involved in meaningful culture change. Culture is finally a topic of discussion in most organizations, and we need to make the most of it.

I adjusted my plan for this post during a recent trip to Washington, DC. I was going to write a general “how-to” post, but that changed during an early-morning run by the Washington Monument. I saw the flags at half-staff due to the recent Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas and started thinking about the incredibly challenging culture-related issues in organizations and society as a whole. I thought: “It’s going to take every bit of experience and knowledge to tackle these issues, and a general ‘how-to guide’ barely touches the surface of what we need.” I shifted my focus to zero in on details often missed in culture-related change efforts, even by experienced change agents.

Unless you are some sort of crazy unicorn, we all can benefit from learning from others, especially with something as challenging as shifting or evolving culture. We spend so much time trying to understand the stories and examples from great cultures or listening to the latest inspiring keynote, but we rarely dive into the messy culture realities and specific approaches to change. These seven insights will, hopefully, add to your experience in some new and impactful ways.
David Hain's insight:

Perceptive insights from Tim Kuppler on what gets in the way of culture change.

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What digital transformation isn’t – Tim Allan

I have been involved in a number of transformation projects in government and the private sector, across health and taxation, publishing, education and media. Throughout these projects, I’ve worked with many many great people and it was a privilege to work with them.
I can’t think of a scenario where the perfect digital transformation occurred. It’s a messy process. it’s hard to expect something disruptive to follow a typical trajectory every time, and be the same for every organisation. When a ‘digital transformation’ agenda is set, the organisational challenges it poses are usually (in my experience) greeted (on the surface) with optimism.
Looking back, I can recognise in previous projects many points where transformation was failing. Sometimes it’s after-the-fact recognition (usually from a place of more experience, where you think “we didn’t do that right”). Sometimes recognition happened at the time. Sometimes the failure is small, other times it is massive.
There are some common threads that I have drawn together from these projects. These threads are recurring events, people and processes that seem to symbolise the failure of transformation.
David Hain's insight:

Authoritative view from the field on what makes digital transformation work, and what to guard against.

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Treat Strategy as a Journey, not an Annual Management Junket 

Treat Strategy as a Journey, not an Annual Management Junket  | Business change | Scoop.it
I regularly hear business leaders complain about wanting to reallocate resources to attractive growth opportunities but discovering those resources are as sticky as glue, or finding their efforts at bold strategies sandbagged by risk-averse managers. Corporate politics, cognitive biases, the sway of individual incentives—such challenges have long plagued strategy development, but while they are intractable, they are not insurmountable.

Over the past few months, my colleagues Martin and Chris and I have explored the social dynamics that undermine decisions and breed incrementalism, and ways in which companies can use empirical benchmarks to determine the odds of their strategies succeeding. We’ve also laid out the types of big moves most likely to bring major performance boosts. But the question that remains in many executives’ minds is, “What does all this mean for how I run my strategy process and lead my team?”

There are eight shifts you can make to address this dilemma. These are practical changes you can start implementing tomorrow morning which, applied together, will enable you to change what happens in your strategy room.

Over the coming weeks, we will explain them one by one, starting with…

Shift 1: From annual planning…to strategy as a journey
David Hain's insight:

Strategy as a journey, emergent and iterative - it's the only way that makes sense given the inter-connectedness of today's world.

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Company organization in the age of urgency 

Company organization in the age of urgency  | Business change | Scoop.it
Across industries, barely half of the top performers sustain their leadership position over the course of a decade, according to research by our colleagues in McKinsey’s Strategy Practice. The challenges in maintaining dominance are not new; even sectors that digitization has not consigned to oblivion have seen flagships such as Delta Airlines, General Motors, and Owens Corning move from the top into Chapter 11 and then back into leadership positions again.

But of course, technology is changing everything. As digitization, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) sweep across industries and geographies, they aren’t just reshaping the competitive landscape; they’re redefining the organizational imperative: adapt or die. The average large firm reorganizes every two to three years, and the average reorganization takes more than 18 months to implement. Wait and see is not an option; it’s a death sentence.

As a result, companies are beginning to experiment with increasingly radical approaches. We’re struck by a commonality among those who get it right: they create adaptive, fast-moving organizations that can respond quickly and flexibly to new opportunities and challenges as they arise. In doing so, they’re moving intelligent decision making to the front lines. That’s in sharp contrast to the standard, “safer” modus operandi of capturing data, sending it up a hierarchal chain, centrally analyzing it, and sending guidance back. Several of these forward-thinking organizations now starkly describe their decision making as being pushed to the “edges”—to and beyond employees, past the organization’s four walls, and out to consumers and partners. The process functions more like a network and less like a chain of command.
David Hain's insight:

Changing at the speed of digital - some McKinsey analysis of what to try out.

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The 25% Revolution--How Big Does a Minority Have to Be to Reshape Society?

The 25% Revolution--How Big Does a Minority Have to Be to Reshape Society? | Business change | Scoop.it
Social change—from evolving attitudes toward gender and marijuana to the rise of Donald Trump to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements—is a constant. It is also mysterious, or so it can seem. For example, “How exactly did we get here?” might be asked by anyone who lived through decades of fierce prohibition and now buys pot at one of the more than 2,000 licensed dispensaries across the U.S.
A new study about the power of committed minorities to shift conventional thinking offers some surprising possible answers. Published this week in Science, the paper describes an online experiment in which researchers sought to determine what percentage of total population a minority needs to reach the critical mass necessary to reverse a majority viewpoint. The tipping point, they found, is just 25 percent. At and slightly above that level, contrarians were able to “convert” anywhere from 72 to 100 percent of the population of their respective groups. Prior to the efforts of the minority, the population had been in 100 percent agreement about their original position.
David Hain's insight:

The critical mass for change? should we beware of small extremist groups, or using this insight to build alliances for positive change?

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Success Spotlight: Leader of Change Management at Microsoft

Success Spotlight: Leader of Change Management at Microsoft | Business change | Scoop.it
The people in Microsoft have been doing change management for a long while, but it hasn’t been very public. The original group that drove change management started in 2005 and was known as the Business Strategy Consulting Team. This team of 25 individuals focused on helping customers who had bought large amounts of technology get the best use that they could out of it. They worked directly with customers and CXOs at the executive level, helping customers adopt new ways of working with the technology that they had purchased. It was only around 2009 or 2010 that Microsoft realized that change management could be a competitive advantage as a strategic capability, and that this would require a more comprehensive and scalable change management methodology than what we had been using. Microsoft now has a dedicated team of around 100 people who focus all of their time on Adoption and Change Management, helping customers and partners grow their own capabilities in change management and gain real business value from the products and services that they purchase.
David Hain's insight:

How Microsoft manages change.

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Delivering for citizens: How to triple the success rate of government transformations

Delivering for citizens: How to triple the success rate of government transformations | Business change | Scoop.it

The failure rate of government transformations is far too high. It represents a huge missed opportunity to tackle society’s greatest challenges more effectively, to give citizens better experiences with government, and to make more productive use of limited public resources. If governments around the world matched their most improved counterparts, they could save as much as $3.5 trillion a year by 2021 while maintaining today’s levels of service quality. Alternatively, they could release substantial funds for the services citizens most care about, while keeping overall government expenditure constant.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Government leaders often have limited political capital, particularly in sensitive services such as education and healthcare, and in instances where ministers serve in a minority or coalition government. The public sector often has too many priorities: leaders try to reform too much, across too broad a waterfront. Another challenge is a lack of leadership longevity. For example, a review of ministers of health across 23 countries from 1990 to 2009 found that half of them served for less than two years in office.

To grasp the prize, governments can learn from the 20 percent of transformations that do achieve their goals. Our study not only shows what that involves but also highlights dozens of real-world success stories. It identifies five disciplines that, together, can more than triple the success rate of government transformations (exhibit). These disciplines may seem obvious, but our research shows that they are extremely difficult to get right.

David Hain's insight:

McKinsey report on how governments can up their pretty poor success rate in making transformations work. And boy, do they need to...

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The Power of Listening in Helping People Change

The Power of Listening in Helping People Change | Business change | Scoop.it
One reason that giving feedback (even when it’s positive) often backfires is because it signals that the boss is in charge and the boss is judgmental. This can make employees stressed and defensive, which makes it harder for them to see another person’s perspective. For example, employees can handle negative feedback by downplaying the importance of the person providing the feedback or the feedback itself. People may even reshape their social networks to avoid the feedback source in order to restore their self-esteem. In other words, they defend themselves by bolstering their attitudes against the person giving feedback.

We wanted to explore whether a more subtle intervention, namely asking questions and listening, could prevent these consequences. Whereas feedback is about telling employees that they need to change, listening to employees and asking them questions might make them want to change. In a recent paper, we consistently demonstrated that experiencing high quality (attentive, empathic, and non-judgmental) listening can positively shape speakers’ emotions and attitudes.

David Hain's insight:

Seek first to understand - the power of listening to elicit change readiness.

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How management can prevent the downside of change

How management can prevent the downside of change | Business change | Scoop.it
The researchers, from universities in China and the US, found it is the perceptions of the change coupled with the perceptions of management which increase role stress and have a negative impact on role performance and job satisfaction. Together these two factors often exacerbate an already bad situation.

 

Drive their staff harder

What the researchers also found was that senior management seeking cost efficiencies will inevitably drive their staff harder. This is often as a direct result of the fact that fewer people have to do the same job as a larger team once did.

In many sectors such as healthcare, the passenger airline industry etc. there are definite minimum ratios between staff and clients that cannot be reduced without compromising safety.
David Hain's insight:

Staff perceptions are critical to change receptiveness. this implies a need for continuous dialogue, not simply when change is coming!

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Mapping and Managing Stakeholders: A Practical Guide

Mapping and Managing Stakeholders: A Practical Guide | Business change | Scoop.it
As counterintuitive as this might sound, in corporate context, building a product that customers want is not enough to keep the project going. Managing stakeholders is equally important.
There’s loads of content out there on this topic. And understandably so, for a topic relevant for project managers and product owners in many roles, not just in innovation. A simple Google search of the query ‘managing stakeholders’ returns about 10,600,000 results. By comparison, searching for ‘lean startup’ returns ‘only’ 4,400,000 results.
In The Corporate Startup we present a workshop activity dedicated to stakeholder management. This post wishes to be an addition to that activity, looking at specific actions that you can take when managing stakeholders.
David Hain's insight:

Useful technique from Innov8rs for stakeholder mapping - never done enough at the outset in my experience. Use for diagnostic or planning purposes.

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What It Takes to Think Deeply About Complex Problems

What It Takes to Think Deeply About Complex Problems | Business change | Scoop.it
Simple answers make us feel safer, especially in disruptive and tumultuous times. But rather than certainty, modern leaders need to consciously cultivate the capacity to see more ­— to deepen, widen, and lengthen their perspectives. Deepening depends on our willingness to challenge our blind spots, deeply held assumptions, and fixed beliefs. Widening means taking into account more perspectives ­— and stakeholders — in order to address any given problem from multiple vantage points. Lengthening requires focusing on not just the immediate consequences of a decision but also its likely impact over time.

David Hain's insight:

Don't fall for the 'we make the complex more simple' spiel - good decision making requires a grasp of complexity.

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Strategic Plans Are Less Important than Strategic Planning

Strategic Plans Are Less Important than Strategic Planning | Business change | Scoop.it
Think of the plan as a guidance tool. The problem for many managers is that their expectations are all skewed from what can be realistically achieved via a strategic plan. Their image is more of the house-plan type or travel itinerary. They anticipate that by doing the necessary analysis and writing down how their business will succeed the world will be converted from uncertain to certain. In their eyes the strategic plan becomes a device for control rather than one of guidance. They’re not comfortable with the fluid and uncertain Moltke-the-Elder concept. This can manifest itself as “we’ve given up on strategic planning.” This emanated from a CEO whose experience in writing “it” all down was that he got it all “wrong” as things changed rapidly. In other similar situations executive teams find themselves simply ignoring any document that is produced.
David Hain's insight:

When it comes to strategic planning, the journey is more important than the destination - and the journey never ends!

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Change Management is Dead

Change Management is Dead | Business change | Scoop.it
First of all, organizations don’t change. People in organizations try something differently and then a movement is either created, or it isn’t. When that movement happens, it tends to evolve the way that it evolves. In the 1930s American sociologist Herbert Blumer described how social change happens and over the coming decades, his work inspired a number of people who shaped his ideas into these stages:
Emergence: Someone is unhappy with the status quo and does something. There is little to no organization, and a pockets of “doers” emerge who disrupt the status quo.
Coalescence: Small successes happen, and in the context of Agile transformation, “unofficial Agile people” emerge. Some internal “unofficial” meetups may happen and a little more structure emerges in the organizational network. A shared purpose, or goals start to develop.
Bureaucratization: The Eye of Sauron is upon thee! At this point, someone high enough in the organization notices people are colouring outside the lines and they either support it, put a stop to it, or formalize it into the hierarchy. This may be the point when a VP of Agile/Innovation is hired.
David Hain's insight:

A savvy and perceptive assessment from the Happy Melly blog of traditional change management processes,  and what potential change agents really need to know.

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Behavioural Government: A major new initiative from the Behavioural Insights Team

Behavioural Government: A major new initiative from the Behavioural Insights Team | Business change | Scoop.it
When we present our work or appear on panels, we’re often asked the same question: “But doesn’t government itself suffer from cognitive biases?”

It’s an issue close to our hearts, given our origins in government. We first highlighted it in the MINDSPACE report in 2010 (see p55) but, in the eight years since, the issue has received only a small amount of attention from academics, think tanks, and practitioners.

We hope to change that. For the last 18 months, we have been working with the Institute for Government to examine how cognitive biases affect government policy making – with a particular focus on how these biases make it more likely that policies do not get wide enough input or challenge.

We will present our findings in a series of blog posts over the coming months, with the full report due to launch in June. After that, we hope to work with governments to implement and test our recommendations.

Here is a preview of the framework we developed for the report. It describes how eight cognitive biases can affect three core activities of policy making: noticing, deliberating, and executing. The report brings these ideas to life with real-world examples.
David Hain's insight:

Introductory article to a useful blog by government behavioural specialists - the people who 'nudge'. It's about policy, but much of the same applies to strategy.

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3 Tactics That Will Improve Execution Immediately 

3 Tactics That Will Improve Execution Immediately  | Business change | Scoop.it
Execution is the lifeblood of your business.

The whole reason you’re in business is because you decided to do or create something that customers find valuable. But just doing isn’t enough to keep the dream alive. Effective execution makes the difference between your blue sky outcome and watching your vision crashland with a cloud of missed opportunities.  

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, once said, “I’d rather have a first-rate execution and second-rate strategy, anytime, than a brilliant idea and mediocre management.” Jamie knew something that evades most leadership: the cost of missed commitments and poor execution is much more severe than an imperfect strategy. According to a study by Marakon Associates, which surveyed senior executives from 197 companies worldwide, “breakdowns in execution” are responsible for the loss of  as much as 40% of any strategy’s potential value. Missed commitments are the building blocks of poor execution. With each missed mark–no matter how insignificant–issues of customer satisfaction, productivity, profits, and reputation quickly snowball.

So how do you tap into that dream-sustaining lifeblood and avoid missed commitments and the pitfalls of poor execution? These three tactics:
David Hain's insight:

Turns out that great execution is mainly good management!

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All about Network Effects 

All about Network Effects  | Business change | Scoop.it
Network effects. It’s one of the most important concepts for business in general and especially for tech businesses, as it’s the key dynamic behind many successful software-based companies. Understanding network effects not only helps build better products, but it helps build moats and protect software companies against competitors’ eating away at their margins.

Yet what IS a network effect? How do we untangle the nuances of ‘network effects’ with ‘marketplaces’ and ‘platforms’? What’s the difference between network effects, virality, supply-side economies of scale? And how do we know a company has network effects?

Most importantly, what questions can entrepreneurs and product managers ask to counter the wishful thinking and sometimes faulty assumption behind the belief that “if we build it, they will come” … and instead go about more deterministically creating network effects in their business? Because it’s not a winner-take-all market by accident.
David Hain's insight:

How to master network effects to maximise change effectiveness. Lots of solid knowledge here.

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Ten Agile Axioms That Make Managers Anxious

Ten Agile Axioms That Make Managers Anxious | Business change | Scoop.it
In June 2018,  a time when “Agile at Scale” is emblazoned on the front cover of Harvard Business Review, the management journal with quasi-papal status, the era when managers could confidently ridicule agile management practices is fading fast. Instead, most managers have themselves grasped the need to be agile: a recent Deloitte survey of more than 10,000 business leaders across 140 countries revealed that nearly all surveyed respondents (94%) report that “agility and collaboration” are critical to their organization’s success. Yet only 6% say that they are “highly agile today.” So, what’s the problem? Why the 88% gap between aspiration and actuality

David Hain's insight:

Agile is trendy, for sure - but is it too easy to say and too hard to do? Maybe because, as Steve Denning suggests, agile is a mindset, not a process?

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Have you tested your strategy lately? | McKinsey 

Have you tested your strategy lately? | McKinsey  | Business change | Scoop.it
Let’s face it: the basic principles that make for good strategy often get obscured. Sometimes the explanation is a quest for the next new thing—natural in a field that emerged through the steady accumulation of frameworks promising to unlock the secret of competitive advantage.2 In other cases, the culprit is torrents of data, reams of analysis, and piles of documents that can be more distracting than enlightening.

Ultimately, strategy is a way of thinking, not a procedural exercise or a set of frameworks. To stimulate that thinking and the dialogue that goes along with it, we developed a set of tests aimed at helping executives assess the strength of their strategies. We focused on testing the strategy itself (in other words, the output of the strategy-development process), rather than the frameworks, tools, and approaches that generate strategies, for two reasons. First, companies develop strategy in many different ways, often idiosyncratic to their organizations, people, and markets. Second, many strategies emerge over time rather than from a process of deliberate formulation.3
There are ten tests on our list, and not all are created equal. The first—“will it beat the market?”—is comprehensive. The remaining nine disaggregate the picture of a market-beating strategy, though it’s certainly possible for a strategy to succeed without “passing” all nine of them. This list may sound more complicated than the three Cs or the five forces of strategy.4 But detailed pressure testing, in our experience, helps pinpoint more precisely where the strategy needs work, while generating a deeper and more fruitful strategic dialogue.
David Hain's insight:

Useful strategy audit or diagnostic.

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Coming of Age Digitally

Based on a global survey of more than 4,300 managers, executives, and analysts and 17 interviews with executives and thought leaders, MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte’s1 fourth annual study of digital business shows that the digital business environment is fundamentally different from the traditional one. Digitally maturing companies recognize the differences and are evolving how they learn and lead in order to adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing market. This year’s research provides some important insights into how companies are adapting to a digital business environment:
David Hain's insight:

The digital leadership landscape, as reported by MIT/Deloitte.

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Thinking about "transformation" beyond the digital

Thinking about "transformation" beyond the digital | Business change | Scoop.it
It's time to step beyond the digital in order to succeed in the rapid state of innovation we're all experiencing.

It's time, that is, to change the way we think about the value of the people in our organizational ecosystems by empowering them to rapidly respond to this change—and by providing the necessary skills and tools for becoming fluent in the critical task of engaging with change. Last November, when interviewed on CNBC's Squawk box, Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst said: "We found that when projects typically fail, it is usually not the technology, but has much more to do with the way companies operate." Jim went on to say that companies looking to transform the ways they work must examine their cultures, processes, and systems.
David Hain's insight:

The future may be digital, but people are the operating system that will determine its success!

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Don Tapscott: smart contracts will change the nature of firms —

Don Tapscott: smart contracts will change the nature of firms — | Business change | Scoop.it

We think blockchain is leading to a change in the nature of the firm, in its deep architecture: by moving assets around in this decentralized way, companies and industries are going to look more like networks, and that has profound implications or this audience,” said Tapscott. Even the nature of corporate competition may change, as enterprises realize they have more to gain from distributing data and encouraging the flow of digital assets than siloing and hoarding them.

But to truly realize the potential of blockchain, corporate leaders will have to rise to the occasion. “Paradigm shifts involve dislocation, conflict, confusion, uncertainty. New paradigms are nearly always received with coolness, even mockery or hostility. Those with vested interests fight the change. The shift demands such a different view of things that established leaders are often last to be won over, if at all,” Tapscott concluded.

David Hain's insight:

Blockchain is coming - and it's going to make a big difference...

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3 steps to creating participative strategy processes in organizations

3 steps to creating participative strategy processes in organizations | Business change | Scoop.it
Some of my most interesting work in in helping clients create effective processes for participative strategy. The traditional approach to strategy is that it is generated in the executive suite or by highly-paid consultants, then it is communicated to staff, usually rather ineffectively.

There is an increasing recognition that many people across the organization have invaluable insights into industry change, competition, client requirements, innovation and other issues that will help shape strategy. The challenge is in establishing processes that enable broad-based participation in a useful way, tapping ideas and generating positive energy for change.

In some cases, for example as I helped a global real-estate development company to implement, this can be framed in a fun competition format, assisting teams to generate visions of where the company can go. In other cases, a formal process can be created to expose staff across the company to strategic issues, then generating, capturing, filtering, and applying their insights to corporate strategy, as I did for a large financial services company.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of my book Living Networks providing some of the broader issues to address in implementing participative strategy.
David Hain's insight:

So many so-called strategies are top-down, mostly completely ignored by everyone else. But it doesn't have to be that way, says futurist Ross Dawson...

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Why sensemaking will save agile?

Complex environments represent a continuous challenge for sensemaking in organizations. Continuous ambiguity exerts continuous pressures on organizations to modify their patterns of interaction, information flow and decision making. Organizations struggle to address situations that are precarious, explanations that are equivocal and paradoxical, and cognitive dilemmas of all kinds. This creates a demand for innovative approaches in sensemaking. Since agility is what is required in navigating complexity, we can call these new approaches “agile sensemaking.”
David Hain's insight:

This plea for a new way for organisations to organise makes sense to me, although I'm not surety agile branding will help to take root.

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Infographic: The Changing Landscape of Business Risk

Infographic: The Changing Landscape of Business Risk | Business change | Scoop.it
In the modern era, the pace of business is fast – but the pace of technological change is even faster.

As a result, the landscape of business risks is constantly shifting and changing, and both entrepreneurs and investors need to be on top of the potential factors that could disrupt their chances of success. At the same time, they also need to be prepared to address and mitigate new risks as they crop up.
David Hain's insight:

Interesting, and somewhat scary, analysis of mutations in the business risk environment. HT Trevor Lee.

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Digging deep for organizational innovation | McKinsey & Company

Digging deep for organizational innovation | McKinsey & Company | Business change | Scoop.it

Innovative organizations come in all shapes and sizes. Consider Hilcorp Energy, a privately owned oil and gas company, founded in 1989. It has more than 1,800 employees and operates assets producing over 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/day), all located in the United States. For the last six years, Hilcorp has been named among the top 100 best places to work by Fortune magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute; it is the highest ranked player in its sector on such lists.

What’s more, as CEO Greg Lalicker describes in this interview with McKinsey’s Peter Lambert, Hilcorp began embracing agile practices long before they were buzzwords, has put in place an innovative compensation system emphasizing fairness and shared rewards, and is comfortable that only half of the goals emerging from its planning process will be met. Hilcorp’s approach to strategy and the unique culture it has built since its founding by owner Jeff Hildebrand are thought provoking for leaders in any industry.

David Hain's insight:

How one Ceo puts the tail never wagging the dog into practice.

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