In our collective years of corporate life we, the creators of this material, have had the privilege of meeting and befriending amazing, talented people in a broad variety of leadership circumstances.
In our consulting careers we continue to have the joy of meeting and working with high functioning individuals and teams. Skilled leaders with vision, commitment and business acumen. We have also stumbled onto an awareness of 2 critical areas that most of even these leaders struggle with. Two areas that hold them back from bringing their full value to their work.
Dealing with Ambiguity: The difficulty in making decisions in ambiguity. Where a need for control or a need to know and get things exactly right hinders making a “optimal range” decision. We believe it is possible to equip leaders to make sound decisions even in ambiguity.
Strategic Organizational Agility:
“Organizations can be complex mazes with many turns, dead ends, quick routes and choices. In most organizations, the best path to get somewhere is almost never a straight line. There is a formal organization – the one on the organization chart – where the path may look straight, and then there is the informal organization where all paths are zigzagged. Since organizations are staffed with people, they become all the more complex. There are gatekeepers, expediters, stoppers, resisters, guides, Good Samaritans and influencers. All these types [and more] live in the organizational maze. The key to being successful in manoeuvring through complex organizations is to find your way through the maze to your goal in the least amount of time while making the least noise [or leaving the least wake]. The best way to do that is to accept the complexity of organizations rather than fighting it and learn to be a maze-bright person (emphasis added).” FYI For Your Improvement, Lombardo & Eichinger, 236
Hidden forces, such as gravity, govern all of nature. People, organizations and societies are also governed by inescapable forces. These forces are at the root of much of the complexity in organizations.
Environments where people and ideas thrive, are structured in congruence with these forces. Environments with a stifling effect, have structures and mindsets incongruent with these natural forces.
Through this process participants will:
- Understand their organization as a living organism
- Breathe life into their organization so that it lives out its’ full potential as a living organisms.
- Lead from an understanding that living organisms initiate rather than just support; go beyond simply maintaining to creating. They see and build beyond what is.
This is a process full of doors to other world views. It is a process that provokes thought rather than provides answers. It demands that you work out the answers for yourself rather than receive them predigested.
We believe that finding the spaciousness within complexity necessitates a stepping back into a quiet ‘space’ that observes the ‘societal laws of human nature’ that underpin and are party to creating that complexity.
The blog invites you to join us in this process of discovery. A process of rethinking, observing, questioning and integrating an expanded way of dealing with complexity. An expansion that, paradoxically, creates a spaciousness within complexity. To do this we will be introducing you to a theory – the Theory of Spacious Complexity. A theory and process that invites you to suppose things were different to what you’ve understood them to be. To look beyond the complexity… to pause and notice the forces at play. Forces. Societal forces akin to the force of gravity and other the forces of nature. To discover and experiment with the impact of working with the forces we suppose be truly hardwired into the world. We will be introducing these forces in the next session and the remainder of our time will be expanding our understanding of the forces and why and how it is of real, practical importance for us to see and work with the forces.
We are suggesting a theory here and will be stating it as truth… know that it is the best truth based on what we see – be part of helping us make it more robust… or bust it open. Be part of the test – expand our visibility.
All theories are flawed. No plan… or theory… survives its collision with reality – it is our best guess based on what is visible to us at that point.
We welcome you as part of the testing community and trust you will enjoy learning from the eBook sample of what the final product may look like.