Ambiguity and Emergence →

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Following on from Friday’s thread, here are some further thoughts on the topic of ambiguity by Sahana Chattopadhyay:

If we agree that ambiguity is the order of the day, it becomes clear why we need to listen deeply to remain relevant, to let emergence happen, and move towards creating a better world.

An impassioned argument that I agree with. Hierarchical organisations are ill-equipped to thrive in ambiguity and uncertainty.

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Ambiguous or Uncertain? →

Mackenzie Shults:

This world does not provide us with omnipresent decision-makers that have timely access to all relevant data points. This world, instead, provides us with imperfect and incomplete information, embedded in an system with conflicting preferences — your objectives, your organization, its environment, the wider world — where time scores high on the scarcity index.

An interesting article on the importance of naming ambiguity and uncertainty as part of decision-making processes in organisations.

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The Parable of Yrots →

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James Whittaker describes the power of storytelling in a parable:

Our stories are our protection against everything that would harm us and a guide for all things that will make our lives better.

A couple of years old now, but worth sharing.

Via Kevin Bishop.

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Please! No More Icebreakers →

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Nancy Dixon:

I read a New York Times article a few days ago praising the benefit of icebreakers, while acknowledging that they are embarrassing and we all groan when someone from the podium Crazy hands announces, in a cherry voice, “Get ready, because we’re going to do an icebreaker.”

Yes! Some great alternatives to icebreakers that build connections between members of a group. Perhaps not surprising, most of them involve stories.

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Stupefied →

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Organisations hire smart people, but then positively encourage them not to use their intelligence. Asking difficult questions or thinking in greater depth is seen as a dangerous waste. Talented employees quickly learn to use their significant intellectual gifts only in the most narrow and myopic ways.

It’s a sad indictment on where our organisations are now. This essay is full of unbelievable anecdotes and spot-on observations. I can’t wait to read more in the book—The Stupidity Paradox—which I’ve just ordered.

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