Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the category “Adapting to change”

Simple, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic – a way to make sense – part 1

For the last week I’ve been pondering a new tool to help understand the world around me. It’s called a sense-making model by its inventor.

The Cynefin Framework was developed by David Snowden. It’s pronounced cunevin or ku-nev’-in.

This series of posts will give an overview, provide two links to videos, and apply the model to several areas.

(This discussion is cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update. I’ll put them on this blog as well because the Cynefin Framework is quite helpful for understanding the messy world around us.)

The model has four quadrants. The primary driver is how the relationship between cause and effect changes based on the nature of the situation.


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Workplace rules have changed – You need to take charge of your own career no matter where you work and no matter what your position

The rules for work have radically changed. The work world that existed when you started college, even if you graduated this spring, is gone. (Cross-post from my other blog, Attestation Update.)

If you are working, you need to take charge of your career and your reputation. This applies to brand new staff, experienced audit seniors, and especially partners.  People at every level of employment need to absorb that lesson.

Jenna Goudreau summarizes 14 Rules of the New Marketplace That Millennials Need to Master at Business Insider. My only disagreement with her is that these rules apply to everyone at every level, not just millennials.

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10 ways to encourage change

Writing at Harvard Business Review, Morten Hansen offers Ten Ways to Get People to Change. As I’ve heard for many years, it is less a matter of forcing change and more a matter of creating the environment to encourage change.

Some of his ideas I found particularly appealing:

Embrace the power of one

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Now massive change is starting to undercut the effectiveness of blogging

We need to work really hard to stay ahead of the massive change taking place. That’s the concept of this blog. Mark Schaefer points out that the rising use of mobile phones is reducing some of the effective parts of blogging.

Wow! Yet more change. This time affects bloggers, who otherwise are fairly well advanced on the coping-with-change curve.

In Five ways the mobile revolution impacts your blog, he explains an increasing number of people use the smart phone as primary access to the ‘net. That small screen drops out a lot of information that appears on a full-screen.

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5 internal obstacles that block social media progress

What can get in the way of developing a social media platform in your organization?

The Social Media Minefield: Five factors blocking your success is a great post by Mark Schaefer describing five obstacles.

The takeaway is you need to figure out the obstacles in your organization to developing a social media platform. Then you can figure out a plan to remove them.

He sees five very common obstacles routinely encountered in organizations: Read more…

Try a new thing three times before you decide whether you like it

Try a thing you haven’t done three times.

Once, to get over the fear of doing it.

Twice, to learn how to do it.

And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.  

Multiple internet sites attribute this to Virgil Thomson, American composer.

I’ve been pondering that quote over the last week or so. Lots of wisdom there. Doesn’t apply to everything, but it has lots of value for many situations, especially when dealing with radical change.

With experience, complex technology is second nature whether in 1805 or 2012

I was staring at a sailing ship wondering how a person could figure out how to control all the lines to set the sails at the correct angle to power the ship. From my non-sailor perspective, it looks incredibly complicated.  How could you keep track of which rope does what and change it correctly to get the sail to do what you want.

While vacationing in San Diego, I enjoy touring the Maritime Museum. In addition to seeing a Soviet era submarine, it’s fun seeing the Star of India sailing ship and the replica H.M.S. Surprise, which appeared in the movie Masters and Commanders – the far side of the world.

While in San Diego last week, I pondered how to sail a large ship.

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Sometimes creative destruction does you in, sometimes it is political turmoil far away, and sometimes it is just destruction

A while back my wife and I vacationed in San Diego. I learned a lot of new things in Old Town. That is a state park where many buildings have been renovated to reflect life as it was from 1810 through 1870.

I read a delightful, short history of Old Town titled San Diego’s Beginnings.

One of many fascinating things is the long list of outside pressures that forced massive change on the residents of Old Town.

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Nothing like a computer failure to show how much change is going on

One of the main computers I use in my business failed Sunday night. For various reasons, I’ve held off on making several major upgrades, like jumping to Windows 7 and Office 2010.

So I shopped for new computer, have it in place, and as of yesterday have almost all the software running. Still have a couple of things to bring online, but they can wait for the moment.

Making the jump to a host of new technology tools all at once highlights the volume of change surrounding us.

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Building a museum after the exhibit is in place as an illustration of adapting to change

How do you get a 252 foot long, 880 ton submarine into the basement of a museum?  Can’t quite put it on the elevator.

Bill Sheridan describes how the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry got the U-505 into the exhibit hall – No room for big ideas? Make room. (Yeah, yeah, I know he’s a better headline writer than me.)

The plan?  Dig a hole, lower the sub into the hole, enclose it, and built the rest of the exhibit around the sub.  Brilliant.

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