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 tag “dealing with change”

Simple, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic – a way to make sense – part 3

Previous posts introduced the Cynefin framework and described a bit of how it helps make sense.

Where it gets messy

Distinguishing between the complicated and complex quadrants is the biggest challenge.

As I ponder the Cynefin framework, I realize that distinction is the cause of many heated differences of opinion.

(This series of articles 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.)

It is also the cause of many unintended consequences. I’ve talked about that a lot on my blogs.

Applying the solutions from the complicated quadrant to issues in the complex quadrant is the conceptual cause of most of the harm from those unintended consequences.

Read more…

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

That quote from George Bernard Shaw is also the title of a post pondering its meaning at Philosiblog.

The focus of the discussion is we must be willing to change our mind, especially our opinion of ourselves, if we are going to make progress toward the goals we value.

Consider this: Read more…

Simple, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic – a way to make sense – part 2

Previous post introduced the four quadrants of the Cynefin Framework: simple, complicated, complex, and chaotic.

One of the major implications of the framework is to highlight that the world is not neatly ordered.

In addition, leadership styles need to change based on the nature of the situation.

(This series of articles 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 boundaries in moving between quadrants, from simple to complicated to complex to chaotic, are fuzzy. Situations can blend from one to another.

Read more…

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.


Read more…

Free E-book to help you cope with the massive change around us. Oh, did I mention the price?

If you are trying to sort out all the massive change around us, you have just got to check out Look, Lead, Love, Learn: Four Steps to Better Business, a Better Life – and Conquering Complexity in the Process by Bill Sheridan.

On 10-29 and 10-30 it is free at Amazon.

How can we possible cope with all the massive change around us? One way is to open our brain to learn and be willing to constantly be learning more.

In an era of great change, the most important skill we will possess going forward is the ability to learn new skills.

Why not just coast to retirement? Read more…

Good advice to college students on coping with the new economy is even better advice for anyone in the work place

The Via Meadia reprint of their advice to college students from 3 years ago applies even better to those of us in the work force. The rules of the economy have changed radically and we better know what is going on around us or we will be in trouble. The post is Back to School.

Here are the major headings, my thoughts, and a few quotes

1.  The real world does not work like school.

Read more…

Technology making relationships more difficult?

Do social media and cell phone technology lead to shallower, more fragile relationships or deeper, more intimate relationships?


That seems to be the answer from Professor C. J. Pascoe in her article, Romancing the Phone.

I don’t talk romantic issues or dating stuff here, but her article helps understand what is going on around us.

She offers several stories of hurt that flows from use of technology. On that general trend: Read more…

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”

Philosiblog expands that idea in a post of the same name.

Using the analogy of riding a river shows we have a major role to play in our future. We can even create our future.

Think of two people in a river. One is just floating on a raft, unable to predict what is coming, because they aren’t looking around and aren’t doing anything to move or steer. The other person is in a kayak, looking for the path they want, and actively steering and moving themselves to that point. Read more…

With cell phone cameras everywhere, here is one proposal for how to balance freedom to record and the right to privacy

John Bredehoft ponders Striking the balance between freedom and privacy, and the other Empoprise rule

With almost everyone having a cell phone that can record video and audio, we need to work through the issue of balancing privacy right to *not* be recorded and the freedom to record things of interest.

As a society, we haven’t come to terms with that issue.

John has a suggestion: Read more…

The crazy changing economy in one sentence

In a footnote to his post In Search of Resilience, Seth Godin says:

Henry Mason describes a friend who said, “My dad had one job his whole life, I’ll have seven, and my kids will have seven jobs at the same time.”

Who inherits your digital music, books, and movies? Who controls your social media after you die?

Can you give your digital books or movies to your heirs? Can your family gain access to your social media sites after your death to preserve your memories and content?

Our legal system hasn’t quite dealt with those questions. At the moment, the answers to those questions are probably no.

Read more…

Go beyond the optimism or pessimism – look at the complexity

On my other blog, Nonprofit Update, I have a post describing an essay that talks about the wild swings between optimism and pessimism of our perceptions about what is taking place in Africa.  The underlying circumstances can feed either optimism or pessimism as you choose.

If we want to understand, we need to go beyond our mood swings and learn of the complexity that exists.

Why mention that post on this blog? Because it addresses at a deep level how we can deal with the change surrounding us.  We need to go beyond our emotions and look at the underlying complexity.

Why post it on that blog? Because the main focus is an encouragement to address the unseen complexity in order to create change in the place where an NPO is working.

Check out It’s complicated, Africa version.

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.

Read more…

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…

What 30 years of change looks like

Change in technology, the all-white old-boys network, and turnaround time are just a few of the things Mark Schaefer has seen in the 30 years since he started his business career. He discusses the changes in his post, 30 years of business change in one blog post.

One of the changes I’ve benefited from is the growth in personal opportunity. The entry cost to start anything new has dropped dramatically.

In my case, the cost of starting a new accounting firm is minimal.

Read more…

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