Complexity, leadership, scanning & experiments

In this interview with Shane Parrish, the leadership expert Jennifer Garvey-Berger addresses the connections between four areas that many governance teams fail to grasp: complexity, leadership, scanning, and experimentation.

About fifty minutes into the interview she notes:

“In complexity we want to play really close attention to what’s going on right now in the system, because right now in this moment is where the seeds of whatever is going to happen next live…

Leaders that I think are really outstanding leaders – those leaders are able to pay attention to this system in such a way that they can hear whispers of things – the whispers of things today are really important to pay attention to. 

So in complexity you’re trying to find out how can I get a good sense of what’s going on right now, and then figure out which of those things I want to amplify and which of those things I want less of, I want to dampen down and move the system away from altogether. 

Because you can’t know exactly what’s going to happen next, you devise a series of what (Dave) Snowden calls Safe to Fail experiments.  These are experiments that you don’t know what’s going to happen, but they will help you learn.”

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