Blog posts for April 2021

Continuing our series summarising our Teal Unicorn blog posts by month, here are the posts for April 2021:

First some news.  You better be very quick for this one: Course scheduled: the popular New Ways of Consulting is back!

starting May 19, 2021, 0800 UTC, New Ways Of Consulting: how to consult in a world of new ways of working and managing.

And more news: Cynefin 3D updated.Years ago, I drew a 3D version ofCynefinas I saw it. Others have done the same. It came to me while I was trying torelate Cynefin to my own simpler sense-making approach Standard+Case. Dave Snowden himself suggested an improvement to it. I keep refining it, I’m now on version 11. So here is a picture of Cynefin as I conceive it, and its relationship to Standard+Case, my sense-making approach.


There were reflections on improvement of work:

To support diversity at work we must limit diversity. It is one of the hardest dilemmas in org culture. You want people who fit in, and at the same time diversity. There may be definitions that accommodate both, but it is tricky.

How fast is Agile? It all depends on how you define “faster”. Work should look relaxed, competent, in control, steady, leisurely even. Results should usually come faster.
(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / Smileus

Two worldviews of improvement Understand the system. There are two worldviews, depending on context. In a bounded linear flow, a well behaved system, we can apply mechanistic thinking to analyse the system: ToC, Lean, Value Stream Mapping…  In a more general case, the world is VUCA. We can’t understand mechanistically, we must understand organically. Dance. Play. Experiment. 
You can manage what you can’t measure. Drucker purportedly said “if you can’t measure it you can’t improve it” or “…manage it”. (If he did actually say them). Any manager who is incapable without metrics is a terrible manager. You can drive a car without a dashboard.


Some heavy philosophy also spanned the month:

Philosophy of work: Contrary to how it may seem with pages like New Ways of Thinking, I’m not really much interested in abstract philosophy of work. Our passion is its application to make work better.

Our theoretical foundations We get asked about whether we base our work on Lean or ToC, waterfall or Agile, Scrum or Kanban, cybernetics or something-or-other, Freud or Jung (well, almost) …. The answer is we don’t care.

Reunify the transendentals. Truth isn’t everything. Science isn’t all there is. Please indulge me in getting deeply philosophical for a moment. I’m not trained to do so, but something I learned a couple of years ago, I forget where, changed how I see work.


And a quirky one I wrote some years ago: The Summoner. Huddled against the cold she peers out into the night. On a far distant hill, a tiny glimmering light of a fire. She squints until she is sure she has really seen it, and then runs down the track to tell the others.