This post is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of Flock Not Clock. Members of your organization will share a large number of mental models, all of varying importance and centrality to the organization and its success. So what are the most important mental models—the pillars of your culture? Where do you focus first and foremost? Organizational success depends on sharing the right mental models, ones that are complexity-friendly and promote learning and adaptation.
One of the specific and practical things you can do to build a culture of mental models is to get the entire leadership team to assume another as leaders of learning. The CEO must also serve as a Chief Learning Officer (CLO). This dual role is required not just of CEOs but of any leader across the organization. If managers make learning a priority, others will see it as a priority, too. Effective leaders are skilled “lead learners” adroit at inculcating culture (facilitating shared understanding of key mental models).
If the right kind of Vision is so important, what explains companies that succeed with no [discernible] Vision? This is an important question we get asked a lot. Vision is a function of all organizations, whether formalized as companies, or informal groups of people such as protesters. Additionally, "good" Visions adhere to the vision-litmus-checks such that:
"Leapfrog Leaders" written by Drs. Derek Cabrera, Laura Cabrera and Hise Gibson applies existing knowledge about the elements of systems thinking to a widely used decision making framework called SOT. SOT stands for Strategic, Operational, and Tactical - which are are thought to be the three levels of problem solving. More specifically, this paper offers readers insight into the skills needed at each level of decision making; as well as how to develop them through an understanding and application of the basics of systems thinking and leadership.
In our jig series, we have explored many jigs such as a Barbell Jig, which combines the patterns R, D and S to create new molecular structures. In this post, we explore the "System of Relationships" jig or "S-of-R". A system of relationships is a part-whole system where the parts are relationships. Usually, (although not always) the relationships act together in some way to make up a meaningful system (as opposed to just being parts of a system of relationships without any dynamical properties or similarities). In other words, it is a jig where a set of relationships work together to form a system.
This post is an excerpt from Flock Not Clock: Chapter 1. Flawed Mental Model 3: Control Next (in the traditional model), we need a control structure. We need processes because we need to make sure that we understand every single step of a process that has not happened yet and that will constantly be changing.
You don’t get to choose whether your organization is a complex adaptive system. All organizations are complex adaptive systems because they are made up of individuals (agents) adapting to their environment. The behavior of an organization—an emergent property of the many agents and their interactions with one another and their environment—is not easily predicted by the behavior of the organizational members alone. As a leader, your challenge is to embrace this reality and leverage it to your advantage.