Complexity and Knowledge Management Navigators…
There was a thought provoking article in Scientific America this week, ‘So you want to be a genius’ (Daisy Yuhas). What was interesting, aside from a dose of mum’s common sense regarding motivation, was the similarity between what scientists see as essential ingredients in cultivating genius and what we, as business leaders, educators and consultants, see as vital for the development of organisational resilience. In fact, aside from the obvious element of talent, it boils down to three simple things, Autonomy, Value and Competence.
Autonomy means that employees are empowered to act at the point of interface. This feeling of empowerment, aside from allowing organisations to become more dynamic, and subsequently agile (through an improved ability to act, subsequently increasing value), means that people “given the opportunity to select a course of action based on their own opinions…persist longer in…puzzle-solving activit[ies] than [those] given no choice or pressured to select one side over another”. (p. 49)
Value occurs where the employee, as the actor, or agent, in the ‘sense, probe, reflect and respond process‘, feels that the organisation’s beliefs and values align with their own, thereby incrasing motivation to solve problems and act.
Competence, relating to increased pattern recognition, in terms of knowledge, skills and behaviours, brought about by experience in context.
Dave Snowden talks about ‘safe to fail’ and, for me, competence is developed through empowerment of the individual, group or team in an environment where individual and organisational values and beliefs are in alignment, bound together in a ‘safe to fail’ ecosystem that allows for scalable experimentation.
That, apparently, is all there is to it . Perhaps the key to complexity and resilience is a dose of mum’s good old fashioned common sense?
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