Now What?

Comments: 0 Filed Under: Leadership Human Systems Dynamics

Kevin, the COO of a medium-sized Oregon food company and a long time client of ours, called recently sounding frazzled.

Given that Kevin is usually so affable, his tone of voice immediately signaled that something was up. A few days later we met him at our favorite coffee shop where he explained that he simply had “no bandwidth,” as he put it, to respond to his board’s request for a new 3-5 year strategic plan reflecting current market conditions.

“I know my board members feel anxious about the market, we all do. But how can I confidently predict how things might change...

Hold Infinity In The Palm Of Your Hand

Comments: 0 Filed Under: Human Systems Dynamics

There are at least two kinds of games...A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, and infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.” – James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games (1986)

It is an invariable principle of all play, finite and infinite, that whoever plays, plays freely. Whoever must play, cannot play.” ibid.

Finite games can be played within an infinite game, but an infinite game cannot be played within a finite game. Infinite players regard their wins and losses in whatever finite games they play as but moments in continuing play.” ibid.


Charlie called us on a...

Building in the Jungle of Complexity

Comments: 0 Filed Under: Leadership Human Systems Dynamics

In today’s faster paced and technologically advanced world, organizations have become emergent, complex systems. If they ever seemed simple, none of us can think of them as static or simple these days. Things change. Fast. Organizations, and individuals within them, must respond. But how? Our old ideas about change no longer apply. In a fantasy future, a leader like Jean-Luc Picard (Captain, Starship Enterprise) could say, “Make it so!” and walk away. In our real future, things aren’t so easily accomplished in a single step.


We used to view organizational change management as a linear, predictable process to be managed...

Adaptive Action Method: An HSD Retrospective

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Retrospectives Human Systems Dynamics

Diana has written previously about the Human Systems Dynamics Institute and their excellent program that provides models and methods for dealing with our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world of complex adaptive human systems. In this post she focuses on the HSD Adaptive Action model and its unexpected connection to retrospectives:

In 2006 Esther and I introduced a Flexible Framework for Agile Retrospectives, a series of stages for designing effective retrospectives: Set the Stage; Gather Data; Generate Insights; Decide What to Do; and Close the Retrospective. We recommended a recurring cycle of retrospectives after each iteration as a process for the team to "reflect, tune and adjust", as the Agile Manifesto principle decrees.