Posts Tagged: complexity

Millenials, Lego, and the Perimeter of Ignorance

Every time I read an article about Gen Y or Millenials I run it through this litmus test: throughout the text, can you replace “Millenial” with “employee” with no loss of meaning? “[Employees] want meaningful work, they want to do things that are making an impact and if they’re not in a good environment whereRead… Read more »

The Solution Revolution, Messy Outcomes, and Trust in the Age of Information

Originally published at While I didn’t intend it, this speaks to the current shutdown. Citizens don’t yet understand how much civil service accomplishes for our countries. Last week Bill Eggers from Deloitte was in Ottawa, explaining his view of The Solution Revolution: the idea that for-profit businesses and social enterprises will solve societal needsRead… Read more »

Leading in an uncertain world

[This is more or less a re-print of an article I wrote some time ago for a local business magazine that I thought people might find interesting.] Every day I have the luxury of engaging with really bright people, and for someone whose personal style is a “learner,” that makes life fun. In particular. I’veRead… Read more »

Federal Government Reform Resources: Anticipatory Governance Report

What happens beyond the Fiscal Cliff? A blue-ribbon cast of distinguished former federal leaders – largely from the national security community – have endorsed a three-part blueprint for governing in the 21st century. Former Vice Presidential National Security Advisor Leon Fuerth, working with Evan Faber, has released a white paper that has been a decadeRead… Read more »

How Organizations Could Be More Successful – (Part Three of How Organizations Fail)

To understand how organizations can succeed, let’s briefly recap the lessons from the first two parts of this series on organizational failure. Part One –Framework for Analyzing Organizational Failure1) Every decision has unintended consequences for the future – latent conditions.2) Leaders often make decisions without a thorough analysis of the effects of their decisions.3) EmployeesRead… Read more »

How Organizations Fail (Part Two) – Drifting into Failure

In part one of this series, I wrote about my research that lead to the Framework for Analyzing Organizational Failure. Since I created the Framework back in 2005, I have seen it validated in a number of organizational failures. So, in 2010, I started work on expanding the paper into a book. During the courseRead… Read more »

Managing Complexity

The deficit showdown reflects a challenge of modern times: how can government – and society – deal with increased complexity? A new book may point the way. Noted government observer Donald Kettl, wrote several years ago that the government of the future needs to develop three things to deal with increased complexity: knowledge-driven organizations, theRead… Read more »

Starlings, Transparency, and Thad Allen

I always consider a conference a success if I come away inspired by one big idea. That happened to me at the recent annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration. I’ve been mulling over a series of presentations given at that conference that coincidentally helped me think more clearly about “complexity theory” andRead… Read more »