Swarm theory – does it apply to humans?

"If you're looking for a role model in a world of complexity, you could do worse than to imitate a bee." This is the end quote from an engaging National Geographic article on Swarm Theory. As the quote suggests, there's much to learn from the swarming habits of insects in terms of finding novel, effective and efficient solutions to complex problems. The technical term for this process is "self-organisation" and the encouragement is for managers to, in the face of complex problems, implement a self-organising management [...]

Art from mass collaboration

I found out about artist Aaron Koblin's use of Amazon's Mechanical Turk to use mass consultation to create collaborative art in a blog entry by John Winsor. It's quite a shift in paradigm to what we normally see as the artistic creation process. Winsor comments that "Art always seems to lead the way in paradigm shifts. What's next in this evolving landscape." James Surowiecki's book, "The Wisdom of Crowds"; related some interesting stories about leveraging the wisdom that exists in large numbers of independent people....  It can [...]

An ecology of present possibilities

This post is largely inspired by a comprehensive blog entry by Dave Snowden on a new approach to Scenario Planning.   Much of what he says is key to the thinking behind our new Thrive! product. Seneca said: "The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty" In [...]

Thrive! The role of metaphors … Part 2

In the first Part of this series, Sonja spoke of how the current economic malaise is prompting us to engage with a new management paradigm. She also surfaced a metaphor (moving from being a builder to gardener) as an analogy for what we believe the new paradigm should be. It might have struck as a rather simple analogy, but we believe metaphors have a greater influence on our attitudes, values and behaviours than we give them credit for. Metaphors uncover [...]