Multifaceted Interests

Understanding Complexity Humanity Ingenuity Efficiency Efficacy

I am interested in:

  • Understanding people, systems, interactions.
  • Transforming chaos and complexity.
  • Designing to embrace the messiness of humanity.
  • Fostering and leveraging the innate creativity of people.
  • Enabling efficacy and resilience of individuals and teams.

I like models for understanding and working with:

  • People and emotions
  • Systems and relationships
  • Analysing situations
  • Solving problems
  • Getting things done more effectively

Most recent blog post:

Social gaps generate potential energy

Social gaps generate potential energy

Hypothesis: We have societal systems that deliberately create and maintain inequalities. Because it is in these inequalities/gaps that lie the potential energy to create vast wealth (for those with the means to leverage this potential energy.) Put another way: If...

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Posts about models and frameworks:

Idea banks and the need for curation

This is Bjercke og Eliassen's idea bank in the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo. Bjercke og Eliassen are Norwegian architects who build many of Oslo's landmark buildings between 1914 and 1960. Their idea bank contains 1600 postcard, prints and photographs from...

Tools and operating frameworks

Tools We have long built tools as a species. In recent times these tools have been information-based: mobile apps, software, computing hardware, the Internet. We currently have acces to a plethora of tools complex and simple to help us with every imaginable task...

Cross-ed FTW

I had the privilege to attend the final presentation of MediaLAB Amsterdam students recently. The message from students and staff is clear: there is immense value in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural team-based learning. Cross-ed rules! It is inspiring and...

Curating methodologies

I love models and methodologies. They codify real experience and hard-earned learning, and make them accessible to others. One challenge with models and methodologies is the sheer quantity of them, across different industries. Many of these can be really similar, and...

The potential in tools

Looking through an exhibition about Irish silver, I found myself drawn more to the tools (the anvils) especially, than to the finished products. The tools promise infinite potential. Tools say "let's begin." Whereas the finished products are, well, finished....

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Posts of checklists:

When strong emotions override communications

Strong emotions can get in the way of constructive dialogue and communication. They can be triggered in either party in the dialogue. And they can spread - each party can pick up the other’s strong emotions. Strong emotions interrupt our ability to think rationally....

Five steps to tyranny

This documentary explored why normal everyday people do horrible things or allow horrible things to happen; and consequently how tyranny arises out of ordinary societies. These lessons are relevant to organisations too. It takes five steps to create tyranny in a given...

Ideals vs perfectionism

I have on a few occasions heard this said with derision and disdain: “Ideals (and values) just hold us back.” I think a lot of the time this is because they have confused Ideals with Perfectionism. Ideals give us a grand vision to strive towards. There is no illusion...

Watering sustainable behaviour change

Trying to change behaviour with brute force, punitive means is like watering a sandy hydrophobic garden bed with large buckets of water. On the face of it, the bed looks watered. But in reality the bulk of the water simply runs off the top of the bed. There is little...

Looking for the win-win

Travelling is a great opportunity to practise looking for the win win in less-than-optimal situations. The unfamiliarity of new places, new customs and new rules increases the likelihood of mistakes and miss-steps. The elevator (or taxi) didn't come.  I'll take the...

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