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OD49: Biological Strategies ∙ Complexity Science and Team Effectiveness ∙ Causal Loop Diagrams ∙ Dynamic Stakeholder Mapping | LinkedIn

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OD49: Biological Strategies ∙ Complexity Science and Team Effectiveness ∙ Causal Loop Diagrams ∙ Dynamic Stakeholder Mapping

  • Published on December 23, 2020

Status is reachableBülent Duagi 🇷🇴Strategy and Organization Professional ∙ Sustainable Knowledge Advocate ∙ Applied Systems Thinking and Behavioral Science17 articles

Dear readers,

We’ll be taking a short break to recharge our batteries over the winter holidays. ❄️

The next edition will be out on Thursday, January 7th, 2021 on Substack and on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 here on LinkedIn.

Enjoy the holidays, stay safe and best wishes for 2021! 🎄

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1. Sense & Explore

Curiosity fuels exploration. Curated resources that might come in handy.

  • Intersection Conference: Explore the recordings from the recent conference of the Enterprise Design community. Topics: Strategy, Business Architecture, Systems Thinking, Systems Design, Influencing Change etc.
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  • Madden Science: Inspiring video inviting viewers to explore the question of “How has nature solved for different biological challenges? It also introduces the ideas of biological functions and biological strategies. Food for thought when dealing with complex organizational or individual challenges: “How would nature deal with [insert abstraction of challenge]?”
  • Aeon: This 17-min article written by professors Jessica Flack (Santa Fe Institute) and Cade Massey (Wharton) shows how little we all know about what makes teams effective. If team effectiveness is of any interest to you, we highly recommend reading it. Here are some excerpts:

“(…) Yet we shouldn’t be lured into thinking overall talent is the best predictor because it is the most important factor. It might be the best predictor because we’re not yet good at capturing the nuance of collective dynamics. Hints that this could be the case come from studies such as that of the management scholar Satyam Mukherjee and colleagues, in which they found that prior shared success can predict performance above and beyond what would be expected from the group’s composition and talent.

(…) Complicating matters, performance isn’t guaranteed even with the most gifted individuals, a constructive cultural environment and a resource-rich, ‘all details covered’ organization. Luck plays a role in performance, although its significance varies across domains. This is one of the main themes in the book The Success Equation (2012) by the investment strategist Michael Mauboussin.

(…) Given that chance’s role in performance varies, we might ask whether it’s possible to create circumstances that favour ‘good luck’. The sociologist Robert Merton in the 1950s coined the term ‘serendipitous sociocognitive microenvironments’ to capture the idea that some settings seem to promote creativity and exploration, and so facilitate chance-related positive discoveries. 

(…) Let’s talk about statistics. The important statistics in basketball are supposed to be points scored, rebounds and assists. But nobody keeps statistics on other important things – the good fake you make that helps your teammate score; the bad pass you force the other team to make; the good long pass you make that sets up another pass that sets up another pass that leads to a score; the way you recognise when one of your teammates has a hot hand that night and you give up your own shot so he can take it. All of those things. Those were some of the things we excelled in that you won’t find in the statistics.

(…) Another key idea from complexity science that can provide the foundations for great teams is synchrony – the coordination in time of parts of a system, such as cells, individuals or nanobots(…)Through synchronising their behaviour, the whole team could become ‘in flow’. (…) What are the neurophysiological dynamics underlying the hot hand that create this sense of flow or synchronicity across the motor control system? Though we don’t yet know, this is very likely a dynamical systems question about how populations or groups of neurons come to oscillate together – akin to how fireflies on a summer night coordinate their flashes.

(…) In his science fiction novel Solaris (1961), Stanisław Lem wrote:

We observe a fraction of the process, like hearing the vibration of a single string in an orchestra of supergiants. We know, but cannot grasp, that above and below, beyond the limits of perception or imagination, thousands and millions of simultaneous transformations are at work, interlinked like a musical score by mathematical counterpoint. It has been described as a symphony in geometry, but we lack the ears to hear it.”

  • From practice: On a lighter note, we’ve started using emojis in strategy development workshops. A deeper exploration is how might we link a variety of abstract concepts to simple visual elements so that anyone can easily participate in this type of conversations? (are we rediscovering hieroglyphs?)

If you’re exploring a similar track, just send me a direct message here on LinkedIn and let’s share experiences and insights.

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  • Kumu: Here’s a causal loop diagram to explore, about the current pandemic situation. As Systems Thinking practitioners, we’re closely watching the space of tools that enable easy creation of diagrams like this one. Causal loop diagrams help you understand better the dynamics of a system and also to anticipate how things might evolve.
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An alternative tool for easily creating diagrams is Miro. Here’s a snapshot of a causal loop diagram about virtual meetings that we created for a recent Managers Forum, in order to help the participating managers understand the dynamic that decreases meeting efficiency and effectiveness and then be able to identify leverage points to influence this system.

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2. Sense & Connect

The wisdom is in the conversations. Opportunities to connect and learn together.

  • We’ll announce updates (and some surprises) in this social space in the next newsletter edition. Stay tuned!
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3. Sense & Change

Understanding new concepts and putting them into practice.

Here is the first version of the Guide to Dynamic Stakeholder Mapping, including a thorough concept explanation, an overview of its practical use cases and guidance for deciding where to apply it in your work – Get the Guide

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We’ll create an updated version of the guide by mid January, based on your feedback.

Thanks to all of you who supported us by joining the waiting list a couple of weeks ago. We will send you (by the end of this week) a separate e-mail with the 100% discount code for the guide and its future versions.

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Thanks for reading

We hope you found something useful in this edition!

Please feel free to forward the newsletter to any colleagues who you think might benefit from these resources.

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This newsletter is curated by Raluca and Bülent Duagi, the Sense & Change team.

As Strategy & Organization professionals, we’re using systems thinking and behavioral science to advise VPs, Directors and their teams to make their organizations more effective.

Our professional mission and intended legacy is:

Creating and sharing sustainable knowledge that helps people deal with the complex challenges they (will) face.

Let’s get in touch on LinkedInMedium or at the next #orgtalks.

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OD49: Biological Strategies ∙ Complexity Science and Team Effectiveness ∙ Causal Loop Diagrams ∙ Dynamic Stakeholder Mapping | LinkedIn