Most institutions -- be they governments, corporations, education or health care systems -- try to run things as if they were playing chess, each move orderly, sequenced. But today’s word is complex, more like a Jackson Pollock painting than a chessboard.
In a complex system it’s almost impossible for top-down leaders to create order, hard as they may try. Order emerges in complex systems from the bottom up, said Carne.
As a corporate rebel this metaphor is quite powerful to me.
- How can we foster more participatory environments for people to create the change needed to succeed in an increasingly complex world?
- Is it just a matter of more of us stepping up and leading, regardless of title? Of not waiting for people with official titles to confer approval?
- Do we find ourselves as rebels still playing chess, following long-held "ways of working" rather than collaborating and activating colleagues in new ways?
- Do we find ourselves painting by numbers when what's really needed, and may be so much more rewarding, is paint freely and without worrying about convention like Jackson Pollock?
Change is a-comin. Are we brave enough to let go of status and certainty and create new participatory ways to work, to innovate, to prosper?
Painting by numbers always bored me as a child. I knew what the painting was going to look like, which was so uninspiring. The act of full-in creating without knowing exactly how it might turn out is risky, but these days following the usual paths isn't going to solve the issues at hand.