Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Creating the Adaptive Enterprise: Capability and Delivery from Change Conversation
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Creating the Adaptive Enterprise: Capability and Delivery from Change Conversation

351
views

Published on

Where can insights and deep working knowledge of how talk actually works be applied in your enterprise

Where can insights and deep working knowledge of how talk actually works be applied in your enterprise

Published in: Design, Technology, Business

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
351
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide
  • The story off Zellwegers development of the Logic alphabet has some parallels: “Our story begins with a simple example. Suppose that someone asked you to keep a record of your thoughts, exactly, and in terms of the symbols given, when you are making an effort to multiply XVI times LXIV. Also suppose that, refusing to give up, you finally arrive at the right answer, which happens to be MXXIV. We are sure that you would have had a much easier time of it, to solve this problem, if you would have found that 16 times 64 equals 1024.This example not only looks at what we think and what we write. It also looks at the mental tools, the signs and symbols, that we are using when that thinking and that writing is taking place. How we got these mental tools is a long story, one that now includes the presence of some new developments.Our main idea comes from calling attention to a deep commonality that cuts across the parallel streams of development that in recent millennia have unfolded in the ways and byways of evolutionary notation. It took many centuries of collective search to devise a place-value notation for counting. Likewise to devise a sound-value notation for reading. Likewise to devise a note-value notation for singing. And so forth, for each neurologically specialized ability; in effect, a different specialized notation for each specialized ability. These observations, easily recognized in the history of evolutionary notation, strongly suggest that every kind of intelligence needs its own kind of notation.” Shea Zellwegger Mirrors 2008 http://www.logic-alphabet.net/mirrors_one.htm accessed 080911
  • ReferencesReferences… staggeringly similar pathways… Somewhere here we must also respect the reality of diversity: Minds differ still more than faces (Voltaire, 1746); Each mind has its own method (Emerson, 1841)…natural contours of the mind… “Thinking should be treated as a complex and high level kind of skill” F C Bartlett “Thinking” London George Allen and Unwin 1958…the pathway we traverse… the thinker can wilfully control the direction of his or her thought all he/she can allow it to wander aimlessly. Normally people do not solely engage in either one kind of thought, but rather they vary the degree of directional control they exercise. Here, then, is another distinction between design and art. Designers must consciously direct their thought processes towards a particular specified in, although they may deliberately use undirected thought at times.How Designers Think, Fourth Edition: The Design Process Demystified by Bryan Lawson Architectural Press 2005 p141…natural contours of the mind… Speaking of engineers working on a proposed new transportation system for Paris, Latour writes: “They invented a means of transportation that does not exist, paper passengers, opportunities that have to be created, places to be designed (often from scratch), component industries, technological revolutions. They’re novelists. With just one difference: their project – which is at first indistinguishable from a novel – will gradually veer in one direction or another. Either it will remain a project in the file drawers (and its text is often less amusing to read than that of a novel) or else it will be transformed into an object…” Latour, B (1996) Aramis or the love of technology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1996 p24…the pathway we traverse… . “Most workers in the historical and sociological fields still accept the cultural determinism that was one of the first naive responses of the West to the cultural diversity of the newly-discovered nonwestern world. Thus for them the units of historical study, human beings, are tabulae rasae, blank sheets to be inscribed by cultural conditioning or economic pressures. More recently, however, in fields as diverse as cultural anthropology, linguistics, twin-studies, paleoanthropology, human evolution, psychophysics, performance studies, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, folklore and mythology, and ethology, it is becoming clear that we human beings bring to history and society an enormously rich set of innate capacities, tendencies, and exclusive potentials. We uncannily choose, again and again, the same kinds of poetic meters, kinship classifications, calendars, myths, funerals, stories, decorative patterns, musical scales, performance traditions, rituals, food-preparation concepts, grammars, and symbolisms. We are not natureless. Indeed, our natures include, genetically, much of the cultural experience of our species in that period of one to five million years of nature-culture overlap during which our biological evolution had not ceased, while our cultural evolution had already begun: the period in which unwittingly we domesticated and bred ourselves into our humanity. The shape and chemistry of our brains is in part a cultural artifact. We are deeply written and inscribed already, we have our own characters, so to speak, when we come from the womb. Having taken away one kind of rationality from historical and human studies, we may be able to replace it with another. But in so doing are we not committing the very sin, of reducing a self-organizing and unpredictable order to a set of deterministic laws, of which we accuse the determinist historians? Are we not replacing cultural or economic determinism with biological determinism? Not at all. First, to understand the principles governing the individual elements of a complex system is, as we have seen, not sufficient to be able to deduce laws to predict the behavior of the whole ensemble. The beautiful paisleys of atmospheric turbulence are not explained by the most precise understanding of the individual properties--atomic weight, chemical structure, specific heat, and so on--of its elements. Second, the peculiar understanding of the human being that we are coming to is of a creature programmed rather rigidly and in certain specific ways to do something that is totally open-ended: to learn and to create. Our hardwiring--whose proper development we neglect in our education at great peril--is designed to make us infinitely inventive. Our nature is a grammar which we must learn to use correctly, and which, if we do, makes us linguistically into protean gods, able to say anything in the world or out of it. Thus the paradigm change which this line of argument suggests is from one in which a social universe of natureless, culturally determined units is governed by a set of causal laws and principles which, given precise input, will generate accurate predictions, to one in which a cultural universe of complex-natured but knowable individuals, by the interaction and feedback of their intentions, generates an ever-changing social pattern or paisley, which can be modeled but not predicted. The meaning of understanding would change from being able to give a discursive or mathematical account of something to being able to set up a working model that can do the same sorts of things as the original. Values and Strange Attractors Frederick Turner, 10/7/01 [reprinted from the German, from Lettre International]http://www.cosmoetica.com/B21-FT1.htm accessed 290611…the pathways we traverse… this metaphor implies directional flows in cognition. Is there evidence for such flows? DAJ: look out for research info. But there is plenty of anecdotal/practitioner evidence. For example, the “E-myth” training process talks about a flow from “Orchestration” to “Innovation” and thence to “Quantification” (testing and measuring in order to get a better result) – and thence back to Orchestration. In that context they point out that a common mistake is to flow the other way – from Innovation to Orchestration, and warn that such a move places people in “the wrong head space”.… staggeringly similar pathways… Somewhere here we must also respect the reality of diversity: Minds differ still more than faces (Voltaire, 1746); Each mind has its own method (Emerson, 1841) “There is an old story about a man who walked from his farmhouse to his barn every day. After following the same path day in and day out, it wore into a groove. Eventually, the old man could walk to the barn blindfolded, since the deep channel would steer him directly where he was going. Neural pathways in the brain follow a similar pattern: They are strengthened with repeated use, while neglected networks become unreliable and eventually are pruned away.” http://brainworldmagazine.com/2010/08/neuroplasticity/ accessed 220811…natural contours of the mind… “Thinking should be treated as a complex and high level kind of skill” F C Bartlett “Thinking” London George Allen and Unwin 1958…the pathway we traverse… the thinker can wilfully control the direction of his or her thought all he/she can allow it to wander aimlessly. Normally people do not solely engage in either one kind of thought, but rather they vary the degree of directional control they exercise. Here, then, is another distinction between design and art. Designers must consciously direct their thought processes towards a particular specified in, although they may deliberately use undirected thought at times.How Designers Think, Fourth Edition: The Design Process Demystified by Bryan Lawson Architectural Press 2005 p141…the pathway we traverse… . “Most workers in the historical and sociological fields still accept the cultural determinism that was one of the first naive responses of the West to the cultural diversity of the newly-discovered nonwestern world. Thus for them the units of historical study, human beings, are tabulae rasae, blank sheets to be inscribed by cultural conditioning or economic pressures. More recently, however, in fields as diverse as cultural anthropology, linguistics, twin-studies, paleoanthropology, human evolution, psychophysics, performance studies, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, folklore and mythology, and ethology, it is becoming clear that we human beings bring to history and society an enormously rich set of innate capacities, tendencies, and exclusive potentials. We uncannily choose, again and again, the same kinds of poetic meters, kinship classifications, calendars, myths, funerals, stories, decorative patterns, musical scales, performance traditions, rituals, food-preparation concepts, grammars, and symbolisms. We are not natureless. Indeed, our natures include, genetically, much of the cultural experience of our species in that period of one to five million years of nature-culture overlap during which our biological evolution had not ceased, while our cultural evolution had already begun: the period in which unwittingly we domesticated and bred ourselves into our humanity. The shape and chemistry of our brains is in part a cultural artifact. We are deeply written and inscribed already, we have our own characters, so to speak, when we come from the womb. Having taken away one kind of rationality from historical and human studies, we may be able to replace it with another. But in so doing are we not committing the very sin, of reducing a self-organizing and unpredictable order to a set of deterministic laws, of which we accuse the determinist historians? Are we not replacing cultural or economic determinism with biological determinism? Not at all. First, to understand the principles governing the individual elements of a complex system is, as we have seen, not sufficient to be able to deduce laws to predict the behavior of the whole ensemble. The beautiful paisleys of atmospheric turbulence are not explained by the most precise understanding of the individual properties--atomic weight, chemical structure, specific heat, and so on--of its elements. Second, the peculiar understanding of the human being that we are coming to is of a creature programmed rather rigidly and in certain specific ways to do something that is totally open-ended: to learn and to create. Our hardwiring--whose proper development we neglect in our education at great peril--is designed to make us infinitely inventive. Our nature is a grammar which we must learn to use correctly, and which, if we do, makes us linguistically into protean gods, able to say anything in the world or out of it. Thus the paradigm change which this line of argument suggests is from one in which a social universe of natureless, culturally determined units is governed by a set of causal laws and principles which, given precise input, will generate accurate predictions, to one in which a cultural universe of complex-natured but knowable individuals, by the interaction and feedback of their intentions, generates an ever-changing social pattern or paisley, which can be modeled but not predicted. The meaning of understanding would change from being able to give a discursive or mathematical account of something to being able to set up a working model that can do the same sorts of things as the original. Values and Strange Attractors Frederick Turner, 10/7/01 [reprinted from the German, from Lettre International]http://www.cosmoetica.com/B21-FT1.htm accessed 290611
  • This little book has provided an accessible glimpse into the possibilities for better human activity systems when we understand the different conversations we are in or are holding.But much more possibility id unlocked. We have also provided some glimpses ofThis provides an opportunity for us to shapes the tacit by crafting the explicitDesign is the approach that lets us do thisThe contents of this book were written by me, but the physical book you hold was produced by a graphic designer. You would expect that the person who did that work would haveTechnical expertise in fonts, paper stocks, printing layouts, document compilation, as well as practical proficiency (eg cartooning or calligraphy or photography) in graphics, and Capability to proceed as a designer – ie to create new synthetic works to satisfy client purposes.In the same way, this book holds the foundations for a technical discipline of conversation design. It outlines in basic terms the systems and structures that enable us to “work with” conversations in purposeful pursuits. But the methodology that lets you unlock and apply the technical insights is design.If we swing around and look at it from a customer perspective, then we see an inexorable trend there too – that interactions are becoming more and more tacit. In that environment there are few maps to the territory. The one thing that remains constant no matter how social or intangible interactions become is that they take place in conversations: conversations of the customer’s self-talk (which is foundational to their cognition); conversations with the materials of the situation” (Schon); conversational interactions with the products we design; and conversations with other humans, whether in your business or their friends. This is not just a metaphor. Language is literally the foundation of our cognition – and thus of our experiences.I am most intrigued by the recurring patterns in purposeful conversations. They exist, and can be articulated – and thus can be used as the raw material for design insights. Hence my value prop as a “conversation designer”.The constructivist perspective places an absolute premium on the capacity to design!!!“Viewed from this perspective, the apparent solidity of social phenomena such as ‘the organization’ derives from the stabilizing effects of generic discursive processes rather than from the presence of independently existing concrete entities. In other words, phrases such as ‘the organization’ do not refer to an extra-linguistic reality. Instead they are conceptualized abstractions to which it has become habitual for us to refer as independently existing ‘things’. ‘Organizational Discourse’, therefore, must be understood, … in its wider ontological sense as the bringing into existence of an ‘organized’ or stabilized state.”Robert Chia Discourse Analysis as Organizational Analysis Organization: a debate on discourse 7(3): 513–518 2000The image of sensemaking as activity that talks events and organizations into existence suggests that patterns of organizing are located in the actions and conversations that occur on behalf of the presumed organization and in the texts of those activities that are preservedin social structures.”Weick, Karl E. ; Sutcliffe, Kathleen M. ; Obstfeld, David Organizing and the process of sensemaking Organization Science, July-August, 2005, Vol.16(4), p.409(13)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Change Conversation Capability Set Creating the Adaptive Enterprise How to talk to get work done in a complex world Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright © 2013 /1
    • 2. Creating the Adaptive Enterprise Design and facilitation of conversations that enable adaption There is a journey all human enterprises must be on in the present era: Away from inflexible, technical and reductionist ways of working toward conversational capabilities that unlock individual capabilities and contributions, adaptive expertise, and new ways of engaging with stakeholders. No matter where on the journey your enterprise lies, there is a next step you can take that is grounded in the way people are talking to get work done: From To inflexible routine expertise Adaptive expertise Traditional marketing tools Customer focussed design Exclusively analytical models Design thinking tools Top down social programs This Capability Statement outlines the spectrum of Change Conversation capabilities to assist your journey towards adaptiveness. The Change Conversation offers are outlined in the flow chart on the next page. They range in a spectrum from (left to right) the emergent challenges of social impact and culture change through to the more concrete conversational environments of specialist work . Emergent social impact Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Commercial in Confidence 2010 /2
    • 3. The Change Conversation© capability spectrum CHANGE CONVERSATION The flow of this chart from left to right is from the most large-scale and complex conversational contexts for social change to the more defined and technical conversation arena of projects #0 Change Conversation can express each of these capability areas as a • Diagnostic/needs analysis capability • Coaching capability • Training program, or • Project support/action learning delivery Conversational Leadership - Out of the Box *Pre-requirements Post-requirements Whole of system #C Conversations for a Concerned Community #D #C3 Culture is Conversations #C2 Conversations for Emergence Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Commercial in Confidence 2013 #S Conversation System Design #S3 #C1 Conversations for Shaping Strategy #D3 #D2 #D1 Conversation Design KDP System Design Measures Design Thinking Conversations for a System of Concern #S2 #S1 Advanced Design Skills Creating Adaptive Specialists /3
    • 4. A theory of “conversation” that unlocks value during change The Requisite Conversations® Framework What is the burning platform for you? Why do you need to change? The drivers are as various and as individual as your enterprise, but they keep you awake. Where do we need to change? Ah, there is a common theme. We need to change our level of competency in talking to accomplish purposes. Change Conversation provides a map of the territory – the Requisite Conversation framework - and then uses that map to devise a targeted set of value propositions that directly address specific elements in a spectrum of organisation needs. Conversation Design won’t fix everything. But it will make an extraordinary difference in some places where we are so badly equipped to face the challenges coming at us. Change Conversation’s operating model provides services in: • • • • Diagnosing your context, challenges and opportunities Conducting analysis of the conversation capability needs Capability assessments of systems and personnel Coaching key players in the approach and requisite conversation capabilities • Facilitating new conversation design and deployment Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 The Requisite Conversations® Framework is a model for those systems and structures that usually go unseen as we go about talking to get work done. It provides a way of distinguishing the key different domains of organisational talk, and ensuring that the ways we talk are “fit for purpose”. The Framework differentiates 3 major conversational terrains, and 3 conversation habitats. Together these set up different interaction systems – predictable patterns of interaction between people and people, and between people and artefacts, from CEO’s to call centres, from contexts of collective impact to entrepreneurial endeavours. Each of these conversational interactions plays out at every level of human enterprise – from the • conversations we have with ourselves, to the • conversations with the materials of the situation, and • conversations we have with others in order to collaborate, align and execute at scale. We use the same conversation structures again and again, in the same way that trees use selfsimilar branching to support ever larger expressions of their identity. /4
    • 5. Change Conversation® - has a research driven core…. …the Requisite Conversation® Framework The Requisite Conversation® Framework (RCF) provides a scaffolding that covers all the conversations necessary to purposeful human enterprise. Mercator's projection of the earth This is Africa – home of the worlds biggest desert, and longest river (the Nile) It shouldn’t surprise you that is more like a map than just 5 dot points or a 4 box matrix. It’s a little bit tricky, but not that hard when you think of other scaffolds we have learned to carry around…It doesn’t take that long to name and recognise the main spaces – and even to know some pretty major features. The RCF integrates all the major theories of conversation you would expect to encounter in a robust model. A partial list of the sources that have fed this model development are on the next page. Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 This is the ―Generate‖ terrain of conversations – Design is one of the main conversation habitats in here /5
    • 6. The Requisite Conversation framework is based on leading theory and practice from around the world. Including theory from: ….and reflective insight from: Austin – How to do things with words, of course… Beer – the possibilities for fractal cybernetic structures vitalised in conversation Cooren – the ways organisation can arise from conversation itself Corballis – the fundamentally recursive character of human cognition Dejours – legitimising personal cognition at work Gadamer – How questions open the way to new knowledge Heidegger – how we are already inside conversations, and how to move to new meanings Jordan – Rich insights to discourse analysis that work at scale Koestler – the original and best on creative conversation dynamics Kuhn – for making sense of the conversations of science Moore – seeing the patterns of conversation that we need in IT Prigogine – how conversation can be the way enterprises take in energy from their environment Shotter – for naming some really important things about constructivism Stacey – for unpacking the organisational conversations in terms of complexity theory. Yep, Shaw as well. Wittgenstein – for living the turning point from abstraction to conversation Zimmerman and partners for worked examples of conversation in healthcare complexity Bioss – seeing conversation forms in stratified work systems Buchanan - 4 orders of design and doors opened in my head Edmondsen – a classic case of not seeing the obvious role of conversation Hoebeke – for the richest unfinished work I’ve ever read Hoffer-Gittell – for having a powerful idea but no hypothesis Liedtka – for locating strategy in its generative conversation habitat Maturana – for fuelling the life of language in the mind of a microbiologist Poythress – ever emboldening me to accept a judeo-christian worldview as a platform for reflection about speech Reos (Adam Kahane) – fearlessly taking conversation into ever larger spaces Rittel – for naming features of conversation and never calling it conversation Sealy-Brown – for being my favorite ever interpreter of conversational ethnography Second Road – the unabashed power of heuristic thought Weick, and Winograd, and Hutchens – for soaking yourselves in the real talk that gets work done Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 /6
    • 7. #O Out of the Box Conversational Leadership – why it matters There is no shortage of consensus that the world has changed and that different conversations are needed. “When strategy, processes, metrics, and behaviour are stable and relatively unchanging, conversational skill is less important than simply following the proven path. When those same things are dynamic, in a state of change, conversational skill becomes crucial. This is when I got deeply interested in conversations as a catalyst for change”* You have probably heard of many enterprise initiatives that have a “70% failure rate”. My list of literature citations for “70% failure rates” includes 70% of new product launches, customer relationship marketing programs, failure rates for KM IT implementations(70-80%) , safety programs, quality management programs, mergers and acquisitions and in short, “70% all business change initiatives” – a feature unchanged in 3 decades of HBR reporting on the latest possibilities. It turns out that failure rate has a very high correlation with every time we do something that is “outside the box” – ie when we attempt changes that require implementation by humans, not just installation by technocrats. The evidence is in. Change failures arise because we can’t work with attitudes and behaviours, not because of inadequate budgets, poor resource deployment or poor strategic conception. We can’t recoil from “the soft stuff” – we have to press on into that territory until we get it right. In that environment, skill with the requisite conversations for achieving purposes together has a do-or-die premium. In this module of work, Change Conversation introduces the need for change, the benefits for enterprise, and the key transformations that will occur in our new conversations. Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 *Susan Burnett, HP’s vice president of Workforce Development and Organization Effectiveness: Hewlett-Packard Takes the Waste Out of Leadership, 2003 /7
    • 8. #S Conversations for a System of Concern How to improve conversation capabilities inside key adaptive enterprise systems Searle (“What is Language?”) talks of us moving to “desire independent possibilities for action “. This is the whole point of producing specifications for things we want to make. We may love houses, and even be the designer of our own, but once we have translated our desire into specifications, the implementation can be to a large extent independent of our involvement. That is how we amplify our effect in the world. The opposite move – away from the world of specifications, project plans and schedules, has the opposite effect. When we move “upstream” from the world of implementation to consider what might be different, and how we could make that arise, we are confronted with two primary contexts of knowledge work: • Contexts where we know what we want, but not yet how to get it. In this case we need to build the conversations for a system of concern. • Contexts where the need is so widespread, or the community of stakeholders so diffuse, that we cannot say with any confidence that “we” even know what we want. In this case we need to build the conversations of a concerned community (see #C1-3) Change Conversation discerns three key points of value we can add to the conversations around systems of concern: #S1 - Creating Adaptive Specialists Understanding the key points of difference between the cognition and disposition of routine expertise versus adaptive expertise. #S2 – Providing advanced design skills Expanding the professional capability of soft system designers and their workplace conversations. #S3 - Coaching in Design Thinking Providing proven ability to develop the cognition and dispositions essential to 3rd and 4th Order Design (Richard Buchanan), in both craft designers and non-designers. Once we move out of the Box, we face the challenge of creating and living within adaptive enterprise systems – systems of concern to us because of their necessary contribution to accomplishing our collective purposes. Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 /8
    • 9. #S1 Adaptive Specialism Supporting specialists on the journey to an ever changing context People are being “trained” every day – patterned by the systems you place them. Will you enact people for adaptive expertise or routine expertise? Sadly, too much work is done by those with routine expertise . Adaptive expertise is essential in working with complexity. Let Change Conversation help you do that. How serious is the failure to address adaptive expertise? It can be lethal. Recall the beautiful steam locomotives of1949, at the pinnacle of their evolution? Of all the large, sophisticated firms which built them, none went on to build dieselelectric engines. Because they had the wrong tools? No. Because they failed to have the right conversations. “Hatano and Inagaki (1986) distinguish between routine-expertise and adaptive expertise. Routine expertise is mainly developed by constant and repeating requirements whereas adaptive expertise develops especially in the context of changing requirements. According to that differentiation, routine expertise is valuable in order to implement context-specific strategies whereas adaptive expertise represents meta-strategies which transfer knowledge to new situations or generate new knowledge. As a consequence, both types of experience work under different conditions but are equally important.”* Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 One of the inadvertent consequences of the Box culture forged by technical rationalism is the suffocation of knowledge sharing: a) because there is no need for it, and thus b) it becomes an overhead, but also c) because there are no conversation structures for it to naturally occur. And so as we move into a more volatile, plastic enterprise context, we have no conversation skills to support our change challenges. So we can make rigid silos of our workplace knowledge, or we can make windows and doors for the future. We all have an inherent/tacit capacity for connectedness - by virtue of experience in all the other parts of our life and work. We can leverage that and cultivate connectedness. How? By the conversations we inhabit, and the capabilities they enact. We can install and encourage Conversations that • Ask why, and establish a connection to purpose • Use heuristics to pattern – ie build an increasing repertoire of patterns and patterning cognition habits • Structurally design and install “requirements conversation” behaviours so they enact leadership and adaptive specialism *Badke-Schaub, Petra 2004 Strategies of experts in engineering design: between innovation and routine behaviour Journal of Design Research 4 (2) /9
    • 10. #S2 Advanced Design Skills Heuristic Thinking; Multiperspectivalism; The Design practice Ecosystem How can designers continue to be physicians for those who lack innovation if they do not immunise themselves against their diseases, or nourish their own distinctives. Change the Conversation. There are many skilled design practitioners increasingly applying themselves to soft systems – crafters of personas and user pathway illustrations, facilitators of concept generation, affinity diagrams, card-sorts and insights. We want to extend and enrich its capability based on our experience since 1991. David’s expertise in conversation systems and conversational cognition is best leveraged in two niches of enrichment of design practice: • Skills for the practitioner: Heuristics & Multiperspectivalism • Skills for entrepreneurial practice groups: Moving to the Design Ecosystem Both are directed towards deepening the designer’s capacity to deliver on their distinctive contribution while caught in a dialectical tension between: • Execution oriented business, and • Ever more complex and soft system challenges. ‘If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.’* Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 *Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, (1974 p92) Skills for the practitioner: Heuristics & Multiperspectivalism Design as a cognition is a habitat sandwiched between two others – that of interpretation & meaning making, (the hermeneutical habitat), and that of implementation , execution, and performance. For most designers, their skill set has been formed in driving upstream to escape the gravitational pull of analysis and methodology, and they have no shortage of awareness about the skills that can be drawn from that environment. But there is real wisdom to be had from the world of language, which designers glimpse when , for example, they see the parallels between “reframing” and “renaming”. Design practitioners dealing with softer and more complex systems can substantially benefit from learning some tools from the world of language. Two approaches with proven leverage for design are the use of heuristics, and of perspectivalism. Skills for entrepreneurial practice groups: Moving to the Design Ecosystem Design capability arises out of a context. It is either nurtured or sucked down to less capable, less innovative expression by its business context. Work in upstream design problems – as done by designers of soft systems – cannot be managed in the way a Web or graphic design studio might manage work. If you want a powerful design practice ready for higher order design work, you cannot ignore the power and resilience of social systems. Key conversations of your workplace must be redesigned. / 10
    • 11. #S3 Design Thinking for the design of intangibles Getting traction in the conversations that are the substrate of ―Design Thinking‖ Design Thinking is the application of the developed human disposition for design to intangible subject matters – such as a corporations, customer experiences or business systems. It is based on the assumption that the thinking processes used to create physical products are insightful for people grappling with intangibles like strategy. Furthermore, the world of business and organizations is a world of people and actions, and great designers are renowned for their sensitivity to human needs and context. So how do we harness this cognition? Designers working with tangibles employ (aware or unaware) certain modes of cognition as they proceed from ideation to a physical product . People grappling with intangibles like ‘wicked problems’ have intuited some analogy between those processes and their own work and asked : a) How does a designer think when she works with wood, etc.? b) What do those ways of thinking have to offer to those grappling with intangibles, such that we can talk of “design thinking “? That in turn leads to asking: a) What ways of thinking does a person working on intangibles need that designers of tangibles don’t need? b) What are the unique dimensions of thinking provoked by working on intangibles? Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 The answer is that Design Thinking takes place in a distinctive set of conversations – “conversations with the materials of the situation”*. This requires a distinctive development of capabilities in design cognition, different to those of the craft designer. It is a different way of thinking, feeling and doing in the world. The Change Conversation offer is based on in depth experience in discerning and developing the distinctive requisite conversational cognition and capabilities in design thinking. We conduct needs analysis for Design Thinking capability, and provide coaching using reflective practice to develop capabilities in those progressing to the demands of 3rd & 4th order design whether from previous work in craft design or other disciplines entirely. / 11
    • 12. #D Conversation Design A new discipline and some key adaptive applications In the first trio of offers (#S1-3), we focus on hot spots in enterprise capability to run the conversations necessary to adaptive systems. In the third trio (#C1-3) we focus on how to proceed before we even understand what our requirements are – as is often the case in increasingly complex social contexts. In this trio (#D1-3) we turn our attention to the use of the Requisite Conversation framework and other Change Conversation tools - such as the Knowledge Development Pathway® (KDP) - to actually design systems and conversations. “The designer who knows the role of conversations in shaping future reality and who has developed skills in facilitative leadership has also gained power over those who do not have such knowledge and skills.” Simpson, R. and Gill, R. Design for social systems: Change as Conversation E:CO Issue Vol. 10 No. 1 2008 pp. 39-49 We cover 3 specific approaches to the design of conversations in and for enterprise systems: #D1 – Conversation and Metrics A focus area called “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” – breaking free of behaving as though data “just is”, understanding how measurement works in complex systems, and how wrong measurements extinguish adaptive capability. #D2 – System Design based on the Requisite Conversations® How to actually approach the task of system design through the lens of the necessary and sufficient component conversations for missional knowledge development. #D3 – A new Framework and Discipline - Conversation Design What does it mean to actually design conversations. Not just to run a facilitated event, but to create new and satisfying interactions within human enterprises from a disciplinary platform? Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 / 12
    • 13. #D1 From digits to words – Conversation and Metrics ―Averages can be misleading—on average, everyone in the world has one testicle...‖ “Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead they demand “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him." ––Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince The “McKinsey Maxim” has had a long reign: “What can’t be measured cant be managed.” Sadly in a complex, high velocity world, the opposite becomes true. What can’t be measured is all we have time to manage – all the rest is what we see in the rear view mirror. If we only give credence what we can measure, we become prisoners of our past. As a manager observed: “I would be in trouble if the accounting reports held information I did not already have.” But there is a deeper issue too. Applying quantitative measures assumes Gaussian distributions; whereas emergent environments are characterised by power laws and Pareto distributions. Attention to quantification will actually extinguish emergence. This is why the 70% phenomenon occurs (#0), and why we have to shift attention from Systems of Concern to the Concerned Community when working in complex contexts (#S1-3 vs. #C1-3). Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 "The most dangerous, hideously misused and thought-annihilating piece of technology invented in the past 15 years has to be the electronic spread sheet. Every day, millions of managers boot up their Lotus 1-2-3s and Microsoft Excels, twiddle a few numbers and diligently sucker themselves into thinking they're forecasting the future. In truth, number-crunching with spreadsheets is like computationally pumping iron: You bulk up data but do virtually nothing for your conceptual quickness or flexibility. It's an intellectual exercise that stretches the fingers more than the mind.“* So Change Conversation asks: • What is the conversation AROUND the numbers? How do we go from personal insight to collective action? • What is the conversation AFTER the numbers? How do we use the new insights to make a better business systemically? • What is the conversation INSTEAD OF the numbers? When are quantification methods toxic to the very purpose we are pursuing? “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” is our capability focus area for conversations about measurement– breaking free of behaving as though data “just is”, understanding how measurement works in complex systems, and how wrong measurements extinguish adaptive capability. * Little has changed since this was written in 1991 – now nearly 40 years since the spread of electronic spreadsheets Michael Schrage Spreadsheets: Bulking up on data Los Angeles Times, 1991 / 13
    • 14. #D2 - How to build sustainable systems for human enterprises System design with the Knowledge Development Pathway® (KDP) Combine these two ideas: 1. The Requisite Conversation framework provides a map to the conversations of purposeful human activity systems. 2. Organisations are constituted by the conversations they hold: “Conversations are the way workers discover what they know, share it with their colleagues, and in the process create new knowledge for the organization. In the new economy, conversations are the most important form of work ... so much so that the conversation is the organization.” Alan Webber “In fact, thoughtful conversations around questions that matter might be the core process in any company…” Juanita Brown and David Isaacs We then have an opportunity – to design organisations. Not around accidents of industrial history, nor old forms and structures, but around the conversations necessary to get the work done. So Change Conversation developed the Knowledge Development Pathway® - a way of designing business systems based on the core conversations that need to be held to realise a new purpose. We ask ourselves “What is the operating system we would like to have in the world?” In particular, we ask what would its Mission be? When the product of our efforts is performing, what do we want it to be doing? And proceed from there. This provides two great opportunities: to design systems that have all the necessary parts to be viable; and to create frames for coordinating roles where the organisations are constantly virtual. Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 “…functional departments, often the main channels through which information is shared, are being broken apart…In their place are cross functional, team-based organisations that are focused on meeting the needs of a particular customer or product, but often not designed to share knowledge effectively across the enterprise. The configuration of units that generate and apply knowledge is dynamic. Much work is done through temporary systems…. Given these trends… carefully controlled channelling of knowledge and information cannot work. Knowledge management must transcend organisational units and create a flexible and vibrant knowledge exchange.” Strategies for the Knowledge Economy: From rhetoric to reality S A Morhman, DL Feingold World Economic Forum Report, 2000 Against this backdrop, Change Conversation sees value in, for example, fast building of planning systems for temporary alliances., or missional alignment of case-based teams such as health delivery teams. Intentionally build a system 3 2 4 5 6 1 A Mission in the world Sustain and renew our requirements / 14
    • 15. #D3 – Designing Conversations Working with the Requisite Conversation framework and doing Conversation Design “Designers are traditionally identified not so much by the kinds of problems they tackle is by the kinds of solutions they produce. Thus industrial designers are so-called because they create products for industrial and commercial organisations whereas interior designers are expected to create interior spaces... This is to some extent the result of the range of technologies understood by the designer.” Lawson, Brian 2005 How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified 4th Ed. Architectural Press p. 53 So what then are the technologies for “Conversation Design?” It helps to think of the parallel patterns we are aware of in: • Grammar as being the system and structure of putting words and sentences together in intelligible language; • Logic as the laws of putting things together for verification. So Conversation is the laws of putting people and “texts” together for the enactment of purpose. “Conversation” is the system and structure of language for coordinating purposeful human enterprise. Conversation design, then, is the art of crafting conversations (assemblies of interactions between people and “texts”) to more effectively achieve a stated purpose. Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 To do Conversation design we need a model for how conversational events, (speech acts, ways of talking, discourses and dialogs, etc) vary and offer distinctive cognitive features and contributions on our journey towards purpose. The Requisite Conversations® framework provides a heuristic scaffolding for all the necessary conversations involved in the pursuit of purpose in human activity systems. It distinguishes between major cognitive “terrains” and nested, recursive conversational “habitats”. It enables mapping of what is, accumulation of extensive, discussable knowledge about situated conversation dynamics, and the intentional crafting of new forms of human and human-artefact interactions. In all human endeavour, refinements in our methods of recognition have been turned into opportunities to be more proactive and productive in our environment. This ranges from being able to tell dolphins from sharks to the more sophisticated enabling that arises from a periodic table of the elements. In the latter case, the framework unlocks our ability to see wide and deep patterns, and unlocks a “hybrid vigor” in relation to other disciplines. Because the act of talking to coordinate our human activity in systems is so foundational to purposeful enterprise, the range of applications from the Requisite Conversations® insight is extensive and kaleidoscopic. What enterprise are you pursuing that could benefit from Change Conversation? / 15
    • 16. #C – Conversations for a Concerned Community Designing the quality of the conversations in & for a concerned community “(The)premise that (all our)work settings are language communities brings us to a corollary premise: all leaders are leading language communities. Though every person, in any setting, has some opportunity to influence the nature of the language, leaders have exponentially greater access and opportunity to shape, alter, or ratify the existing language rules.... We have a choice whether to be thoughtful and intentional about this aspect of our leadership.. to make much of the opportunity, or little… to be responsible or not for the meaning of our leadership as it affects our language community. But we have no choice about whether we are or are not language leaders. The only question is what kind of language leaders we will be.“ * Kegan & Lahey had in view incorporated contexts, but what they say applies to all who aspire to lead change. Change and leadership both take place in language. The more diffuse, diverse and complex the arena for desired change, the more all we have is the way we construct and lead conversations. We find ourselves outside the arenas where power is vested in owners or even authorities. This is the realm where we must address the community of concern, because it is in their interactions that possibilities will arise. Between the drivers • to ever larger social interventions (eg the work of Kahane at the level of nation forming), • to the exploding role of social media, and • to the perfect storm of velocity of change, complexity of interactions and plasticity of arrangements in human activity systems, there is an unprecedented amount of generative effort going into new conversation forms. In this environment, Change Conversation models provide insight and a pathway in: #C1 - Conversations for “Shaping Strategies” Even corporations eventually face open systems – ones they cannot control, but can shape by their contributions. How do they talk together to do that? #C2 - Conversations to create and maintain Concerned Communities A capacity to self-consciously call out, develop and benchmark a capability/maturity journey for skilled participants in the conversations of emergence #C3 – Conversational interventions for Culture Change Conversations are the fabric of culture. What does this mean and where can we leverage this insight? Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 *Kegan, R. & Lahey, L.L. How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation John Wiley & Sons 2001 p8 / 16
    • 17. #C1 - Conversations for Shaping Strategy Conversations for the ―Power of Pull‖ If we continue to use the mindsets we have learned in traditional language of strategy, we will continue to create closed systems that are poor subsets of what we hope to create new in the world. Shaping Strategy requires change in ourselves toward adaptive dispositions, it requires design thinking to envisage its core componentry, and it requires new conversations beyond the organisation for its possibilities to be realised. “An organization’s results are determined through webs of human commitments, born in webs of human conversations.” Fernando Flores Pursuing a Shaping Strategy is not a technical choice – it involves reworking the sociology of our organisation, its interactions, and what it counts as knowledge. These dimensions are all carried in our enterprise conversations, and require Change Conversation. Shaping strategy is exegeted at length in The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion (Basic Books; April 2010) by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 / 17
    • 18. #C2 Before you know what you want…. Shaping the Concerned Community: Conversations for Emergence Like Seel, 2006, I believe that: “while emergence is neither predictable nor controllable there are some factors which predispose an organisation towards emergent change. I will also argue that these factors can be ‘tuned’ in such a way that not only is the emergence of new patterns made more likely but also that these patterns will be similar to the patterns which are desired by the members of the organisation.” Understanding the basic structures of conversation means we can provide “selective pressure toward a self-organising criticality”. What is the constant material that is present for us to attend to, and apply selective pressure to? Q. Where does the selective pressure on biological systems express itself and get preserved/ propagated /perpetuated? A. In the DNA Q. What is the DNA of a social system? A. It’s conversations. Q. What is conversation? A. Conversation is the coordinating systems and structures in language that are (often unconsciously) active when people work together toward a purpose. Change Conversation uses the Requisite Conversations framework to navigate complexity, recognising the fractal recursions of human conversations even when the “phase space” is at its most tenuous. “…conversation constitutes the only non-manipulatory mode of apprehending truth which does not pre-determine what counts as true in advance.“ Anthony Thiselton Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 / 18
    • 19. #C3 - Conversation, which IS culture… Culture Change insights from conversation theory “Your organization’s culture is nothing more than what individuals say to each other and what they think to themselves. When you shift the conversations, you shift the culture.”* “Culture” is a word surrounded in mystery, myth and mystique. But the answer to “What is a culture” is not so hard. It is the “nature” of a human enterprise – the way it betrays its deepest drivers and its real motivations, irrespective of its espoused image. Corporations have “bodies” and they have “characters”. Nor is the question “Where do we find the roots of culture that we might change it?” so hard to answer. All the quotes in the adjacent column say the same thing: our culture is our conversations. As with humans, character – culture, is formed by the conversations we hold value, and participate in. “Organisation culture is the emergent result of the continuing negotiations about values, meanings and proprieties between the members of that organisation and with its environment. In other words, culture is the result of all the daily conversations and negotiations between the members of an organisation. They are continually agreeing (sometimes explicitly, usually tacitly) about the ‘proper’ way to do things and how to make meanings about the events of the world around them. If you want to change a culture you have to change all these conversations—or at least the majority of them. And changing conversations is not the focus of most change programmes, which tend to concentrate on organisational structures or reward systems or other large-scale interventions.”.** Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Copyright 2013 It is impossible for us to have an exhaustive map of culture. It is vital for us to have a sufficient map of how to access the core culture forming conversations. Change Conversation proposes a model for the conversational terrain of culture that makes cultural interventions via the way we talk discussable and doable. Artwork with apologies/thanks to Culture_by_AagaardDS and Andre Malraux *Stephen Shapiro, Innovate the Way You Innovate, European Business Review **Seel, R. (2006) ‗Emergence in Organisations Actually setting about changing a culture may turn out to be quite “easy”, or very hard. But it sure helps to know where to look. / 19
    • 20. What’s behind the Requisite Conversation® framework ? The story of the cliff path If you go out onto any headland jutting out from a coast line that is within regular reach of a number of people, you will find a strange phenomenon. There will be a path to the headland. Not a paved path, but a packed earth, grass-bare, slightly meandering track, that in all likelihood, unless mud deters you, you too will walk along. Your behavior is understandable. The path now represents the clearest, most snake-revealing, least shoe-messing way to the destination. But how did the path arise? Well, not because 1000 people tramped the earth into submission in a conga line. Nor because a different 100 people, in fortuitously short succession, all slavishly tracked the previous blades of broken grass and walked the line of the previous traveler, doing so in sufficient volumes and frequency that they impressed a path, an intentional legacy for future wayfarers. No. The path arose simply because people are made that way. Confronted with the same terrain – the same cognitive-behavioral problem, however subliminal - their proprioceptors and problem solving minds traversed staggeringly similar pathways. So staggeringly similar, that in the whole breadth of the headland, and not only on this headland but on every other piece of regularly traversed landscape all points north and south of here, a pathway, often only centimeters wide, will emerge as a legacy of the programmed footsteps of humankind. And once found, the path is obvious. That is, it is easy to see. It feels right – you have to choose to leave it. And it is the path of least resistance – the way that provides a rhythm to your feet that demands the least attention to itself. Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Commercial in Confidence 2013 The Requisite Conversation framework is based on another pathway. A pathway we traverse with equal predictability, leaving trails of similar “obviousness”, once we have chosen to notice them. It is a “knowledge development pathway®” – the pathway we traverse whenever we want to make something new in the world. From a new song to a new sewing machine; from a new relationship to a new space project, humans traversing the terrain of a social space, a creative expression, or a technical pursuit will beat out a familiar path, for the simple reason that they are following the most natural contours of the mind. This is the pathway of “conversational cognition”. The image is of a foot worn path on Mount Coolum in Queensland, Australia / 20
    • 21. Change Conversation Bringing the new conversations for purposeful human enterprises David is a specialist in the new ways we need to talk to get work done… which often turn out to be old ways we have forgotten. He provides insight, capabilities and skills transfer for the new conversations of enterprise David Jones earned two postgraduate degrees in the science of conversation – hermeneutics and speech act theory – and has been growing practice-based expertise in conversation design for over 25 years. From 2005 -2010 he provided leadership in conversation practices to the design and strategy staff of 2nd Road, and now continues to consult to his own client base. Use the contact details below to explore further with David, or simply to request a paper cited here that is of particular interest to you. Change Conversation M: +61 (0)4 29 39 49 84P: +612 4369 1866 F: +612 4369 1866 L: http://au.linkedin.com/pub/david-jones/12/a05/25b W: http://justknowledge.com.au/ Changing the ways people talk to get work done. New work? New conversation! Change Conversation. Just Knowledge Australia Pty Ltd Commercial in Confidence 2010 / 21