Royal Alberta Museum - Cynefin Framework and Polarity Management Workshop

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Overview of materials covered relating to the Cynefin Framework and Polarity Management.

Royal Alberta Museum - Cynefin Framework and Polarity Management Workshop

  1. 1. COMPLEXITY, CHANGE ANDYOU (Or what will become known forever as “the LEGO workshop.”)
  2. 2. LaurieWidmark Senior Manager, Organizational Renewal Human Services laurie.widmark@gov.ab.ca
  3. 3. AngieTarasoff Senior Manager,Technology Planning and Management Alberta Education, SchoolTechnology angie.tarasoff@gov.ab.ca @angietarasoff http://ca.linkedin.com/in/angietarasoff/ www.newernormal.ca http://www.scoop.it/t/managing-complexity
  4. 4. HANDS-ON Complexity and the Cynefin Framework
  5. 5. What is about to happen? •Four exercises •After each exercise, we’ll unpack what you and your team experienced
  6. 6. Activity 1 •Sort the pieces by colour •Decide among yourselves what pieces will be treated as special •Put “special” pieces into one pile
  7. 7. SIMPLE Best practice Cause = Effect Known Feudal Leadership Sense-Categorize-Respond
  8. 8. Activity 2 •Build a tower that is at least 20 bricks tall •The tower must have a regular colour pattern •Upper layers may not be wider than lower layers
  9. 9. SIMPLE Best practice Cause = Effect Known Feudal Leadership Sense-Categorize-Respond COMPLICATED Good practice Cause -> Effect Knowable Expert Leadership Sense-Analyze-Respond
  10. 10. Activity 3 •Build an animal or a vehicle •It must have a regular colour pattern •Each colour of brick may be handled by only one person •You have 30 seconds to plan, after that no talking or whispering •Your group will be moved with your structure to another table every minute
  11. 11. SIMPLE Best practice Cause = Effect Known Feudal Leadership Sense-Categorize-Respond COMPLICATED Good practice Cause -> Effect Knowable Expert Leadership Sense-Analyze-Respond COMPLEX Emergent practice [CE] Retrospectively knowable Networked Leadership Probe-Sense-Respond
  12. 12. Activity 4 •Build a building or a plant •Rules from before apply •Your group will be moved with your structure to another table every minute •At random times we will move randomly selected people from one group to another •No planning time & no talking
  13. 13. SIMPLE Best practice Cause = Effect Known Feudal Leadership Sense-Categorize-Respond COMPLICATED Good practice Cause -> Effect Knowable Expert Leadership Sense-Analyze-Respond COMPLEX Emergent practice [CE] Retrospectively knowable Networked Leadership Probe-Sense-Respond CHAOS Novel practice C≠E Unknowable Charismatic Leadership Act-Sense-Respond
  14. 14. SIMPLE Best practice Cause = Effect Known Feudal Leadership Sense-Categorize-Respond COMPLICATED Good practice Cause -> Effect Knowable Expert Leadership Sense-Analyze-Respond COMPLEX Emergent practice [CE] Retrospectively knowable Networked Leadership Probe-Sense-Respond CHAOS Novel practice C≠E Unknowable Charismatic Leadership Act-Sense-Respond DISORDER
  15. 15. Cynefin (Kuh-ne-vin) Framework •Sensemaking model •Designed to help leaders understand their context in order to respond appropriately •Organizations are complex •Dynamic •Non-linear •Emergent characteristics •Variable •Small changes can have significant impact
  16. 16. Resources Video:The Cynefin Framework http://bit.ly/complexity1 Video: Longitude (EntrainedThinking) http://bit.ly/complexity2 Video:Apollo 13 (Creativity/Innovation) http://bit.ly/complexity03 Video: How to Organise a Children’s Party http://bit.ly/complexity4 Cynefin Framework Snowden, D.J. Boone, M. 2007. "A Leader's Framework for Decision Making". Harvard Business Review, November 2007, pp. 69–76. Workshop exercises adapted from: Agile 42. "Cynefin Framework Lego Game." Agile 42. N.p., 25 Dec. 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2013
  17. 17. SENSEMAKING
  18. 18. Cynefin and you Considering your experiences, preferences and education, in which Cynefin domain: •Do you feel the most comfortable? Why? •Do you feel the least comfortable? Why? •Does your “usual” work fit?
  19. 19. Cynefin and you What strategies can you employ to succeed in problem domains that are outside your comfort zone?
  20. 20. Cynefin and your work
  21. 21. Cynefin and your work Considering this, what are some strategies that you can use to manage these challenges effectively?
  22. 22. The Organization inTheory
  23. 23. The Organization in Reality Actually listens to Wants his job Rivals Dislikes Golf Buddies Grudge Religious Affiliation Office Romance Married Admires Dislikes
  24. 24. HANDS ON Polarity Management
  25. 25. Polarities to manage are sets of opposites that can’t function well independently. Because the two sides of a polarity are interdependent, you cannot chose one as a “solution” and neglect the other. The objective of the Polarity Management perspective is to get the best of both opposites while avoiding the limits of each. (Johnson, 1996)
  26. 26. Activity 1: Identifying Polarities Finish this sentence: Sometimes, I think this team/organization is too__________. At those times, I wish this team/organization would be more________________.
  27. 27. Activity 1: Identifying Polarities What other polarities can we identify? Consider: Is the difficulty ongoing? Does shifting from one pole to another offer a final, complete solution? Are the poles interdependent? Can you emphasize one and neglect the other without negative consequences?
  28. 28. Polarity Polarity + + - -Deeper Fear: what happens if we don’t balance? Higher Purpose: why balance this polarity? Value The positive results of focusing on this pole Value The positive results of focusing on this pole Fears The negative results of focusing on this pole and neglecting the other pole Fears The negative results of focusing on this pole and neglecting the other pole
  29. 29. Diplomacy Candor + + - -Deeper Fear Higher Purpose
  30. 30. Activity 3: Upsides/Downsides • Select a polarity that resonates with you • Working with your group, brainstorm upsides and downsides of each pole • Thinking about this polarity pair, what is the higher purpose and deeper fear associated with it? • Record your results on the worksheet
  31. 31. Activity 2:What do you see here?
  32. 32. Polarity Polarity + + - -Deeper Fear: what happens if we don’t balance? Higher Purpose: why balance this polarity? Because I prefer this pole, I… …try to prevent these bad things from happening, and… …I miss out on leveraging these upsides, so… …I end up here. 
  33. 33. Polarity Polarity + + - -Deeper Fear: what happens if we don’t balance? Higher Purpose: why balance this polarity? Well-managed polarities allow organizations to leverage upsides of both poles and minimize the downsides
  34. 34. Activity 4: Action Plans and Red Flags •Continuing to work on your polarity map, indicate: •What steps will be taken by whom to ensure that the upsides of both polarity are leveraged? •What indicators or warning signs will you notice or measure to determine if a downside is being experienced? •What will you do about it?
  35. 35. Just testing.
  36. 36. SENSEMAKING What Now?
  37. 37. Thinking back… •What were 2-3 big ideas discussed? •What resonated with you? •What surprised, excited, worried or puzzled you? •What new vantage point or insight did you gain? •What will you do differently as a result?
  38. 38. References Polarity Management Johnson, B. (2009). Handbook of polarity management: identifying and managing unsolvable problems. Amherst, Mass: HRD Press.
  39. 39. RESOURCE SLIDES
  40. 40. DESIGNTHINKING, MINDSETS AND CYNEFIN Carol Dweck, Ph.D., Jeanne Liedtka, DBA, and Dave Snowden, MBA Mashed Up
  41. 41. OUTLOOK UNCERTAINTY NEW EXPERIENCES REPERTOIRE Do the job right and … Limit Avoid Develop Narrow Consider problems objectively Focus on a few clear ideas Reduce risk with research and data Make calculated investments Make incremental progress Unstable Environment Complex & Chaotic Stable Environment (Simple & Complicated)
  42. 42. OUTLOOK UNCERTAINTY NEW EXPERIENCES REPERTOIRE Do the job right and … Continuously learn, adapt and … LimitAccept AvoidSeek Develop Narrow Develop Broad Consider problems objectively Focus on a few clear ideas Reduce risk with research and data Make calculated investments Make incremental progress Develop multiple opportunities Manage risk through action Place small bets, quickly Succeed more often in new situations Consider problems empathetically Unstable Environment Complex & Chaotic Stable Environment (Simple & Complicated)
  43. 43. ORGANIZATIONS IN THEORY AND REALITY
  44. 44. InTheory everything is possible, however, I live in Practice and the road toTheory is washed out. Don Knuth

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