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Harness Complexity To Improve Productivity by Daniel Walsh nuCognitive

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How do we improve the productivity of our teams and organizations? This is a canonical question without any simple answers. This talk focuses on how the Cynefin Framework can be used to select heuristics for improving the productivity of complex adaptive systems like teams and organizations.

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Harness Complexity To Improve Productivity by Daniel Walsh nuCognitive

  1. 1. 1@danielwalsh Daniel Walsh - Austin 2018 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 Harness Complexity and Improve Productivity
  2. 2. 2 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 WHAT IS PRODUCTIVITY?
  3. 3. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 3 Productivity ≠ Efficiency
  4. 4. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 4 Efficiency – ratio of outputs over inputs Productivity1 describes various measures of the efficiency of production. Productive2 is defined as effective in bringing about or yielding results, benefits, or profits Being productive means you are successful in producing a desired or intended result. Effectiveness - create the right result and deliver what matters Reference: 1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Productivity 2 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/productive
  5. 5. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 5 Productivity takes into account both the amount of work completed and the value of that work towards an outcome Productivity combines Efficiency “minimal waste” Effectiveness “it works” X
  6. 6. Productivity Measures As Heuristics A heuristic is anything that provides a plausible aid or direction in the solution of a problem* • reduces the search time for problem solving • does not guarantee a solution to a problem • can offer conflicting advice • acceptance depends on the immediate context instead of an absolute standard Example productivity measurement heuristics: • Farm productivity (bushels per acre) • Workforce productivity (Profit per employee) • National Productivity (Gross Domestic Product) 6 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 *Reference: Koen, Billy Vaughn. Discussion of the Method. 2003.
  7. 7. Heuristics produce accurate decisions by exploiting the structures of information in the environments in which they are applied* 7 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 *Reference: Gigerenzer & Todd. Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. 2000.
  8. 8. 8 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 Cynefin Framework kuh-nev-in The Cynefin framework is first about situational awareness, followed by contextually appropriate action.
  9. 9. The Cynefin Framework 9 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic DisorderDisorder The Cynefin Framework by Cognitive Edge.. Direct Cause-Effect Rigid constraints No degrees of freedom Governing constraints Tightly coupled Enabling constraints Loosely coupled No constraints Not coupled Unknowable Cause-Effect Interconnected Cause-Effect Indirect Cause-Effect
  10. 10. 10 Complex Disorder Complicated Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018
  11. 11. 11 “…a jumbo jet is complicated but a mayonnaise is complex.” – Paul Cilliers Reference: https://www.theoryculturesociety.org/oliver-human-on-paul-cilliers/ CC BY-SA 2.0 by jules:stonesoup CC BY-SA 3.0 by Alex Beltyukov Disorder Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018
  12. 12. 12 Complex Disorder Complicated Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 Focus On Output Well-defined Inputs result in predictable outcomes Output → → Outcome Focus On Outcome Ill-defined Impossible to predict what inputs generate desired outcomes Output<>Outcome Cynefin X Productivity
  13. 13. Harness Complexity and Improve Productivity Overly constrained complex systems are fragile and less resilient → Allow for inefficiency to improve effectiveness • e.g. software development teams • Reference: DeMarco, Tom. Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. 2002. 13 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018
  14. 14. Harness Complexity and Improve Productivity Complex systems are inherently uncertain – they are dispositional, not causal → Multiple, parallel, small safe-to-fail bets • e.g. venture capital • Reference: Boulton, Allen, Bowman. Embracing Complexity: Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence. 2015. 14 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018
  15. 15. Harness Complexity and Improve Productivity Complex systems are far from equilibrium → Manage in the present and focus on desired outcomes not outputs • e.g. jobs-to-be-done and outcome-driven innovation • Reference: Ulwick, Anthony. Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice. 2016. 15 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018
  16. 16. References Snowden & Boone. “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making.” Harvard Business Review, 2007. https://www.process.st/productivity-vs-efficiency/ http://www.asianefficiency.com/goals/setting-better-outcomes/ https://hbr.org/2012/11/its-not-just-semantics-managing-outcomes DeMarco, Tom. Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. 2002. Boulton, Allen, Bowman. Embracing Complexity: Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence. 2015. Ulwick, Anthony. Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice. 2016. 16 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 @danielwalsh
  17. 17. Harness Complexity and Improve Productivity 17@danielwalsh  Let’s Connect Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 daniel.walsh@nuCognitive.com https://www.meetup.com/Cynefin-and-Complexity http://bit.ly/walshslides
  18. 18. Disorder 18 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 The Cynefin Framework by D Snowden - Cognitive Edge. Used with permission. best practice Obvious Complicated good practice Complex emergent practice Chaotic novel practice Ordered Unordered Rigid constraints No degrees of freedom Governing constraints Tightly coupled Enabling constraints Loosely coupled Lacking constraints Not coupled act-sense-respond probe-sense-respond sense-analyze-respond sense-categorize-respond Standards Checklists Best-Known Methods Communities of Practice Expert Analysis Better-Known Methods Pattern Recognition Learn & Adapt Resilient Methods Radical Innovation Crisis Management Stabilizing Methods
  19. 19. 19 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;May2018 Adapted from A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making, D. Snowden & M. Boone, HBR, 2007. Obvious Complicated Complex Chaotic Disorder Nature Known knowns Familiar, certain, well-worn pathways Stable within rigid constraints Constraints and solutions are self-evident to all Known unknowns Ordered, predictable, forecast- able Constraints evident and enforceable Stable within governing constraints Susceptible to analysis of evidence Unknown unknowns Messy, coherent patterns discernible Partial, changing, resilient constraints Flux within areas of stableness Evidence supports contradictions Unknowable unknowns Transitory, temporary state – no time No evidence of any constraints Highly turbulent with no patterns Old certainties no longer apply Uncertain or confused Epistemological state not ontological Unarticulated differences Competing approaches Difficult to recognize Response Sense-Categorize-Respond Ensure sound processes in place Monitor for noncompliance and shift Test for complacency Protect mavericks and listen to cynics Sense-Analyze-Respond Identify experts Manage processes Monitor effectiveness of constraints Focus on exploitation not exploration Probe-Sense-Respond Multiple safe-to-fail probes Contradictions within heuristics Flex constraints to enable emergence Agility key to amplify and dampen Act-Sense-Respond Speed of authoritative response vital Follow and enforce heuristics Focus on constraints not solution Use the opportunity to innovate Probe-Sense-Respond Explore different perspectives Empathize & Reframe Inquire & investigate-dig deeper Partition & break into smaller pieces or different aspects Agree to disagree Prepare&Manage Policy Management Watch for outliers Usable processes Process support when needed Automate, but no automata Anonymous appeal – whistle blower Expert Analysis Right people, right process, right time Process engineering with feedback Diversity of experts in network Sound analytical practice Stand aside but monitor Scenario planning Sensor Networks Create time and space for reflection Human sensor networks operational Social Network Stimulation to create small-world networks Build and monitor for ‘requisite diversity’ Crisis & Innovation Mgt Establish heuristics & parables Human sensor networks Crews as crisis management teams Simulation games for key managers Multi-perspective dissent feedback Constructively Manage Disagreement Create time and space for disagreements Psychological safety Develop exemplars for domains Be mindful of dominant patterns Re-evaluate assumptions

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