on expertise, complexity, complicatedness, and what evolutionary leadership is for

just sharing two more thoughts from evolutionary leadership with gibrán rivera (aka “g”).

but before that, if you’re unfamiliar with the cynefin diagram, i would highly suggest getting familiar with it, both visually and intellectually.

cynefin diagram from wikipedia

ok, so first, this paraphrased thought from g:

people will buy expertise, but expertise doesn’t solve complex problems; only complicated ones.

this has become increasingly clear to me. and it is having two implications on my reality: the first is that it really makes me think about how to do that work i want to do (to gather my resource needs). what can i offer that genuinely helps people solve complicated problems for which my expertise is relevant? the second, is that it’s going to be increasingly important to be able to determine the difference between moving in the complex versus complicated domain. because it seems to me that operating in the complex realm as if it’s the complicated or simple/obvious realm is a setup for failure. it also has the possibility of just not being helpful, and, given my vision statement, that doesn’t work so well for me. i need to be actually supportive, not just making money or other resources. (i also see a lot people acting like they can solve complex problems and it’s really just a farce. it’s also getting easier to sniff out as i become more attuned to the cynefin worldview).

the second thought, also paraphrased thought from g:

evolutionary leadership is about a shift in thinking. it’s about learning how to plan and work in the complex realm as opposed to how most of us have been trained, which is thinking in the complicated realm.

by my understanding, that means less “thinking” and more “feeling.” it doesn’t mean, “don’t think” but it does mean “remember that you can use more sensory inputs than your brain, especially your gut/intuition.” it means that up front “planning” is actually (actually) less valuable than starting and then learning to sense my way through shifting sands. it doesn’t mean that cerebral planning is useless, but it does mean putting that tactic in its right place given all the other brilliance contained in my body and other people.

i could go on, but i’ll leave it here for now.

words / writing / post-processing
376w / 11min / 7min