Knowing better (2): How we know

How do we come to know better? There are a range of experiences (I hesitate to call them a hierarchy) that lead us from knowing better in our heads (as an abstract idea) to knowing something deeply as experienced truth (i.e. knowing better “in our knower,” to borrow a phrase). The non-hierarchy of skippable stages* would seem to go: Hearing…

Knowing better (1)

And I will show you a still more excellent way. Paul of Tarsus – First Letter to the Corinthians We often say (and more often think) that someone (and occasionally even we ourselves) should “know better.” How do we come to know?

Systems thinking: Peter Senge on the limits of learning from experience

The most powerful learning comes from direct experience. Indeed, we learn eating, crawling, walking and communicating through direct trial and error – through taking an action and seeing the consequences of that action; then taking a new and different action. But what happens if we can no longer observe the consequences of our actions? What happens if the primary consequences…

Organisational culture: specifying minimums, modelling maximums

A while ago a friend helpfully pointed out to me that laws and rules can only ever specify the minimum behaviour acceptable in a given context. The law is (we hope) the floor, beyond which things are not allowed to go. But you can’t legislate good behaviour – all the things that make a culture rich and life-giving. That comes…

Creeds and values

Creeds and value-statements can be useful ways to remind your team who you are, and how you work. They can help your team to develop a shared vocabulary and shared principles, which can be a powerful way to start shaping a shared culture. On Vox’s (excellent) Land of the Giants podcast, for example, host Jason Del Rey comments how often…

Podcast recommendation: Ben Horowitz on organisational culture vs product (a16z podcast)

Episode 503 of the a16z podcast, The Stories and Code of Culture Change, is a great overview of Horowitz’s book, You Are What You Do, and features some highly memorable (and hilariously violent) stories that illustrate what culture is, and some ways you might build it. Here he is on the relative importance of culture and product: Let’s not get…

The Toolkit – Part 1: Foundations (11) – transmission (mission to action)

This post is part of the working draft of the DriverlessCrocodile Toolkit (read more here). I’d love comments, links to resources related to the theme, and original contributions. We’ve worked from organisational Values (Foundations 1- 4) to Vision (Foundations 5-6) to Mission (Foundations 7-10). These make up the deep-level foundations for everything that you actually do: Values are the things…