Friday, December 22, 2006

Shedding Old Rules

Two quotes to set the stage for strategic thinking for 2007.

The first quote on the difficulty in letting go from The Accelerating Organization: Embracing the Human Face of Change by Arun Maira and Peter Scott-Morgan ...

"At the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, mathematicians and scientists in physics, chemistry, biology, economics and computer science look at the mechanisms and principles whereby organisms and other complex systems change and learn. One principle of survival they've observed is continuous shedding of operating rules that cease to be relevant because of changing environmental conditions.

They found that complex systems, whether biological organisms or computer systems, can hold only a small number of rules in operation at anytime. So they must have an ability to shed old rules to make room for the new. Shedding becomes more complicated in systems involving human beings, because their sense of self-worth is often attached to many old rules."

The second quote on laying the foundation for new ideas from Where Do New Ideas Come From? Maximize the Differences by Nicholas Negroponte, Director, M.I.T. Media Lab ...

"The best way to guarantee a steady stream of new ideas is to make sure that each person in your organization is as different as possible from the others. Under these conditions, and only under these conditions, will people maintain varied perspectives and demonstrate their knowledge in different ways. There will be a lot of misunderstanding – which is frequently not misunderstanding at all, but the root of a new idea."

Wishing you a Happy New Year!