Learning to live with complexity

We are up against it, aren’t we?

The world moves so fast, changes so much, and disrupts so often, that most of our instincts and many of our strategies are just plain wrong.

We are obliged to manage a contraction.  

On the one hand we want to stay steady, grounded, true to mission, maximizing as much continuity as we can.

On the other, we want to create new ideas and behaviors, to spot disruption and reply in kind.  

Niether of these is easy.  Doing them together is really, really hard.  

In a new essay, Stanford’s brilliant Ed Batista gives a glimpse of how a coach can help.  It’s a wonderful piece reinventing coaching in order to reinvent the corporation.

See read the essay, click here

Photo acknowledgment: Thanks to D’Arcy Norman for the magnificent photo which appears in Batista’s post.  

1 thought on “Learning to live with complexity

  1. Ed Batista

    Thanks, Grant–that’s high praise, and I truly appreciate it.

    I also love the framing of coaching as a process that must both grounded AND disruptive, which speaks to the essence of my post.

    I read “grounded” as another way of thinking about “normal,” i.e. expressing ourselves in ways that fit within established expectations and behavioral boundaries.

    If I’m not grounded as a coach, then I’m not going to gain any traction. If I don’t see my clients as grounded, then I’m going to pathologize them (and intervene on that basis). If I don’t see the surrounding organizational culture as grounded, then I’m going to blame it (and/or collude with my client in blaming it) for any perceived problems.

    And yet at the same time, if I’m insufficiently disruptive as a coach, if I don’t disrupt (in some way) both my client’s reality and the organizational reality, then I’m not serving a meaningful purpose.

    The difficult-but-rewarding challenge is finding the balance between those two poles.

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