• gvanpatter

Partial Pictures

Updated: Feb 28


Part 1


Happy new year Humantific readers. With many bumps in the 2021 road behind collective us we are happy to still be here on planet earth and looking forward to a constructive, productive new year. Optimistic hugs to our readers, friends and collaborators as we turn the corner into new adventures.


This week I wanted to share a few brief lessons learned, observations that keep popping up as we interact in many conversations on and off line.


We certainly recognize that many of our readers here are leaders of innovation and change in organizations. Many are leader-doers rather than leader-delegators. Perhaps if I frame these issues up as rabbitt holes our readers, working on the front lines in the real world, might find that useful. Partial pictures was another possible analogy option. Thinking in mid-air, perhaps I could combine both…:-)


In beginning to write these issues out I see that perhaps its best to make this into a bite-sized 3 part series


Partial Picture / Rabbit Hole #1

Assuming Decision Making is Innovation


As an important subject that relates to organizational innovation, decision making has vast amounts of literature historical and contemporary, as well as many followers/ experts/ advocates. In many traditional organizations the force, energy and prestige around decision making is often significant. Instead of talking about innovation leaders there is a lot of talk about decision makers.


One of the most frequent misunderstandings that we see in the real world is equating decision making with problem solving (two different things), decision making with innovation (two different things), and decision making with organizational changemaking (two different things).


We often see organizations down paths that assume improving and increasing decision making is equivalent to innovation capacity building. The magic bullet is assumed to be adding more and more convergent thinking (that's what decision making is). Of course it's a feel good strategy for convergent thinkers, but often not aligned with stated organizational objectives or the VUCA related challenges facing the organization.


Transcending Up & Out


Let’s back up & out of that rabbit hole: Convergent thinking is only one dimension of innovation, problem solving, changemaking and not the sum-total of, not the primary dimension of, not the most valuable dimension of.


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