Blogging about networks, collaboration and leadership

The World as Network Our world is organized on the principle of networks. Everywhere we look, networks can be discovered. It was the emerging new science of ecology in the early 20th century which observed that species were linked together through their feeding relations with each other (aka food chains). Subsequently, it was understood that these links are an integral part of a network known as the food web which connects all species in an eco-system with one another. This food web acts as a a kind of natural “circular economy” in which even the waste of one species is [...]

From time immemorial, leadership has been associated with learning. Put simply, leaders are always learning.  The caliber of any leader is revealed in the way they deal with uncertainty and/or novel situations. Especially during these moments, leaders must learn as much as possible about the environment which they are encountering. Their capacity to learn and adapt is closely correlated to the quality of their ability to lead. "Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other."                                                   [...]

Through the impact of the digital revolution, change is occurring with increasing speed in all aspects of both our business and personal milieus. Why would these accelerated developments not have an impact on how business strategy is approached as well? Digital transformation has indeed changed the classical paradigm of strategy. Like everything else in the digital age, the world of strategy is in a state of disruption. This shift is particularly noticeable to me due to my hands-on-experience working for two of the best known strategy consultants in the world. During those years, I was applying what I had learned [...]

Any promising change initiative begins with identifying the projects focus and clarifying its goals.  Digital transformation is so all-encompassing that companies often find it difficult to adhere to these fundamental best practice principles for change management initiatives.  Part of the dilemma is that various misconceptions prevail about digital transformation:  What exactly is it? How and when can it be achieved?  Diverse views on the matter crop up and inevitably lead to a lack of alignment across the organization. Ensemble Enabler has developed a special modular experience consisting of 6 core topics to support organizations to address the digital transformation process at [...]

Inspiration from scholars in the field Ensemble Enabler is continually exploring new approaches to capture the wisdom of the crowd to support strategic initiatives, foster creativity and encourage innovation. Our experience has demonstrated that a key factor in this process is the intentional use of dialogue and conversation. A broad spectrum of scholars have explored the conceptual underpinnings which make Peer-to-Peer Networking an effective process. We would like to share a compact selection of authors who have informed our thinking on the value and impact of its use in organizations: Lifelong Learning through conversations Coaching Ourselves© is a process for [...]

Since the onset of the Corona virus, we have all experienced a rapid change in our daily lives and work. Both our sensibilities and priorities have shifted during our own current personal journeys. At the same time, we are all coping with the impact of the crisis in every aspect of our lives. The emotional nature of current blog postings, chats during webinars and zoom calls with friends and colleagues – just to name a few examples - reveal a deep need to collectively reflect upon how we are feeling in this moment and to identify ways to grapple with [...]

Companies are utilizing novel approaches to deal with complex issues. Such as an energy company aspiring to improve internal communications, an organization dealing with an aging workforce or a pharmaceutical company targeting to create a learning environment within its marketing department. All of the above mentioned issues are multi-facetted. Communication within a company includes top-down and cross-functional communication, bottom-up and inter-departmental communication, performance reviews and feedback, etc. – not to mention the myriad of instruments available to support this communication. Most attempts to deal with such issues revolve around tried and true methods of analysis. A team is given the [...]

In times of crisis and rapid change, exploring new ways to foster group learning is fundamental. Research has determined that o ne of the most effective ways to promote learning takes place in small groups.  A  study from Eastern Michigan University  confirms this assertion. It investigated different learning methods for students who were learning statistics.  The study determined that students improved their scores through collaborative learning (learning in small groups) by up to 23 points on tests based on a scoring system from 0 to 100 as compared with with traditional lecture learning. Collaborative learning is acknowledged to work extremely well [...]

Organizations need to create work environments which provide employees with psychological safety  It is becoming increasingly clear that mastering digital disruption is primarily an organizational culture issue not a technology issue.  The results of a 4 year study by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Deloitte clearly spells this out. Digital maturity is the new paradigm which will increasingly be the focus of organizations' efforts to master digital disruption.  A "fearless culture" is the first step to digital maturity. DIGITAL MATURITY is defined as "an organization's ability to compete effectively by taking advantage of opportunities enabled by technological infrastructure, both [...]

Feedback loops are often an untapped resource to enhance creativity and innovation in companies. Astute organizations recognize the value and use of feedback loops to stimulate learning and innovation at all levels. Why? Feedback loops lay down the foundation for an organizational mindset which is favorable for scalable learning and innovation throughout the organization. Through the cultivation of an environment which intentionally promotes the use of feedback loops, an organization benefits from the wisdom of employees which is harvested to reap productive insights for the business. Definition of Feedback: Information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a [...]

In today’s world, just about everyone has a smart phone and therefore the possibility of connecting with others in a myriad of creative ways. Tech companies offer all kinds of collaborative software including real time messaging, file sharing, video meetings, etc. Without a doubt, all of these features have an impact on the culture of an organization. However, most of these software offerings are targeted for individual or team use. What is needed to support an organization’s culture is a digital offering which inhabits the same dimension where culture lives, one which is a systemic digital offering. This was the [...]

Focus on Culture! In his initial run for President, Bill Clinton is famous for reducing his campaign message to campaign staff to one simple sentence: "It's the economy stupid!"  During his presidential campaign, there were many competing issues to engage with such as foreign affairs (the first Iraq war had just ended and the Soviet Union had just been dissolved), healthcare, trade policy, attacks on his character - to name only a few.  However, he told his campaign staff that the only issue which really mattered was the economy. With the support of this fixated focus , he was able [...]

We have encountered the enemy and the enemy is us A four year research project conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte has just come to an end.  For a period of over four years, more than 16.000 people were surveyed about their experience with digital disruption and the adequacy of their organization's response. The results are in. "The true challenge of mastering digital disruption (and a major part of the solution) is enabling people.   Companies can effectively navigate the challenges of digital disruption by undertaking initiatives which are far more organizational and managerial than technical." Source: [...]

More than 100 different topics offered  Ensemble Enabler is proud to be a certified provider for CoachingOurselves© – the company which was inspired by Professor Henry Mintzberg of McGill University (Montreal). This peer coaching concept was launched in 2007. Over the years, CoachingOurselves© has developed an extensive library of content for use in peer coaching sessions in conjunction with world renowned experts and business leaders in their fields. For instance, Professor Edgar Schein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has written modules on leadership and organizational culture.  What to do if your topic is not found in the CoachingOurselves© Library? [...]

How does Peer-to-Peer Networking support the Five Disciplines? The Five Disciplines of the Learning Organization include: Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Team Learning, Shared Vision, and Systems Thinking. The discussion which follows demonstrates how Peer-to-Peer Learning supports all five of these disciplines. Discipline 1 - Personal Mastery Personal Mastery describes the strength of people to be proactive and keep on learning in order to continuously achieve results which are important for them. The two key factors of this discipline are: 1. Defining what is important to us and 2. Being able to see the current reality as it is. The essence [...]



The 4 Enabling Disciplines

Dexterity
Dynamism
Discourse
Discovery