A couple of thoughts about Adapting.. inspired by my exchanges with friends and colleagues in the 1 Million Cups Organizers’ Summit today.
Rooted in my more than 20 years of learning, applying, and teaching concepts from the field of Complex Adaptive Systems.
..we humans encounter several related bu different kinds of situations. Some are simple or obvious- we all know what to do (like getting a flat tire fixed, perhaps). Some are complicated and technical, like fixing your transmission or getting a root canal. Experts might have slightly different approaches but it is still pretty certain they can fix it. But some stuff is complex… like the impact on small and startup businesses by a historic pandemic. No expert knows what it is exactly, or how to assure the desired outcome. Some stuff we experience is just catastrophic and chaotic.
..there is research and consensus on the optimal sequence of what to do in response to each type of situation or challenge. In the complex stuff, the best we can do is to try promising ideas, observe and learn from what happens, and keep the good ones and stop the ones that don’t work. (See Snowden and Boone HBR 2007).
..as entrepreneurs and as 1MC organizers (an entrepreneurial effort in itself), we know things aren’t always going to go according to plan. Is there stuff we can learn that will help? How do my feelings about what happened impact my ability to respond? Do I have the courage and curiosity to keep exploring options even though I know some will fail?
..as we all journey on in this… can we be Flexible enough to change? Can we Adopt good ideas from others and Adapt to what is happening around us- even if whatever it is is unclear? Can we be Resilient- absorbing the impact of unwanted circumstances and still keep moving ahead?
We can help entrepreneurs and our 1MC community… by hearing all voices…sharing promising ideas, failures and successes… supporting each other…caring for and about each other.
Just my 99 cents worth for now.
What do others think?
See you soon,