Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Chaos Imperative

Finished January 5
The Chaos Imperative: how chance and disruption increase innovation, effectiveness and success by Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack

This book looks at how, despite what people often think, chaos can actually help you achieve success. The authors use lots of examples and take us through the processes they work through when consulting on this subject. These examples bring things to life in a way that theory cannot and shows how a variety of elements workings together can introduce this element of chaos in a way that brings new ways of thinking, new ideas, and new processes that move an organization forward.
The examples range from medieval history to video game development, showing that these ideas work across vastly different situations. There are several elements than can bring this controlled chaos into an organization. One is creating white space, time to step back and let people or groups stop working full-tilt at a problem so different connections can be made. This works the same way that solutions come to you in the shower, overnight, or while doing some unrelated activity. A second one is unusual suspects, which is bringing people with different experiences, different backgrounds, different methods, different ways of looking at things, into the mix. A third is planned serendipity, setting up a culture that encourages spontaneous interactions across the organization between all levels and all departments. This encourages the flow of new ideas.
A book that offers a lot to think about.

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