surfing the edge of chaos

is an excellent book by Richard Pascale, Mark Millemann, and Linda Gioja (isbn 0-609-80883-4). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
As a general rule, adults are much more likely to act their way into a new way of thinking than to think their way into a new way of acting.
Recent study of evolution, both in the natural world and in computer based complex systems, has demonstrated the surprising result that the presence of parasites in a system accelerates evolution dramatically.
The average corporation lives only half as long as the average human being.
The defining feature of a complex adaptive system is its ability to learn.
As the process unfolded, employees repeatedly asked Shapiro to give a more definitive shape to his "vision". He refused to do so. "It will only get in the way," he countered. "People will take it too seriously."
Because we thought our job was to persuade, too often we forgot to listen.
How a system connects with its "external" world is also a key source of that system's health.
Feedback is the means by which a system talks to itself.
Bacteria require three years to circumvent the latest antibiotic; viruses typically outmaneuver vaccines within a year.
Critical to the impact of the [National Training Center] experience is a cadre of 600 instructors, one of whom is assigned to every person with leadership or supervisory responsibilities. These "observers/controllers," as they are called, shadow their counterparts through day after twenty-hour day of intense activity, provide personal coaching, and facilitate a team debriefing called an After Action Review (AAR).
If you awaken with sore muscles, how you feel depends a lot on whether you think you're getting the flu or you believe you are reaping the benefits of a good workout the day before.

1 comment:

  1. Liked it. Presently reading this book. Hope to exchange later.