They [CEO’s] simply expect unpredictability. For them, there is no “new normal.” This is why perpetual Beta is a constant theme here. It is a necessary perspective in dealing with increasing complexity.
This is a piece of interesting information I picked up on a blog about letting go. I found it interesting reading, especially when viewed wearing my evaluators hat. Increasingly, the programs we devise address problems which are complex. No longer are we willing to look at a small slice of a problem find one solution and address it (control, according to Jarche). Rather, all problems are interrelated; consequently, all solutions must also be interrelated (Jarche talks about letting go [of control]).
Every year, Corvallis Sister Cities-Gondar holds a walk for water. The idea being to raise funds to support the activities of the Sister Cities programs (in this case clean, potable, available water or planting trees in treeless areas). I asked the president of the organization if in their teaching activities they were talking about population control. He answered, sadly, No. Even though he could see the connection between clean water and population, that step hadn’t been taken in the educational efforts of the program. But providing funding for individual wells to provide clean water was. I see this as simplification of a complex problem. (Your point, Engle?) Right. Point.
All the above relates to program planning and developing a logic model for that program. This tries to remind folks to expect the unexpected in planning the program to address a problem and think about building the unexpected into the model. Yes, you might get clean water if you teach well digging skills; yet that clean water will reduce infant mortality. With the reduction of infant mortality, population reaching adulthood will increase. An increase in population will tax already limited resources (food, water, shelter–not to mention consumer resources); that leads back to the basic problem–no/little access to clean water. Teaching well drilling skills is only part of the problem; the rest of the problem is unexpected. By building that into the model, one can see the relation to the bigger picture; the relation to the system. Even if designing the program will only address that one small part (of the problem), identifying the unexpected, the unpredictable, will help the program planner see clearly.