"The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little." - Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow The human brain does certain things spectacularly well. Some things it does so well that it can actually present a … Continue reading Patterns Everywhere
The still slowly unfolding catastrophe of COVID-19 and the failures from some world leaders to adequately respond to early weak signals demonstrate a few crucial truths that any leader, facilitator, and innovator ought to understand: We are prone to thinking linearly, especially without a rudimentary understanding of complexity. Emergent phenomena within complex systems often scale … Continue reading COVID-19 Lessons for Leaders
I wish that I could ignore it, but anti-preparedness messaging about COVID-19 that suggests we shouldn't practice social distancing or cancel large gatherings during this pandemic has been bothering me a lot. The impression that I get from people pushing this content is that they have bought into an ideologically aligned narrative and are excited … Continue reading COVID-19: Who Exactly Are You Fighting For?
A culture is not a product. It is the emergent outcome of behaviors and attitudes, driven by underlying values and the processes, structures, systems, and habits that inform and are informed by them. Culture pivots on an axis of norms. It is a fickle, complex system- a climate that churns and is churned by sub-climates … Continue reading A few of the things that culture perhaps is and is not, at times.
Read chapters 1 & 2 Mr. Dinosaur fell down the front steps of the clinic and hit his head, dying. “What an unfortunate accident, eh?” Dr. Fox said to a passing Mrs. Cat, who pushed her tiny kitten in a stroller, “I should really do something about this dangerous staircase.” *** Mrs. Cat smiled warily … Continue reading The Fable of Dr. Fox – Chapter 3
This is in response to a Facebook post in which someone recalled a Senior NCO telling them "The Air Force doesn't care about people. It only cares about mission." I was just writing about this very thing. If we, as leaders of this organization, don't decide what our values are, our values will be informed … Continue reading In response to the sentiment “The Air Force Doesn’t Care about People”
Chapter 1 - Mrs. Hedgehog There once was an intelligent fox named Fox, who was also a medical professional. He was Dr. Fox. He wanted to help people. He opened a small medical clinic in the center of town, knowing for sure that people in his community would want to be treated by him. He … Continue reading The Fable of Dr. Fox – Chapters 1 & 2
I don't produce content just for content's sake. I have the luxury of writing only when I have something to say. For that reason, I wasn't planning on doing a themed end-of-year or decade blog post. But seeing all of these splendid retrospectives at the close of 2019 and the preceding decade got me wondering … Continue reading A Retrospective
I spend a lot of time advocating for Air Force units to use the communication/ collaboration tool Slack, because it's currently the best one out there, and as a result, I find myself in a lot of strained exchanges on the subject of Operational Security (OPSEC) (see my rant "OPSEC is bad" for what I think about … Continue reading Bring 35% of Yourself to Work
Whenever we talk about innovation in the Air Force, we inevitably end up stumbling upon that familiar old trope of "The Frozen Middle", which approximately describes the theory of "middle-status conformity", in which those mid-tier leaders with enough power to enable or impede innovation for the majority are incentivized to remain risk-averse by their long-earned … Continue reading Agitate: On Being the Unfrozen Middle