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06 2012

What OK Go Can Teach Us About Being a Change Agent

Syndicated from: Box of Crayons

There’s something insanely satisfying and beautiful about putting together a complex process and watching it all unfold they way it should. It takes courage, inspiration, commitment and vision… many of the qualities you find in change agents. The latest genius video from OK Go… reminded me of this epic one of theirs… which then reminded me of this beauty. (What did I miss? Any other great examples like this you know of?) And then there’s reality… I think why these are so wonderful is that we know they’re a million miles away from the reality of our messy, complex lives. In Getting to Maybe I first read of the distinction between simple (baking a cake), complicated (launching a space shuttle or putting together a Rube Goldberg machine) and complex (raising a child or a murmuration of starlings). The first two distinctions require rules, technique and project management. “Complexity” on the other hand doesn’t respond well to rules. (Hence “bureaucracy”). It works best when you’re clear on a limited number of core principles. (If you’re a starling, it might be 1. fly to the centre of the flock 2. fly as close to the other birds as possible and 3. don’t run into another bird.) There’s typically some tension and contradiction between the principles, so you have to weigh your choices to get the best result you can that honours all of the principles. Difficult. Complex. And what’s required to navigate the human-ness of our work and our lives. At Box of Crayons we use these five principles to show up the best we can. How about you? What are your guiding principles? And how are you doing at remembering them, embodying them, amping them up? And, finally how can you use them to create change – for you, for your organization and for others?        

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