Sleepless in Seattle

July 17, 2009

P7170020.JPG The flight out of Seattle today provided some spectacular views of Mount Rainier. It also features on the new Starbucks Mug of Seattle which I picked up in the airport. That means I now have three different Seattle mugs, all different styles for the collection. Its been a good week, starting with the Bellingham-Victoria trip and then moving through a series of sessions at Microsoft, The Gates Foundation and Boeing. It all culminated in a well attended one day seminar on complexity. Slides are here, and if any US reader is interested then I will repeat the seminar in Chicago, Boston and New York in mid August. We had a good range of people with different backgrounds. Michael recorded the event and so it may be podcast in the future. The first session saw me elaborate on the Handy S-Curve model as a way of understanding the paradigm shifts that we are going through. I’ve been thinking and working on this since I first posted on the subject, and my thinking had advanced. I plan to take the transcript and convert it into an article or possible a book chapter over the next week or so. They key point I made (and will continue to on all occasions) is that during periods of change you cannot rely on past practice, but instead have to invest in theory informed practice. Unfortunately for some (but not for the attendees at the seminar) this will mean using brains, reading the odd book and doing something more demanding that simply following some consultancy recipe book.

Overall in Seattle I was impressed by the willingness of the people I met to think differently, and to open up to complexity theory and aspects of narrative, in particular SenseMaker™ so I expect to be back later in the year. I can see why people settle there, the combination of water, mountains and forest is wonderful. The sun on the water as the plane banked out of the airport was particularly spectacular and I captured it below. I now head for the UK, landing Saturday and then leave for Singapore on Sunday so the sleepless of the title it a prediction!

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