Trust is a safe to fail exercise

July 11, 2016

I just came off a conversation with our lawyer about contractual arrangements for the new centre. Last week I had conversations about trust with network members in the context of legal restrictions. In the last few years I’ve seen my trust in individuals betrayed on several occasions, some unintentional some malicious, some the result of a psychotic belief. I suspect that anyone else who has tried to do anything in their live has similar experiences. I’ve seen people get themselves screwed up in a possessive need to own all utilisation, rather than pursue a philosophy of abidance or simply to deploy the right people. I’ve had to rescue a few who should have involved be early but waited until rescue was called for too late and thus difficult, costly and unnecessary.

I’ve always said to people that delegation is linked to confidence in early escalation. If you hang on and try to solve things that are beyond you and don’t call in the expert then it is more likely that you will constantly find your actions being checked. Rescue may or may not be redemptive in nature, it may result in reconciliation or revenge; always best served cold and justice does tend to win out in the longer term so it can come to you without too much effort. The issue I think is what is the backstop, what do you have to do to make sure there are limits but not to assume that everything will always work out for the best. A Panglossian approach to human nature is as foolish as one that assumes Machiavellian intent in all relationships.

It is a bit like management really. If you can’t live with failure you shouldn’t manage people. Equally if you can’t accept an off breach of trust then you will never benefit from its lived experience.

Recent Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


< Prev

Organisation by Cynefin domain

I was driving Sonja back to Cape Town airport this morning after a very useful ...

More posts

Next >

The flight of the owl of Minerva

A rather eclectic series of thoughts make up this post. I spent an hour or ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram