For the last few years I have been fascinated with Clayton Christensen's theory of disruptive innovation and its application to business, politics, education, and insurgency models. What I find most interesting is that his theory, featured in both The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution provides a prescription for a small entrant with less resources to compete with and beat a large incumbent.
Deb recently forwarded the above picture (full size version) she found in a catalogue, titled International Voices. The piece of art really intrigued me as it was created using only dots. I contacted the artist, Sumalee Sampansakul, and inquired about the piece. Sumalee was incredibly gracious and explained that the work was created about a year ago for school as part of a stop motion piece!
I have had many emails about alternatives to the process I use to create mondaydots, and stopmotion looks like it could be a great (albeit more time consuming) alternative! Nice work Sumalee!
In my Gamble model post I argued that the military, like most large organizations is incredibly inert to change. I made the case that most organizations are unable to change because of an entrenched culture. Individuals that try to enter the organization with different thoughts and views usually get frustrated, leave, or quit because reward structures are rarely set up for innovation. The individuals that do move up share the values and beliefs of the current leadership and are promoted. This self perpetuating cycle doesn't allow for the needed influx of innovation to keep up with environmental change and the organization usually dies.
Don Sull has come up with another concept to explain why most large organizations go bad. He calls the concept "active inertia". In it's most simple form, active inertia is described as a company that is facing a disruptive shift in the market and instead of adapting to the change, the organization simply accelerates the activities that succeeded in the past. What is interesting is that Don argues that the things that made the organization successful in the past, actually create the pitfalls after the market disruption. Take an organization built like GM. GM was so focused on competing with Ford and Chrysler that they failed to see the signs that Toyota was causing a disruptive shift in the market. The way they framed the their "competition" blinded from the market shift and their real competitor.
I have been working on a couple collaboration mondaydot presentations with people all over the world. Some I will be able to share, some I can't. It has been incredible to see how the dots act like a universal visual language to explain problems, situations, and solutions. If you have an idea for dot model and would like to collaborate, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org - I do have a pretty demanding job, but I am able to work on projects over the weekend!
I have been collaborating with Deborah Volberg Pagnotta, CEO of Interfacet out of New York and she just posted her first dot presentation, elevator rules! Her consulting firm specializes in helping employers and employees play well together; including on-site and online training for employers on cultural diversity, workplace harassment, religious accommodation, and other vital topics. For employees, Interfacet specializes in workforce re-entry, communication skills, appropriate behavior, career guidance and how to find your path in today's complex world of work.
Using mondaydots to help explain cultural differences, religious differences, communication skills, and behavior has an incredible benefit: removing the prejudice between the dot and the audience creates a meta cognitive experience that helps to expose hidden predjudices. Great work Deb! Keep it up!
One of the most basic problems I see in business today is the misalignment of the organizational structure. The process of moving an organization toward a goal in a timely manner seems simple enough, yet I see so many business go lopsided and fall short of their goal.
The state of California is up against an interesting problem - How do you do more with less? I have always found the process of public policy decision making fascinating. The process is well modeled by Neal Mitchell's public policy triangle. It is simple: decision makers must decide which initiatives to fund in order to create the most value for their constituents. If you follow Steven Covey's example of starting with a defined end state: the goal is to achieve stasis through creating the most value for your constituents by funding the right initiatives, while keeping a balanced budget.
I have already received a few emails asking about the new mondaydotstips, tricks, downloads link in the side bar. So it is official! I am launching a separate blog for creators interested in using mondaydots. My favorite how tos and downloads so far are:
One of the major advantages of dots is that you can use them to simplify complex situations. I am currently studying the Iraq situation in great detail and I wanted to see if I could model the situation for someone who knows nothing about the situation in under 6 minutes. This is a living model so if you have suggestions of feedback please let me know; my intention (as should be the aim of any good presentation) is to start a dialogue.
Transcript from "iraq pullout debate" mondaydots model:
In order to understand the instability in Iraq, you must first understand the different players, their motives, and location of the country. So let's meet the players. You have the Sunnis from the West and the ShIia from the South East. These two groups have not got along for over 1400 years because of fundamental religious differences. Then you have the Kurds from the north who don't get along with either the Sunni or Shiia and the U.S. from halfway around the world trying to figure it all out!