Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Notes: The Chaos Imperative

The Chaos Imperative by Ori Brafman

How Organised Chaos can lead to serendipity or unexpected positive results.


On the Five Rules of Chaos:

1) Avoid Lure of Data Measurements:

To make the right decisions, we need not just the data but the narrative to explain the situation. But Narrative takes time; Data does not. If facts cannot be presented as numerical data, they get ignored and lead to dire consequences.

2) It's Organised Chaos

The chaos need structure to work but the structure also need chaos to handle uncertainty. 

We need leaders who can tolerate uncertainty and imprecision. But we also need leaders who can maintain stability around the chaos.

3) Make White Space Productive

  • White space is useful when one already spend a lot of energy on a project and has a clear goal in mind. A team working against a deadline with no time to spare can benefit a lot from white space. 
  • Ask how much white space is needed. Ask people who work with you when they feel like they need time to think/brainstorm. 
  • Exercise improve productivity
  • Create mini white space. Ask a question, then ask everyone to spend one minute or twenty seconds to think about the ideas in silence.
4) Reach out to Unusual Suspect

Whenever we talk about 'they' -- someone from a different department --, it means we're talking about someone who needs to be involved in the conversation. After stopping the conversation, Lisa will contact the would-be suspect and invite him/her to the next meeting or even take the entire group over to the person's office. 

5) Organise Serendipity

Set the conditions to encourage people to have spontaneous interactions. 

The goal in encouraging serendipity is to create openness, encourage the flow of new ideas, and allow people to bump into one another.