A few years ago, I started writing a book. Its working title is Raising Our Game – Embracing Complexity Awareness. The purpose of this book is to describe how a better understanding of complexity theory would help leaders set goals, design and implement strategies and achieve results. But the intent of the book is to provide encouragement for us as individuals, groups and society to “raise our game”. By this, I mean taking us to a next level of human performance.
The original draft of Raising Our Game was a combination of my understanding of complexity, and how I had applied these ideas as a professional management consultant. Most of these applications had been through development of methodologies which related especially to complex systems change.
As I discussed this draft with a few friends and colleagues, I realized that I could do a better job of explaining complexity. This led me to begin writing a monograph called Complexity Itself. This in turn led me into a year of reading books and articles about complexity, systems, science and eventually, philosophy. Somewhat unwittingly, I suppose I evolved into something of an academic reader who:
- recognizes the author’s purpose and possible bias.
- differentiates between facts and author’s opinions.
- challenges questionable assumptions and unsupported claims.
- thinks about possible consequences of the author’s claims.
- integrates information across multiple sources.
- identifies rival hypotheses, possible contradictions and competing views.
- evaluates evidence and draws conclusions instead of simply accepting what the author says.
Reading is fun, but it’s not raising our game
So, here I sit today as a guy with unpublished drafts, and a large collection of reading materials related to complexity. Perhaps more important, I have a bunch of ideas which are considerably more advanced than they were when I started “reading”. I think that Raising Our Game is a mantra that I should take more to heart.
Since I have obviously failed to publish a book, perhaps I can start and succeed by publishing a web site about complexity. Here it is.