OD63: Contemplating Complexity 🕸

Last call: The Sense & Change Network, Routines and Rituals, Certainty Artefacts, EODF Book Club, Effective Strategy Course, Symbiosis in Organizations, New Ways of Visualizing Inter-connections

The Sense & Change Network

You can still apply to join till the end of May.
We’re 48 professionals with diverse backgrounds in the network already, looking forward to connecting and co-creating.

See details about the network in OD62 and hope you’ll join us!
Next round of applications will be open in August.

Apply to join


Routines and Rituals

What’s the connection between routines and rituals?
Here’s an insightful perspective from Tatiana Figueiredo on the Business of Community blog:

Rituals add intention, creativity and meaning while routines are about doing the same thing over and over. How can you add more rituals to your community?

“Routines are concrete repetitive actions that help us develop skills while creating continuity and order.” Esther Perel

“Rituals are routines elevated by creativity, driven by intention, and imbued with meaning.” Esther Perel

Our take:

  • One of the reflections while reading this piece on routines and rituals was around how a ritual becomes a routine and about how a routine can become a ritual

  • It’s also interesting to continue exploring the mix of creativity, intention and meaning. If this is an alchemical trio that can transform routines into rituals, would it also transform other things around us into something else?

  • In practice - are routines becoming rituals or are rituals becoming routines in the organizations or communities around you? Why?

3 min read

Certainty Artefacts

Thea Snow writes about certainty artefacts, the constructs we create to make sense of the world: (emphasis ours)

While we want to discourage what Sonja Blignaut has called “Obsessive Certainty Disorder”, what Genevieve appeared to be suggesting is that there is a role for leaders to play in helping people to feel grounded and safe despite this uncertainty — to help qualm “our existential angst.

(…) What leaders are doing is not actually creating certainty — they are creating certainty artefacts — human constructs (often unconscious) which are designed to offer a sense of predictability and legibility despite the fact that the world is complex and there is, in fact, very little certainty at all.

(…) Procedural certainty artefactsThese are artefacts that are often used at the level of an organisation or entity. They are the processes and practices we create to give ourselves a sense of structure and clarity. Examples are organisational five-year plans, or even annual budgets. Despite the fact that we all know that five-year plans almost never go to plan, and budgets often blow out significantly, we like to create these constructs because they help us feel more control and agency — a sense that we know what is going to happen, which means we can organise ourselves accordingly.

However, certainty artefacts are also very unhelpful when we forget, as we tend to do, that they are just that — constructs. When certainty artefacts are confused with reality, when we forget to constantly interrogate them, we end up in a place where we find ourselves believing them to be true. This leads to an unhelpful avoidance of our complex reality, rather than a critical engagement with it.

Our take:

  • Naming some of the constructs used in organizations as ”certainty artefacts” might be useful in differentiating them from other constructs with different purposes

  • Reflecting on Thea’s ideas and examples made us ask ourselves: what are the certainty artefacts that we are using in our practice? How often do we revisit them?

  • Can you identify certainty artefacts in your organization? Is this useful?

6 min read


EODF’s June Book Club: Agile Culture Code

Bülent is co-hosting the discussion about the Agile Culture Code: A guide to organizational agility book with special guest Dr. Stefanie Puckett, the author.

When? June 1st, 5:00-6:30pm (free to attend)

Sign up here

Introduction to Effective Strategy

Another learning experience that we’re looking forward to is hosted by the Complexity University. The 3 workshops will focus on “Strategy in Action”- what you actually do in response to a complex challenge.

When? May 24th, 26th and 28th (paid, each workshop - 90 minutes)

Sign up here


How much symbiosis is present in your organization?


New Ways of Visualizing Inter-connections

For this advanced section of the newsletter, we invite you to watch this 42 minute video with Prof. Albert-László Barabási showcasing the work of the Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR).

Our take:

  • We were most fascinated by how Manhattan was portrayed like a lung that is breathing in and out and by how the global world of art is visualized

  • Thank to this video, we imagined how information in organizations or business ecosystems could be visualized and printed in 3D. Hope you’ll enjoy watching!

Thanks for reading

We hope you found something useful in this edition. See you again in two weeks!

This newsletter is curated by Raluca and Bülent Duagi, the Sense & Change team.

As Strategy & Organization professionals, we're partnering with visionary Tech companies to help them address their most complex strategic & organizational challenges.

Our professional mission and intended legacy is:

Creating and sharing sustainable knowledge that helps people deal with the complex challenges they (will) face.