RESPONSIVENESS, ADAPTIVE CAPACITY AND WHY CITIES SURVIVE & COMPANIES DIE: MUSIC IN PHASE SPACE EPISODE 22

WHY COMPANIES DIE AND CITIES SURVIVE

The natural tendency of the city’s enlarged community is to increase the intensity and speed up functions of all kinds, whether of speech, or crafts, or currency and exchange. That, in effect, means an eventual expansion by subdivision or, what’s the same thing, new development of such acts. And even though the town was built as a kind of defensive cover or shield for man, this defensive covering was bought at the cost of maximized struggle within the walls.

Games of war like those described by Herodotus started as ritual blood baths between the citizens. Rostrum, the courts of justice, and the economy all created the extreme appearance of competitive rivalry today dubbed “the rat race.” Indeed, it was in the middle of these irritations that man made his greatest discoveries as counter-irritants. Such innovations were self-extensions by intense toil, through which he intended to neutralize pain.

As a component of the legislative structure, the city reacts to new demands and irritations by resourceful new extensions, often in an attempt to maintain staying power, constancy, equilibrium and homeostasis.

Formed for protection, the city generated unexpectedly fierce intensities and new hybrid energies from the accelerated interplay of functions and knowledge. It burst into violence. The village alarm, followed by the city’s resistance, expanded into empire exhaustion and inertia. These three stages of disease and irritation syndrome

COMPANIES VS CITIES APPROACH

Sensitivity to the World Around Them

Awareness of Their Identity

Tolerance of New Ideas

Valuing People, Not Assets

Loosening Steering and Control

Organizing for Learning

ADAPTIVE CHALLENGES

WHEN COMPANIES PLATEAU

lieutenant your men are already dead

Doubling Down On Leader as Shaper Of Change

RESPONSE AND LEARNING

Designing for Continuous Adaptation: Plant Seeds, Harvest Volatility

Restructure as a Small-World Networks

  1. Create internal incubators & programs to unleash experiments & small investments without approval with recognition that the “business cases” may be unclear
  2. Identify “reality gaps” between informal credibility & formal authority. Consider firing senior execs with large gaps
  3. Identify & elevate important “nodes” from informal networks Create mechanisms for small cross-functional teams to emerge around new problems
  4. Have senior people spend more time with front-line workers than seems normal
  5. Push down decision making to lower levels in the organization when possible
  6. Regular assessments of fragility of the organization through lens of company and making it robust to shocks, that’s complexity theory in addition to financials, strategy, plans

EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION

Cultural Fringe as Free R&D

Mistakes and Improv as Fuel in a Crisis

Unlock Shadow Assets & Opportunities

Developing the Uncertainty Mindset

Organise for Human Needs

The Unknown Disrupts Your Intuitive Model

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