Patterns in Leading Change

The idea of patterns is not new, but what is new is the methods and models for change that are now available that leverage patterns. Behavior and organizational change can now be effectively managed with these tools. I believe these will spawn variants in the consulting business (offered with the following adjectives superior, new, all new, refined, proven etc). Below are the originals that I learnt from.

Fearless change 

is a classic work, this book has a comprehensive collection of  patterns and methods to manage change, and it is very people centric. It is a worthy investment for any organization that is serious about making change be it *mm, km, innovation, 6 sigma, operational excellence or whatever.

Behavior Grid

from the BJ Fogg research base is another solid tool. I strongly recommend using the grid and methods or the easier wizard which I am sure is also a product of the applying persuasive tech.

behaviour grid

Here is my spin to the behavior grid specifically for innovation, change should be viewed as change in parameter. Green, blue, purple, grey and black are just ways in which a parameter can change. When the TRIZ contradiction matrix or another method set says parameter change, use the above as guideline for the real change.


9 Books Read

My style of picking books is heavily influenced by my field of work, and on I also have a bizarre taste, and think I need self help books still. So past few months have seen some reasonable reading, and ranged across 4 themes of Complexity, Human Mind, Fiction offbeat and self help.

Complexity Reads

I had been introduced to the complexity world by Dave Snowden, I did attend one of his accreditation courses in Chennai last year and he had given me a bunch of references. And Nature of Technology figured on top.  This book changed my way of thinking about technology, succinct explanation of the complex trends that technology evolution follows.

Fits perfectly in sequence to Harnessing Complexity (Axelrod 2000).

Thinking on how the economy is created by technology, how re-domaining takes radical forms and how by pushing scientific limits by adding sub systems increases overall complexity is all very fascinating.

Axelrod in his primer Harnessing Complexity had cited opensource as the biggest complexity project in action and I wanted to dig more.

What better way to start than reading Linus’ autobiography. It was a fun read and I am more of a believer that laziness is the mother of invention.

Next book in line is Cathedral and the Bazaar

Cognition Reads

Sources of Power by Klein, it is not comparable with “Working Minds” which was the first book on CTA  (Cognitive Task Analysis) I read. This one is much lighter but serves as an intro into the area well.

I picked Man and His symbols at Pune airport on a return journey, purely as an accident. It was actually the last of Jung’s creations.

The significant move away from Freud by Jung and the development further by his followers were all explored here in a great introductory form. I see a great vacant conceptual space in using motifs as way of deriving archetypes and the stories that are cited are very fascinating, made me look more closely on karma/re-birth (still not completely convinced).

David Rock is a business author turning to cognition to write books like “5 strategies to tame information overload” type stuff. Mid way while me and my colleague were reading this book, we lost the book, did get the drift of the book. The metaphor of stage was used to explain the limits of our cognition, specifically pre-frontal cortex. Some strategies were powerful.

Making of Intelligence is a great take on 2 large ‘snake oil’ movements of this century, viz. IQ and Bell Curve.

Richardson rips apart both in a very systematic manner and provides more viable and plausible explanations of intelligence (naturally led from complexity thinking) based on a set of regulations as layers on above the other (genomic, cognitive and socio) and interacting.  Actually the entire series Maps of the Mind except for pure clinical stuff like pain science is awesome, Steven Rose does a great job being the series editor.

But for some reason you get the feeling that Richardson is one dis-gruntled professor with real strong opinions and would not take any unfounded expo on anything.

Fiction Reads

Not sure how I got interested in Murakami but was a great find.

The thin line between reality and imagination or for that matter realities of different people is explored in an original fiction form in The Wind up Bird Chronicle.

The setting of urban neighborhood and life, and war makes the narrative even more richer with many layers.

OFOCN is a long time overdue and possibly the hang over from naive thinking on anti-establishment from my college days. Nevertheless great read and a much better form than the movie as usual.

Self Help Reads

Becoming entrepreneur on sustainable business possibly ego less is my job utopia. I follow Dave’s blog at and got inspired by his thinking and self exposition ventures. Recommend the book only for the hedgehog model construction and the tools the book gives for reflection and self discovery. Last part was too preachy to really act on anything concrete. Looking forward to the workbook that Dave promised (hope it is upcoming). Case studies were awesome through out the book.

books, cognoise

CE References

I did not believe when Angelina said attending Dave’s Cognitive Edge Course is a thrilling process of intellectual expansion, after the first day I am starting to believe.

Anyway post day 1 gathered a bunch of references from Dave and went around to the largest book store chain in India to buy the lot that was close by.

Only to figure out that none of them were available, which means I have to buy them through the painstaking process of order, call, wait and call backs. 

The corner book store recommended is on the other side of the world as well.

Here is the list

  1. Harnessing Complexity: Organizational Implications of a Scientific Frontier by Robert Axelrod and Michael D. Cohen
  2. Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System by Alicia Juarrero
  3. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions by Gary Klein
  4. The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain by Terrence W. Deacon
  5. How Brains Make Up Their Minds by Walter J. Freeman
  6. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur
  7. Knowledge Assets: Securing Competitive Advantage in the Information Economy by Max H. Boisot
  8. The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities  by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner
  9. Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again by Andy Clark