The following four areas now describe how doing is different in the context of the Great Remix.
Employ Systems Dynamics
(From conductor to mix master)
As the systems of our civilization demonstrate instability and failure more frequently, openings are created for previously unexpected initiatives to emerge. We can’t know when or how but rather must work to condition the emergence of those initiatives.
Insights from the domains of systems science point to how systems work, providing essential knowledge into how to transform and operate within the systems we have. Leaders now require competencies more like those of a a mix master DJ as opposed to those of a conductor. While composers work with their orchestra to perform predetermined music, a mix master DJ comes to a room with an assortment of songs and sounds which they mix together according to the energy of the audience and the experience they hope to happen.
There are already many bodies of work in this area and the increasing rate of new works being published indicates the growing interest in this topic. Some particularly notable works include:
- Stafford Beer, The Heart of Enterprise, 1995
- Donella H. Meadows, Places to Intervene in a System, 1997
- R. Brian Stanfield, Courage to Lead, 2000
- Margaret Wheatley & Deborah Frieze, Lifecycle of Emergence, 2006
- Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, Michael Patton, Getting to Maybe, 2007
Distill to Essential Elements
(From buildings to bricks.)
Big things have tremendous momentum and aren’t easily remixed with other things. This manifests as resistance to change and slows the pace of evolution. It also sets the stage for more spectacular failures. Enabling the capacity to essentially remix our society into a system compatible with the common goal requires that things be re-mixable. This means breaking things back down into their essential elements – deconstructing their existing configurations – to reuse the valuable pieces in ways that fit the new context. Houses can’t be remixed very well, but bricks can.
In this context organizations are bundles of people and assets that organize around a purpose, work towards a set of goals, deliver an offering (product or service), and develop a set of core competencies. Similarly, people are grounded in purpose, driven by passion, accumulate experiences, knowledge and connections, and develop competencies and insights. The capacity to remix elemental components of organizations and individuals directly relates to our potential in the Great Remix.
Dynamic Organization in Individual Context
(From phonebook to crystal ball)
Context is essential for people to make meaningful connections to each other and to other knowledge. Humans are extraordinary at dealing with context and substantially limited without it. Take language for example: phrases or statements out of context can be taken to mean very different things – a reality made abundantly clear by sensationalist media.
Through the context lens, information is best when:
- presented with the context it came from
- received in the configuration most relevant to the context of the recipient
- exchanged through the point where both contexts converge.
In venturing for example, imagine if rather than relying on an individual mentor, limited by their own individual context, the venturer was able to access the essential insights, experiences, and connections of a 1,000 entrepreneurs filtered according to the context of their individual and immediate situation. That would be like moving from phonebook to crystal ball.
Allying the Frontiers
(From discrete domains to friends on the frontiers.)
Given the purpose of quickening the evolution of our civilization toward the common goal, it is imperative that we foster the convergence and interaction of those that are taking initiative on the frontiers across all related domains. In this context we see the commonality between many discrete domains such as technology, science, mathematics and philosophy.
Connecting those with purpose primacy related to the common goal across all domains would be a high-leverage opportunity. Doing so could better orient and leverage all activity working toward the common goal regardless of domain.