6679 Slices
Medium 9781576754405

6. Immersion: The Best Way to Learn in the VUCA World

Johansen, Bob Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Simulation builds calluses.
—Doug Campbell, U.S. Army War College

Immersion experiences allow leaders to learn rapidly and viscerally. Immersion helps at every stage of the Foresight to Insight to Action Cycle. It provides a way to get there early before committing to go there at all.

Immersion can help leaders experience a possible world of the future to get a feeling for what it might be like. Immersion helps you see things from different points of view to provoke insight. Immersion helps you try out different ways of being so you can develop your own agility.

Immersion experiences can help leaders extract strategic insight from their experiences. Immersion is a deeper way to learn than is reading, listening, or even seeing. Leaders get to dive in and learn in a first-person way without playing for keeps until they are ready.

I use a wide definition of immersion that includes simulations of reality, alternate reality games, 3-D immersive environments, role-play simulations, reverse mentoring or shadowing, theater, ad hoc immersion experiences, and case studies. My interest is in low-risk learning environments that help improve agility and readiness.

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Medium 9781576754504

Taking the Next Step

Stahl-Wert, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781605090009

Build a Community of Heroes Around You

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

One great way to cement your learning is to build a community of people who share the lessons and point of view. If your colleagues, family, or friends also understand the idea of storytelling, then the ideas from this book can become part of your common language.

You can help one another craft new stories when one of you is struggling. What story are you telling? can become a question you ask each other. You can hold one another accountable to keep using these techniques.

There are two great ways to build a community of supporters. The first is admittedly self-serving on my part. You could buy copies of this book for the people with whom you want to share this concept. The common grounding of Jeff’s story and the smart cards can guide you as you help one another tell hero stories.

The second way is based on the truism “If you want to truly understand a subject, teach it.” Get your group of supporters together and teach them about the three stories and how to turn stories around. Go to www.be-the-hero.com for more resources, including additional uses for hero stories and lesson plans for teaching this material.

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Medium 9781576755969

CHAPTER TWO The Oslo Roller Coaster: A Mixed Model

Savir, Uri Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

STARTING IN 1991, CONDITIONS BECAME RIPE FOR PEACE between Israelis and Palestinians. The violent Palestinian uprising known as the First Intifada did not lead to political results for Palestinians and, with the election of an Israeli peace government under Prime Minister Rabin and the first Bush administration’s desire to turn the antiwar coalition against Iraq into a pro-peace coalition in the Middle East, the time seemed right to explore options for peace. Negotiations began in Madrid between an Israeli delegation and a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation that included Palestinian representatives of the occupied territories but not representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The talks were later extended to Washington, DC.

But by the end of 1992 those negotiations had stalled. A Norwegian couple, Terje Rod-Larsen (head of a Norwegian NGO dealing with humanitarian conditions in the West Bank and Gaza) and Mona Juul (assistant to Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Holst), decided to take a different approach. They worked with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin, a staunch peace pioneer, to initiate contact with an official PLO delegation, headed by one of the PLO’s senior leaders, Abu Ala. At the beginning of 1993 these talks quickly turned into a secret back-channel negotiation. Whereas the Palestinian representatives took very uncompromising positions during the formal Washington talks, the PLO delegation in Oslo, Norway, was pragmatic and realistic. Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres were fully in the picture but, although the US administration knew about the back channels, it expressed little hope or interest in them.28

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Medium 9781626563179

1 The Triumph of Imbalance

Mintzberg, Henry Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A SOCIETY OUT OF BALANCE, with power concentrated in a privileged elite, can be ripe for revolution. The American colonies by 1776 were ripe for revolution, as was Russia in the early twentieth century. So are many countries today, including some called democratic.

The trouble with revolution is that it usually replaces one form of imbalance with another. As some people among the disenfranchised gain power through force, they tend to carry their society toward some new extreme. Lenin promised the Russian people a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Instead, their revolution brought them a dictatorship of the Communist Party, exercised through the public sector. This new regime may have attended to certain collective needs, but at the expense of individual liberties. The United States went the other way, although it took two hundred years before tipping into imbalance.

The seeds of this imbalance were sown in the American Revolution. America did not invent democracy so much as give impetus to a particularly individualistic form of it. The people revolted against the authoritarian rule of the British monarchy and thus wrote “checks and balances” into their constitution. While these checked the power of government, by ensuring a certain balance across its executive, legislative, and judicial institutions, no such constitutional constraints checked the power of individuals and nonstate institutions.

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