Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars How and why organizations need to create "little pockets of contained chaos" within which to generate disruptive innovations, 14 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation, Effectiveness, and Success (Hardcover)
According to Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack, one of the most valuable lessons to be learned from the Black Death plague in the 14th century is that its destructive power "turned out to be the crucible in which the modern Western world was forged...Chaos creates white space, which in turn allows unusual suspects [i.e. iconoclasts, outliers, mavericks, oddballs, etc.] to sweep in. The result is a kind of organized serendipity, or what [they] call "contained chaos." Organizations need to have a workplace environment within which there is a constant flow of "unusual ideas," ideas that threaten what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom."

The U.S. Army offers an excellent case in point. Like the medieval Church, it is "a massive bureaucracy with a power, entrenched, values-driven culture and a clear sense of purpose. The danger for an organization like is [and for any other] is that it can become too structured. It can eliminate all white space. Unusual suspects are given no voice, and new ideas are stifled. The overhanging canopy of an organization's structure can sometimes block out too much sunlight to allow new ideas to grow."

What to do?

1. Create white spaces for "contained chaos"
2. Insert unusual suspects in those spaces
3. Allow "organized serendipity" to occur

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Brafman and Pollack's coverage.

Except where indicated, the prefix is "How and Why" (H&W)

o How and why the Black Death "turned out to be the crucible in which the modern world was forged"
o H&W Albert Einstein was able to develop his breakthrough theories
o The defining characteristics of "contained chaos," "unusual suspects," and "organized serendipity"
o How to recognize and support "unusual suspects"
o H&W "contained chaos" can be beneficial to disruptive innovation
o Ditto "unusual subjects" and "organized serendipity"
o How to create or manage "contained chaos" and "organized serendipity"
o How to recognize and support "unusual suspects"
o Why they may also need to be defended
o H&W the human brain is a "problem-solving machine"
o Why "contained chaos" benefits from profitable ongoing operations (i.e. the status quo)
o Why "contained chaos" and the status quo tend to be incompatible
o The significance of the coconut in the ecosphere
o The unique difficulties of creating "contained chaos" within a military service
o H&W "contained chaos," "unusual suspects," and "organized serendipity" can help improve the quality of [begin italics] learning [end italics] in public schools

It is important to keep in mind, as Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack suggest in the final chapter, the five rules they recommend "apply across groups and organizations, whether you're trying to change a multimillion-member organization like the military, attempting to transform a start-up, or hoping to make a difference in a school system. In fact, my own opinion is that these five rules are relevant to any organization, whatever its size and nature may be. They are: Avoid the seductive lure of data and measurements; Remember, it's called [begin italics] organized chaos [end italics]; Make white space productive [not merely "interesting]; Embrace unusual suspect s; and finally, Organize serendipity.

"In order to make our organizations more nimble, resilient, responsive, and innovative - in order to [begin italics] survive [end italics] - we have to accept chaos into our lives, even invite it"...and then take full advantage of all the opportunities it will create to accelerate personal growth and professional development for everyone in the given enterprise.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £9.26
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Dallas, Texas

Top Reviewer Ranking: 118