Leadership and the New Science

Here are some notes & thoughts on reading Leadership and the New Science. Google has this book in it’s Books feature, so you can skim through it if you want to check it out before buying it or getting it from your local library.

Social Networking & Blogging
It’s amazing to me how much this book made me think of the organic, non-linear, unstructured blogosphere community! Here’s some quotes to tease your brain:

A living system is a network of processes in which every process contributes to all other processes. The entire network is engaged together in producing itself. p. 20.

There are no familiar ways to think about the levels of interconnectedness that seem to characterize the quantum universe. Instead of a lonely void, with isolated particles moving through it, space appears filled with connections. p. 45

Sound like social networking and Web 2.0 to you? Flickr, Del.icio.us, blogging, etc?

I have learned that great things are possible when we increase participation. I always want more people, from more diverse functions and places, to be there. I am always surprised by what people can create as they explore the webs of relation and caring that connect them. Finally, I no longer argue about what is real. We each construct reality, and when I become curious about this, I learn a great deal from other people. I expect them to see things differently from me, to surprise me. p. 46

Yes!! This is why I want others (in my field) blogging so I can learn from them!

We all have to learn how to support the workings of each other, to realize that intelligence is distributed and that it is our role to nourish others with truthful, meaningful information. Fed by such information, everyone can more capably deal with issues and dilemmas that appear in their area. p. 102

Yes, I have a drive to share information, and want others to also share so we can all learn together.

The organization then needs to support people to reflect on this unsettling or disconfirming information, providing them with the resources of time, colleagues, and reflection. p. 108

Do you have colleagues and time so that you can reflect on the influx of information you are bombarded with daily?

State Testing
Another thing that tickled my brain was the comments about measurement that made me think of implications for state testing and No Child Left Behind.

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (quantum physics). We can measure the particle aspect, or the wave aspect — either location or movement — but we can never measure both at the same time.p. 36

Once the observer chooses what to perceive, “the effect of perception is immediate and dramatic. All of the wave function representing the observed system collapases, excpet the one part, which actualizes into reality” (Zukav 1979, 79). p. 37.

Since fractals resist definitive assessment by familiar tools, they require a new approach to observation and measurement. What is important in a fractal landscape is to note not quantity but quality. How complex is the system? What are its distinguishing shapes? How do it’s patterns differ from those of other systems? In a fractal world, if we ignore qualitative factors and focus on quantitative measures, we doom ourselves only to frustration. p. 125.

Jazz
The 123VC workshop I’m involved in is also affectionately called “Jazz.” We probably need to think more deeply about how that metaphor truly captures the way the workshop evolved and is collaboratively presented. Listen to this….

Those who have used music metaphors to describe working together, especially jazz metaphors, are sensing the nature of this quantum world. This world demands that we be present together, and be willing to improvise. We agree on the melody, tempo, and key, and then we play. We listen carefully, we communicate constantly, and suddenly, there is music, possibilities beyond anything we imagined. The music comes from somewhere else, from a unified whole we have accessed among ourselves, a relationship that transcends our false sense of separateness. When the music appears, we can’t help but be amazed and grateful.

Maybe more thoughts later….

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