Who needs leaders?
Complexity science is slowly emerging (pardon the pun) as a force in how organisations are structured. The following video shows a game used to show the merits of leading in an adaptive way. I’ll provide a brief description of how to setup the game below, but the video explains it all if you would rather use that. Here are the rules:
- Find an empty space. 25 people would require a space roughly the size of half a tennis court.
- The space needs to be clearly marked so people know the boundaries.
- Ask people to position themselves at random within that area
- Also at random ask each person to pick two others within the group (do not indicate who you have picked)
- Your objective is to adjust your position so that you are equal distance from the two people you have chosen (remember, you’re not allowed to tell them who you have picked)
- You should move slowly and gradually, making the smallest movements required.
- Once you have achieved your objective, stand still.
- Once everyone has achieved their objective, the game is over.
How long do you think this will take to achieve?
Here is the video if you’d like to see the instructions visually.
If you’d like to learn more about how complexity science can benefit leadership, this experiment and more is outlined in Nick Obolensky’s book Complex Adaptive Leadership. Quote G11EXQ when you buy to get a 50% discount.
Written by Adi Gaskell from the CMI.