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Episode 039 Company Culture: An Emergent And Evolving Phenomenon

In this episode, Angie interviews Sonja Blignaut who is a narrative practitioner, change catalyst, and founder of a niche consultancy called More Beyond. Sonja shares how using a complexity thinking approach to study and influence company culture can help leaders avoid best practice recipes and reach positive organizational change.

Show Notes 

Quotes from this episode:

“The moment we think we know the answer, or even the question, we close down our options to explore and we can no longer find the things that we didn’t know to look for.” - Sonja Blignaut

“Keep a couple of pet mavericks around.” - Dave Snowden

“Hold your plans and outcomes very lightly. Focus on having a clear direction a purpose but not alignment to a specific goal.”- Sonja Blignaut

“In complexity, context is everything, there are no recipes. You really need to understand what the emergent contextual ideas are, and not just come in and apply your best practice recipes.” - Sonja Blignaut

“I believe that culture emerges. It’s not a thing, but an emergent property of a complex adaptive system.” - Sonja Blignaut

“We all have meaning-making skills and we do that through narratives.” - Sonja Blignaut

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” - Mark Twain

“Always assume a posture of curiousity or not knowing. Be curious. Question assumptions.” - Sonja Blignaut

“Realize, that in complexity, diversity really matters. So, I surround myself with people who have radically different perspective than I do.” - Sonja Blignaut

“Think anew and act anew.” - Abraham Lincoln


Resources from this episode:

"A Leader's Framework for Decision Making" by Dave Snowden




Episode 005 Culture & Human Systems at Work

Stacy & Angie imagine the workplace as a complex living system, muse on how information travels through networks, and get meta about culture and change. Cover artwork for this week's episode: "Faberge Fractal" by Tom Beddard,, @subblue

Show Notes

Quotes from this episode:

"Complexity is inevitable and I think it's what gives beauty to our greatest natural systems" - Stacy Hale

"By understanding complexity theory we give credence to the idea that small actions can create big change." - Stacy Hale

“Nature is not stagnant, but alive and dynamic” - Rousseau

“All human interaction is one social network.” - Geoffrey West

"Having a system thinking lens allows us to think outside of ourselves and see how someone else's interactions affect us." - Angie Cross