Enabling Constraint - Installment 1 . . .
I recently had a wonderful phone conversation with Jason. I listen to Jacob Collier as I write this and I gotta say: Life is good!
Jason is a former high powered Vice President of Continuous Improvement and Project Management, DTE Energy’s Director of Program Management and Continuous Improvement, and worked in corporate strategy, business development, and operations roles at General Motors. These days he is really into kumu maps and leveraging generativity.
We started talking about the power of ‘enabling constraint’ - the idea that people actually have more freedom to be more creative and improvisational - not less - when the container, the frame, the structure is clear. Jazz quintets are like that! Jason hipped me to the Cynefin (pronounce /kəˈnɛvɪn/ kuh-NEV-in) framework , a tool he uses for adaptive problem-solving. It’s a concept also explored by Ulrich and Probst in 1995.
It reminded me of Agreement & Certainty Matrix from Liberating Structures - so I asked Jason if he was familiar with Henry and Keith’s work. As we started talking about 1-2-4-Alls and Troika Consulting - before we knew it - together we had designed an outline for his next conference event: