Unfolding

Once we commit to a Step-by-Step process, it is useful to have a process for deciding the next step.

How does one decide the next step?

In The Nature of Order, Christopher Alexander describes a beautiful, iterative process for designing places: he says to approach the site, and ask “What is it’s greatest strength, and what is the most straightforward thing we can do to strengthen that strength? What is it’s biggest weakness, and what is the most straightforward thing we can do to address that weakness?” Then, do those things, and repeat the question. He describes how the patterns of life and of beauty arise naturally from that process.

We can take the same approach to company building. At each stage, we can ask the same questions, and iterate in the same manner. It gives a natural answer to the question of how to prioritize, that is applicable at many levels of scale, and by most people in the organization.

Therefore:

Regularly, at every level of scale (individual, group, company), ask the questions: “What are our biggest strengths, and what is the most straightforward thing we can do to strengthen them? And what are our biggest weaknesses, and what is the most straightforward thing to do to address weaknesses?”

Use the Unfolding process across many different areas of the organization: in considering overall strategy ( Step-by-Step ), in one’s own growth (Regular Self-Reflection), in feedback for others (Continuous Feedback), in determining whether to differentiate a role into a realm (Nested Realms), in determining when to create new roles (Roles and Responsibilities), etc.

Published May 5, 2019