ILA Podcast

Bramble Bushes in a Thicket

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dave Snowden & Mary Boone


Quotes From This Episode

  • “Complex adaptive systems are deeply entangled. And I think that’s the key metaphor for complexity. Everything is entangled with everything else…Juarrero famously said, ‘it’s like bramble bushes in a thicket.'”
  • “It’s so clear to me now, why people struggle so much with approaches to leadership, because most of them were developed for an ordered environment…they weren’t really developed for handling the complexity and the chaos.”
  • “If you know anything about the natural science, you know that connections matter more than things. So the work we’re doing on leadership development is all about changing connectivity. For leaders, and we don’t talk about qualities or competencies, we put them in situations where their connections constantly change and shift.”
  • “Please don’t confuse complexity with systems thinking. It’s completely different.”
  • “The biggest mistake of the last three decades has been to define where we want to be and try and close the gap.”
  • “The reality is, the most an individual is, is a catalyst or a nexus point in a complex series of interactions. Good leaders learn to manage that.”

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live.