A long time ago I learnt of a very useful tool called the wave analysis*. It uses the metaphor of the wave to explore elements of any practice. It’s a useful model because it helps categorise practices and the wave metaphor is dynamic and can be taken further to include undercurrents, rips and even whitewater!
On the crest of the wave is established norms – those practices that everyone uses; on the shore are dying practices, things we really should stop doing; out where the wave forms are emerging trends; and way out on the horizon are new edges. The thing about this dynamic metaphor is that one person’s emerging trend could be someone else’s dying practice!
This is one way of looking at the ‘edges of work’. In your business, what are the new edges, and emerging trends that you’d like to move into the realm of established norms? Some of the approaches that we’re excited about include practicing spontaneity, dialogue, serious play, open space technology, story and narrative, and bodystorming. These edges of work are designed to ready us for everyday challenges: dealing with complexity, thinking on our feet and navigating continuous change and uncertainty.