Antifragility Panel/Webinar: Practice Beyond the Rhetoric!

In his book “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder”, Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s (@nntaleb) introduced the concept of antifragility.

Appreciating this concept involves initially recognizing it and then translating it into practice!

First, Taleb distinguishes between the fragile, robust, and antifragile: “the fragile wants tranquility, the antifragile grows from disorder, and the robust doesn’t care too much.”

Next, Taleb advances that “by grasping the mechanisms of antifragility we can build a systematic and broad guide to non-predictive decision making under uncertainty in business, politics, medicine, and life in general.”

As the world continues to become increasingly interconnected and interdependent, Black Swans — large-scale unpredictable and irregular events of massive consequence — are necessarily becoming more prominent, where it is far more reasonable to figure out if something is fragile than to calculate the risks and probabilities of rare events!

As a result of the proliferation of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, non-predictive decision making is quintessential — and individuals, teams & groups, and organizations & enterprises are embracing the quest for greater antifragility to realize greater employee creativity & engagement and market innovation & disruption!

As Sir Francis Bacon explained:

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

Taleb’s Antifragility book (and concept) is indeed to be “chewed and digested . . . wholly, and with diligence and attention”!


Please see the following for background . . .
Antifragile, Flexibility, Robust, Resilience, Agility, and Fragile
The Emergence of the Antifragile Organization
The Triad: Fragile, Robust, and Antifragile
Antifragility: From Details to Nuances [LinkedIn]
Demystifying Antifragility: Beyond Agility Workshop


Antifragility Panels

Various panels of practitioners have been organized to explore “practice beyond the rhetoric”, share experiences, and offer perspective on how to apply antifragility through the following questions:

  • How have you interpreted Taleb’s concept of Antifragility?
  • How have you translated your interpretation into practice?
  • What are the results and impacts of your efforts?

As Taleb suggests “Agile Schmagile” . . . if you’ve embraced any degree of agility, don’t miss this opportunity to go beyond agility and explore antifragility in practice!

While agility involves responding to change, antifragility involves gaining from disorder; and while agility emphasizes embracing change through inspecting and adapting, antifragility emphasizes embracing chaos through adapting and evolving!

Theory and Practice

Albert Einstein emphasized the distinction between theory and practice . . .

In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.

W. Edwards Deming emphasized the importance of theory . . .

Experience by itself teaches nothing… Without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence, without theory, there is no learning.

The Secrets only Practice can Reveal

And Nassim Nicholas Taleb emphasizes:

For a theory is a very dangerous thing to have. And of course one can rigorously do science without it. What scientists call phenomenology is the observation of an empirical regularity without a visible theory for it. In the Triad, I put theories in the fragile category, phenomenology in the robust one. Theories are superfragile; they come and go, then come and go, then come and go again; phenomenologies stay, and I can’t believe people don’t realize that phenomenology is “robust” and usable, and theories, while overhyped, are unreliable for decision making — outside physics.

The key is that the significant can only be revealed through practice.

No, we don’t put theories into practice. We create theories out of practice.

It is just that things that are implemented tend to want to be born from practice, not theory.

There are secrets to our world that only practice can reveal, and no opinion or analysis will ever capture in full. This secret property is, of course, revealed through time, and, thankfully, only through time.

Join the various panels/webinars as we explore the practice of Antifragility beyond the rhetoric!

Panel #1 (March 18, 2015)

Hosted by Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt), the Europe panel included:

The recording for the Europe panel is available here!

Hosted by Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt), the North America panel:

The recording for the North America panel is available here!

Panel #2 (May 6, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted the next panel, which included:

The recording for the second panel is available here and more information is available here!

Panel #3 (June 30, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted the next panel, which included:

The recording for the third panel is available here and more information is available here!

Event #4 (August 19, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted . . . Elinor Slomba (@artsint) explored life lessons from artists and antifragility.

The recording is available here and more information is available here!

Event #5 (August 26, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted . . . Tom Graves (@tetradian), Dan Horton (@Dan_Horton), and Jack Hilty explored enterprise (business and technology) architecture and antifragility.

The recording is available here and more information is available here!

Event #6 (September 2, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted . . . Paul Gibbons (@PaulGGibbons), author of The Science of Successful Organizational Change and various LinkedIn posts explored the science of successful organizational change and antifragility.

The recording is available here and more information is available here!

Event #7 (September 9, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted . . . Leandro Herrero (@LeandroEHerrero), author of Homo Imitans and Viral Change and various LinkedIn posts explored Viral Change and antifragility.

The recording is available here and more information is available here!

Event #8 (September 30, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted . . . Judith E. Glaser (@CreatingWE), author of Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) and CEO of the CreatingWE Institute (CWI), and James Key Lim (@jameskeylim) explored antifragility.

The recording is available here and more information is available here!

Event #9 (October 7, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted . . . David Cushman (@davidcushman), author of The 10 Principles of Open Business, Anne McCrossan (@Annemcx), and Todd Nilson (@toddnilson) explored social business & digital transformation and antifragility.

The recording is available here and more information is available here!

Event #10 (November 4, 2015)

Barry Bettman (@barrybettman), Si Alhir (@SAlhir), Russ Miles (@russmiles), and Ross Girardi (@Consciousmgt) hosted . . . Mark McNeilly (@markmcneilly), author of various books, and Becky Sheetz-Runkle (@BeckySheetz), author of various books, of Sun Tzu Strategies (@SunTzuStrategy) explored Sun Tzu‘s Art of War and antifragility.

The recording is available here and more information is available here!

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