BSC Video 11: Learn Iterate Adapt

1 min read

Organizations have multiple objectives. In public organizations, the search for legitimacy often clashes with the search for functionality. This is mainly because rewards are geared around form and not function. In this video, Matt Andrews, talks about how you can get both legitimacy and functionality at the same time. You can watch the video below or on YouTube.

If you are interested in learning more, read It’s All About MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning (‘e’) to Crawl the Design Space, Looking Like a State: Techniques of Persistent Failure in State Capability for Implementation and Escaping Capability Traps through Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA).


  1. In fact, I observed many cut & past trials, which finally remained nothing, in my career. I admit that the form of practice can be easily transplanted in developing countries but not the function of practice. This is because, I think, the form is less likely to be influenced by dominant culture but the function (= meaning) is, when a practice is brought into a different society.

  2. Interesting application of iteration. I like this line of thinking. I teach software engineering and this model traces back decades in the software discipline. In my classes, I call this social learning (because I believe there is a social element to making this effective). I also relate this concept to the scientific method. We come up with a hypothesis, determine the expected outcome, create an experiment to test the hypothesis and conduct the test. I explain that the distance between the expected outcome and the actual outcome is “knowledge creation.” The loop repeats as we get closer to the target with each iteration.

    The cool thing is that the iterative process can be applied to almost anything. The problem is that in business school, we are taught to plan to the target and execute to the plan while controlling attributes like cost, schedule, quality and scope. Then fail miserably to really hit the target…although we’ll do our best to appear to have legitimacy. Great video.

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