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Amber Compass


Amongst today’s leadership skills, dealing with complexity is a bit like a toddler’s communication with Santa Claus. All know it’s important, but few know how it’s done.

Palladio translate complexity for the practitioner. The Amber Compass, with its mental models, focus areas and activities, serves as the core structure around which leaders can improve their competence. The purpose is to avoid copy-pasting recipes, and instead to develop one’s capability to build solutions that fit to context. Because if there is one thing we know, it is that your next encounter with complexity is going to be different and unique. And just like the workings of Santa, no one will fully understand it.


A good idea is only good at the right time and place.

Oblique Strategies for Leaders are one hundred unusual perspectives on indirect leadership. They trigger your self-reflection, inviting you to browse through many options until you find one that speaks to you right now.

They quickly expand your range of available angles – knowing full well that once you’ve found a good way to look at a situation, you are perfectly capable of figuring out what to do.

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Black Box für Home Page


In 1985, the co-inventor of Cybernetics Heinz von Foerster described an imaginary machine, a black box with four buttons and a simple little mechanism inside. He calculated there were 102466 possible versions of such a machine. He said it was so complex that it was impossible for humans to understand – to predict the outcome of your buttons – without looking inside.

He was wrong. You can do it.

But you have to stop thinking in computational, linear ways. Play with this Little Black Box, move through the ordered levels 1 and 2, and experience how things change in complex level 3. We’ve made the box a bit smaller, with 3 instead of 4 buttons – but that is just to save you some time.

Bernhard Sterchi November 30, 2020

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In an interview for the BBC series Fun to Imagine, the philosopher amongst the…

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  • What We Do

    Palladio Trusted Advisers are a small group of professionals dedicated to developing organisations and their leaders in complex and dynamic environments.


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    +41 78 783 72 44

©2020 Bernhard Sterchi, Palladio Trusted Advisers AG.
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