By Jon Brett, Co-Founder of TetraMap International

How do you lead when we don’t agree on what we want, but we do agree it is NOT what we’ve got?

TetraMap helps us understand how to lead amongst the chaos, where there is no commonly desired end result other than “not this”. It is a matter of understanding the levels of complexity.


EARTH Like climbing a mountain, we can use Best Practice where following a prescribed process will reliably produce the desired result.


AIR Like predicting the weather we can use Good Practice, where understanding the different systems that influence the constantly changing process enables us to predict the result with good reliability.


WATER  Like fishing on a lake, we can use Common Practice and focus on acceptable processes because the result is never reliable.


FIRE Like finding a building on fire with people still, inside, we can use Next Practice and focus on rapid initiation of multiple processes that are unlikely to result in disaster.


Notice that as complexity increases, results become less of a focus to the point they become a negative focus. However, in reality, most situations are a mix of all four levels of complexity, and leaders must be able to flex their approach to suit the context as it morphs.

Notice also, that none of these Practices depends on binary decisions (for/against, exit/stay, Hillary/Trump), yet we love to reduce decision making down to two mutually exclusive, unrealistic alternatives. Let’s base decision-making on four inter-dependent dynamics:

Best Practice AND Good Practice AND Common Practice AND Next Practice.

The leader of the future must be more Earth, Air, Water, AND Fire!


By Jon Brett, Co-Founder of TetraMap International

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