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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Books

How can we end the cycles of violence and injustice that cause so much suffering and misery? Is a more peaceful and equitable world really possible? If so, what would it actually look like? My research over several decades has focused on these questions. They are questions deeply rooted in my own early life experiences, when my parents and I...
Photo courtesy of CNN.
As leaderless mobs of angry, unemployed 20-somethings continue to march on Wall Street this week picketing against big business and the federal government, my thoughts can't help but drift back to the pages of Marvin R. Weisbord's 2004 book, Productive Workplaces Revisited: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century. They return...
Photo courtesy of Ravenwerks.com.
Today’s educational system is wrought with complexity—from the work of educating students to the lack of financing in heated political climates. Working in the educational system can be complex, but it can also be rewarding. The challenge is finding the right people with the right passion who are able to view the world from a systemic...
 The first part of this leadership challenge explored the concept of “unveiling the illusions of the true professional.” The concept behind the exploration came from Margaret Wheatley's poem "The True Professional," where she challenges the reader to seek a “reliable truth” that will “let the human...
There are probably as many ideas about leadership as there are leaders. Leadership is a subject that has been explored and documented by academia and practitioners alike. Numerous models have emerged and are taught at colleges and organizations across the world. Most aim at identifying the actions of good leaders so that new ones can replicate...
Photo of Thomas L. Friedman courtesy of The Aspen Times.
I tuned into CNN this morning the way I typically do before breakfast when a quotation on the screen immediately grabbed my attention: "shock to the system." The quote belonged to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman who was discussing how he believes that a third-party, presidential candidate could deliver the systemic jolt...
Imagine walking into work every morning wondering if it'll be your last day there. That's how thousands of Bank of America employees probably felt this morning after the company publicly announced its plans yesterday to slash 30,000 jobs over the next few years. The massive downsizing is part of a cost-cutting measure crafted by Bank of...
I smiled with delight after having welcomed five new teaching staffers to our University Professional Development Center community. At the same time, I could not help reflecting on the courage required to begin the process of adding these five new people. Was it really that difficult to expand our class offerings? Was it that surprising that we...
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.
We're on the cusp of watching real change sweep through Libya this week as rebel fighters seize the capital city of Tripoli in their ongoing effort to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. With a new political body ready to replace Gadhafi's 42-year regime, the rebels' plight toward freedom these past six months has been fueled by...
Don Beck and Chris Cowan, the authors of Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change worked with Dr. Clare Grave for about 10 years prior to his death in 1986.  Spiral dynamics has its roots in the research of Dr. Graves and is one of the most popular practices in value systems in use today by organizational development...
Adam Kahane’s powerful, 2010 book Power and Love: The Theory and Practice of Social Change brings together two theories and practices that I believe will inform the work we need to do now and in the future to address the critical needs of human existence in the 21st century and beyond.   This work centers around addressing the...
In the 2003 book Mapping the Organizational Psyche: A Jungian Theory of Organizational Dynamics and Change, authors John G. Corlett and Carol S. Pearson model the organizational psyche in two layers: conscious and unconscious.  The authors assert that the ego-driven actions and behaviors of those leading the organization manifest activity and...