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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Collaboration

Photo courtesy of Nancy Southern
This year's Systems Thinking in Action conference hosted by Pegasus Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana, brought a question into focus: What struck you? In his keynote address, Peter Block emphasized the importance of questions, such as this. His message: Questions are the point; questions bring us together; and answers keep us apart. We...
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Collaboration takes work and willingness. It isn’t always easy and it takes effort to gain the trust that enables us to think well together. When we begin to resonate with mutual understanding, we foster creativity in each other. Dr. Sylvia Gaffney and I recently created a model for attending to virtual relationships to assist anyone who is...
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As I turned on the TV yesterday evening to watch the election results, I didn’t know what to expect. The polls were too close to give a confident advantage to either candidate and, given recent history, it was plausible that either candidate could have won. Reflecting on what emerged during the evening, I began thinking about what we could...
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For the last three days, I have been researching virtual teams and technology for an academic paper that a colleague and I will be presenting at the International Conference on Transformative Learning, which will be held in San Francisco, California, in early November. My mind is full of the ideas and research provided by many talented academics...
Photo of OS graduate students by Kathia Laszlo
My work has been grounded in systems thinking. That has been the intellectual field that has informed my inquiry and has justified my natural tendency for connecting seemingly unrelated things and expanded boundaries. The field that has supported my personal quest for greater integration and inclusivity. However, although I continue to do much of...
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After two days with 150 artists, land developers, business and government executives, architects, and players in public and private global ventures designed to change the face, lifestyle, and economy of urban places, I was exhausted by the openness, creativity and, most of all, the pragmatic willingness to take action that I was hearing about. The...
Photo of Jennifer Wilby courtesy of ISSS.org
I attended the International Society for the Systems Sciences (or ISSS) conference this summer in San Jose, California, and I was fortunate to share the experience with a dear group of students and collaborators. I have been part of ISSS since 1999 and this scholarly community has been part of my “intellectual family.” Each year, in...
I first learned about appreciative inquiry in the late 1980s when David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney developed their model, echoing Maslow’s idea that we look at the successful rather than pathological examples to really be helpful to individuals and organizations. At that time the concept of excellence was shaking organizations and Covey...
Two of my daughters play volleyball. It’s a significantly more complicated version of the game I remember playing in gym class. It still involves six players on each side, but once the ball is served, the players move around the court in choreographed sprints that look fairly chaotic to the untrained eye. I seem to remember standing in my...
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of developing our capacity for systems thinking to address the complex problems that surround us. As we consider the rapidly increasing growth and interrelated nature of these problems, the question arises as to how we can rapidly scale our change efforts to have larger impact in a shorter...
I am attending the annual conference of the International Society of Systems Sciences (or ISSS) along with a number of Saybrook faculty members, students, alumni, and colleagues from around the world. What each person here has in common is an understanding of the complexity that makes up the world we live in today and the urgency to transform the...
I was recently introduced to an innovative approach to address the personal and systemic challenges of poverty. Imagined and initiated by Scott Miller, CEO of Move the Mountain Leadership Center, Circles is a process taking place in communities throughout the U.S. Scott’s mission, as I interpret it, is to inspire, educate, and connect people...