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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Collaboration

I am teaching a course on generative and strategic dialogue this term and, through the amazing dialogue with my students, I am reminded of the importance and challenge of this communicative practice. Dialogue asks us to become more aware and intentional about how we listen, think, and speak. In his 1999 book, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking...
At 5:41 p.m. on May 22nd, 2011, a powerful tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. Its 200-mph winds carved a path of destruction as it barrelled through the town in 45 seconds. That same, horrific day led to the beginning of an incredible story of compassion at Joplin's St. John’s Regional Medical Center—now called Mercy Hospital Joplin...
Language shapes our world and relationships. Yet we talk, write, and think without attending to language itself—it is like the air we breathe without noticing. How we speak and think frames the way we conceptualize experience and relationships. The idea of social swarming, which Dr. Nancy Southern discussed in her most recent post, is an...
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I recently received an invitation to comment on a blog posting defining social swarming and how it worked in regards to the decision of the Susan B. Komen foundation to withdraw support of Planned Parenthood, which was fairly quickly reversed. According to Leland Russell, social swarming occurs "when a disparate group suddenly moves en masse...
Image courtesy of TaigaCompany.com
I completely believe in "the power of intention to spark evolutionary change," as Nancy Southern so eloquently wrote in a previous post. As human beings, we have the capacity to envision a different future and to commit to actions that will turn that vision into a new reality. That’s the power of systems design: the power of coming...
Photo courtesy of GrowthStageConsulting.com
An organization is of a large group of individuals who are together for the sake of achieving a task. There are many moving pieces and many ways to see the essential task. The real challenge is figuring out how each individual can know where to put their time and energy to create the optimal synergy to achieve the organization’s results....
Photo courtesy of Wired.com
A January 15th New York Times' opinion piece, "The Rise of the New Groupthink," Susan Cain argued that solitude rather than collaboration is more conducive to creativity. "…People," Cain wrote, "are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.” She went on to describe a trend in our...
Just before New Year’s Eve, I dashed to Maine to watch the private premier of the film Incredibly Loud and Dangerously Close. The film’s scheduled for national release on January 20th, but I got my exclusive sneak peak courtesy of my friend, Alex Libby, who helped director, Stephen Daldry, do research for the film by speaking with...
Photo courtesy of Tibetoday.com
As Nancy Southern pointed out in her recent post, engaging with China presents certain challenges because of the different value systems in play. China has moved extraordinarily swiftly to become the world power it is today, and its values do not include an emphasis on individual rights and liberties that are part of civil society in the U.S. At a...
A family is a delicate edifice with a natural tendency to fragment, split, and move in different directions over generations. New people enter as spouses and children with their own interests, preferences and life styles. But when a family shares ownership, oversight, and dependence on shared investments, they challenge this tide. Such connected...
Last year, opportunity came knocking at our door in the form of a dynamic young Chinese woman who expressed interest in taking our organizational systems Ph.D. program to China as an offering to Chinese business and government executives. Having done my dissertation research in China, taught in another American university program in Beijing, and...
I had a sense of déjà vu when I heard that the “protester” was Time magazine’s Person of the Year. I remembered images of the Chicago protesters who arguably denied us the experience of President Hubert Humphrey and my personal memory of the huge protest of the arrest of Black Panthers in New Haven. My role was to...