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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Government

I’m afraid that our efforts to understand and define leadership, its styles and types and characteristics, have not resulted in effective responses to the complex challenges we’ve created for ourselves. The field of leadership development not delivering on a central aspect of leadership—results—is a bit ironic, really. So I...
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Having the flu gave me the opportunity to watch U.S. President Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremonies on Monday. As I watched, I wondered if I was observing an event that will help foster a new United States of America—an America that is inclusive of all people and enriched by an empowered citizenry.  Obama’s speech was a clear...
Photo provided by Kerubo Abuya
Today the world celebrates the International Day of Human Rights, and lately I have been reflecting on conversations that I have been engaged in where the topics of leadership, human rights, and activism become points of curiosity for me. In late November, I attended the fourth annual African Women and Political Leadership conference in Lilongwe,...
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Who among us is not experiencing frustration with the nature of the debate about the future of our government tax system? Our tax, pensions, as well as the health of our whole economy hang in the balance, and we see a duel of extreme and simplistic statements about “job creators,” “becoming another Greece (or Europe),”...
Photo by Wernher Krutein, Corbis.
The difficulties around healthcare in the U.S. remain as complex as ever. I have spent the last two months experiencing those in a very personal way. Twenty-two years ago, a close family member—let’s call her Millie—was diagnosed with cancer and given a poor prognosis.  She beat the odds and survived. This summer, she was...
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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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In the presidential campaign, I have been struck by how much the dialogue is about what people are “for” and how little we talk about how to do what we want. As if being “for” the right things led to a clear path to success. Indeed, our president is faulted for proposing the right ideas and making promises, but not being...
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For some time now, I've been on a diet. Not a food diet, a news diet. I've made a conscious decision to purposely stay away from all the CNNs, CBSs, ABCs, NBCs, FOXs, and any other local stations or cable networks peddling news on the small screen as much as possible. As a former print journalist and recovering news junkie, abstaining from...
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The belief that government must continue to be structured and must function in 2012 as it has in the past is a myth. There is much that public sector leaders can do to change their organizational culture, improve the quality of services they deliver, and become more efficient stewards of the public’s money. I would argue that one of the...
A mid-August posting by Jeff Selingo, editorial director of The Chronicle of Higher Education, described three key issues facing administrators in higher education in the U.S. What he referred to as the "trifecta" that had to be kept in balance involved "rising tuition discount rates, flat or falling net tuition revenue, and...
By Malwack (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3
With the coming of another U.S. presidential election, we are faced once again with a barrage of over-simplified explanations about increasingly complex problems. And with the choice of Paul Ryan as the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party, it seems that healthcare will be front-and-center in the ads and speeches. He obviously didn...
Last Friday, it was impossible to tune in into any news station and not be completely drawn into the details surrounding the massacre in Aurora, Colorado. A gunman had killed 12 people and wounded 58 others at the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie installment. Pundits, politicians, and the rest of us immediately after learning about the...