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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Humanizing 21st century organizations

Photo of Dennis T. Jaffe courtesy of DennisJaffe.com
This week, I hosted a conference call with Saybrook professor Dennis Jaffe, which led me to rethink the most muddied and, perhaps, top-of–the-totem-pole thinking: family relationships within the business context. During my conversation with Dennis this week, I had an opportunity to visit his 2009 book on family stewardship, Stewardship in...
We have come to appreciate diversity as an asset in organizations. Diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, or any other manifestation of the ways we, as human beings, express our uniqueness. But beyond affirmative action, which creates a legal platform for equal employment opportunity, why should we care about organizational cultures that foster...
Momentum in manufacturing happens if the marketing "stars" align and the bullwhip effect has been tamed. If you work in supply chain management or recall your MBA days, maybe you remember the Near Beer study?  Forio.com provides not only a wonderful explanation of the conundrum framed by the study but also offers a nice (but...
Photo courtesy of HandsOnBlog.org
Reflection is one of the hardest things for leaders to implement. Even if leaders knew the value of reflection, it would be hard to implement. As it is, reflection is an unknown capacity that has enormous potential to accelerate learning. According to Jack Mezirow, founder of transformative learning theory, without reflection, there is no learning...
My colleague Tom has a new assignment. The director of executive development for a Fortune-500 engineering and construction company, Tom summed up his new assignment this way the last time I saw him: "I moneyball potential executives." He was referring to the 2003 Michael Lewis bestseller, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game....
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...
An article posted on the Green Belt Movement website described the late activist Wangari Muta Maathai as a Nobel Peace Laureate; an environmentalist; a scientist; a parliamentarian; a founder of the Green Belt Movement; an advocate for social justice, human rights, and democracy; an elder; and a peacemaker. Maathai lived and worked in Nairobi,...
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...
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...
I have three teenage daughters. Needless to say, we pay for the unlimited text-messaging feature on our family mobile phone contract. I used to worry about the impact of sending abbreviated bursts of words and symbols on the future of communication, but I’ve been won over by how responsive my daughters are when I send them a text message....
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...
A couple of months ago, I came across an article in my local paper entitled, American “Allergy” to Global Warming, Why?" The article asked why so many Americans remain in denial about climate change when such a great amount of scientific evidence exists that indicates it is our reality. The article reviews some of the scientific...