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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Humanizing 21st century organizations

Photo of Jessica Goodell courtesy of NPR.
A segment on NPR's Fresh Air caught my attention recently, bringing to mind organizational life and the complexities of the helping human systems process. On the show, host Terry Gross interviewed Jessica Goodell, a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq with the Marine Mortuary Affairs Platoon in 2004. As Goodell talked about her memoir, Shade It...
Photo courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Microsoft.
Pictures of the earth from space have always fascinated me. Boundaries disappear. The beauty of the planet engenders awe. Astronaut Wheelock has captured many beautiful images from his recent journeys in space. More than 10 years ago, the Monterey Bay Acquarium offered a slide show of photographs of the earth taken from space during during 20...
Can you help us with our strategic planning? Our organization needs assistance in constructing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (or SMART) goals and clarifying objectives. Like most consultants, I am often approached with such requests.  Typically, a leader wishes to tease out a tactical plan in half a day in order...
What leads us to these toxic work environments in the first place? And why do we choose to stay trapped in them? Are we masochists or is there something more subtle at work?   Nowadays it seems everyone’s had at least one bad boss—that lone supervisor who generally stands in the way of professional happiness and fulfillment. I...
Reflecting on the significance of Mother’s day my daughter told me: “Today, everybody should celebrate two mothers: our birth mother and also Mother Earth.” And she is right: the Earth is loving, nurturing and generous in supporting all of its creatures. What can we learn from our mothers and from the Earth as we seek to lead...
Organizational leaders seem to start “conversations” by inviting people to “discuss” everything from company marketing plans to daily personal matters.  But, true discussions don’t always happen.  You already knew that through didn’t you?  Let’s face it, “conversation” is or can...
Photo courtesy of Frerieke
This is the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War's beginning – and recent political events brought this painfully to my awareness.  As Donald Trump celebrated forcing the president of the United States show his birth certificate, I read a blog by Goldie Taylor titled “Why Obama shouldn't have had to show his papers,...
Creativity in the workplace. I remember hearing that phrase for the first time and wondering, how can that be?  It seemed a conundrum. At the time I believed that creativity could only be expressed in the work of artistic people. Creativity was the expression of unique ideas and the workplace was a place to do as one was told—no ideas...
During a recent conversation, my good friend Adesuyi and I realized that there are some common reasons so many people have painful organizational experiences.  The command and control leadership tactics; overemphasis on achieving organizational goals like meeting target bottom-line figures; reducing costs (for businesses) by all means...
As a leader and entrepreneur I often want people to do as I say and not give me their opinion or disagree. So often we’d get through things much faster and I that way. But I try not to give in to that easy solution because I’ve learned, time and time again, that without my team’s input and feedback, I am wandering around in the...