Logo for Saybrook University

Rethinking Complexity

Categories

Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

There is a long connection between Saybrook and systems conversations, which continues to this day.  The semi-annual conversations have been hosted by the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR), and were historically known as the Fuschl Conversations (due to their location at Fuschl am See in Austria). Bela Banathy, the founder...
Geographically distributed, functioning in a global context and ongoing engagement with internal and external professionals are apt key descriptors of the 21st century organization. The complex pulsating networks in which an organization comes to life and thrives, in reality, is the organizations itself; while the planned and spontaneous...
No matter what line of work you are in, you are likely seeking ways to be more productive and successful. And, regardless of the profession, how effective you interact with and influence other people can greatly determine your fate. That’s because it is all about relationship, and relationships should always be about the long term. We now...
I have just finished teaching a course in family business in Dubai, a business oasis of 3 million people, a city-state with daringly designed high rises and bustling commerce on the Arabian Gulf. For four days, this open and eager group of 75 mostly middle-eastern young men and women engaged in vigorous exchange.  Each of them wrote a...
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  — Seneca I often encounter people I admire who seem extremely lucky in getting a great job, regular promotions, and seemingly unlimited professional success. For the most part, I believe these people earned this fate through taking responsibility for their luck....
Is risk encouraged or discouraged in your organization? What happens when someone makes a mistake? When I talk with a potential client with regard to his or her organization, these are questions I like to ask because they provide me with an indication of just how much of a learning organization it may or may not be. Peter M. Senge describes this...
Most, if not all, know the popular saying “Think globally and act locally.”  Originally this saying was a cry for sustainable living; that is, to care for the earth’s environment by consciously examining and changing how one lives and works. Not only does this saying now refer to much more, when applying it to global...
In this country, citizens across a broad spectrum of diverse backgrounds don’t often come together over a cause. We just don’t organize much anymore. Our rights and liberties were bought and fought for some time ago. Or so we think – We expect our water and electricity to just work. We expect to easily cross neighborhood...
After going through a long destructive cycle in my life, where everything I counted on fell away, I have emerged into a generative period in which life energy has returned, and I am moving toward the world again. This period of disintegration changed everything for me. Keeping my seat as life’s fabric unraveled was hard, to say the least....
I have been teaching systems thinking as an approach to deal with complexity for many years. Complexity has become a catch word, something that is recognized as a part of modern life, something that should not be ignored or simplified. We have too many examples of reductionist approaches that tried to solve a problem through a technological (quick...
I recently attended a meeting at the Almaden Research Lab near San Jose, CA.  The T-Summit was jointly sponsored by Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute and IBM's Global University Programs.  As described in the announcement about the meeting: Employers are placing...
Over the last five decades, while business contexts were evolving from national to international to transnational and now to global, workplace environments were shifting from “control-oriented” hierarchies to interactive teams to social networking ecologies. Such shifts in perspectives, accompanied by innovations in digital-based...