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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

I am rethinking complexity. I used to think that complexity occurs through dynamically changing, unpredictable systems that create the potential for chaos and random behavior, but I’m learning that there’s more to it. Last weekend I spent some time with a couple of good friends. One is a knowledgeable psychotherapist who does some of...
Diagram courtesy of Nancy Southern.
Much of my time is spent talking about sustainability to people who think like I do. We have a great time discussing the problems and the needs as well as confirming our own beliefs and actions. As like-minded people often find each other, I imagine this is the case for many people dedicated to making a difference in creating a sustainable world....
Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Press.
Organizations have been engaging in networks for a long time.  Most common are networks of suppliers associated with providing various parts to produce an end product known collectively as a supply chain. Clear examples of supply chain networks include the making of a PC where parts come from across the globe or Amazon.com where a host of...
I had a speaking engagement on the West Coast last week. The topic was Threshold Story™—a method of storytelling used to engender trust and demonstrate value when a business service provider meets a new prospect, team member, or returning client.  The professionals attending my lecture were a bit guarded. They'd never met me...
Photo courtesy of Science Progress.
Complexity thrives in newsrooms. As a former newspaper reporter, I should know. When you're up against a hard deadline fact-checking information from three sources who are all telling you different things while an impatient editor raises an eyebrow at you just as the reporter in the neighboring cubicle starts boasting loudly over his lone...
Collaboration has gone global and high tech. Businesses can now choose from 1D, 2D, and 3D collaborative tools.  But which is right for the project you have at hand?  Do you want a simple event scheduling resource—such as Meeting Wizard—or do you want employees to have 3D avatars who meet in a customized digital environment?...
Is it appropriate to kiss in a restaurant? How about in an elevator? Would it be socially acceptable to curse in a public park? Eat during a job interview? Turns out—and it’s not particularly surprising—that the answer to these questions has a lot to do with the country you live in.  It also turns out that the ecological and...
Ever wonder why organizational leaders cling to old ways of doing business? I did the other day while looking at my desk, equipped with a 1-week-old Motorola XOOM, a wireless keyboard, and some scattered whiteboard markers. I found myself questioning why organizations tend to be reluctant about technological innovations, like “cloud...
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...
 The complexity surrounding our everyday life leaves many of us feeling drained, perpetually chasing an infinite to do list. We run faster and faster, hurrying to get things done, to meet deadlines, and to keep pace with demands and challenges. This hectic pace is overwhelming that it challenges our ability to sustain high performance. ...
Ted Turner called it in 1981. That was the first time the media mogul predicted the newspaper industry’s inevitable death, blaming its stale format for its eventual demise. He assumed the death would be quick and painless as more and more readers became viewers of his brand new cable news venture, CNN. Turner gave the newspaper industry 10...