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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

So often we look to leaders to provide answers to the most challenging problems we face, whether in politics or business. In fact, great leaders are those who instead ask the right questions and engage others to arrive at the best answers together. The media overly promotes a single businessman, politician or sports star as responsible for overall...
As I write this post, I am in Mexico City having just spent the day with a group of mid-career managers facilitating a program about how to have more productive conversations at work. I cannot say for sure what the participants got from today’s session, but I definitely walked away with some food for thought. The fact that today’s...
Why does the intelligence of a group matter? What is group intelligence? We spend most of our lives engaged with people in a myriad of activities. Our livelihoods depend on our interaction with others.  For most of us living in modern societies, our success and quality of life are completely dependent on the various groups we belong to...
This is a story about a website. Like many stories, however, the lessons are not about the obvious. It is a story about how redesigning a website created a structure for reconsidering an organization.    I serve on the executive committee of an international organization (actually, a federation of organizations), and have for the last...
The notion of city is morphing, including how it is structured and how it functions as a center of commerce. As they have done down through the ages, cities today are continuing to evolve. They are developing new forms of society and methods of commerce by weaving people and digital technology into dynamic systems not tied to a particular locale....
Greater productivity should be a goal of just about every organization. It is often challenged, however, by ever-tightening budgets and low employee morale. Nevertheless, increasing productivity can be accomplished without a lot of money and ultimately result in raising employee engagement. To do this, nothing works better than appealing to people...
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Jon Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is now a global phenomenon with programs running in every continent. Mindfulness studies conducted from the school’s Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and involving over 20,000...
Today’s workgroups are made up of people from a variety of cultures, ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds. They also include different personalities. High performing workgroups are those that embrace and leverage these personality differences in order to achieve outstanding results. In my line of work I use many diagnostic tools and...
Predictive analysis in human resources is becoming a lot more helpful in determining how well-suited potential employees may be for a particular company and a specific job. But what can it tell us about employee engagement? According to a recent Wall Street Journal article regarding a soon-to-be published study by Deloitte Consulting LLP, about 5...
In professional services company Deloitte and Touche's The 2011 Shift Index: Measuring the Forces of Long-Term Change, the company states that the return on assets (ROA) for US firms has steadily fallen to almost one quarter of 1965 levels. This study also concludes that less than 20 percent of workers are passionate about their jobs,...
Southwest, Google, Apple, McDonalds, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Cragslist and many others have influential business models that have changed industries and the way we live.  A business model is what we experience as stakeholders.  Unless we are intimately connected to an organization, we do not know or understand its strategies or tactics but we...
Traditionally, organizational strategy has been cast as equal parts analysis and prediction. A small group of elite organizational leaders apply a framework (e.g. Porter’s Five Forces), consider trends that might alter the status quo, and then produce a plan to guide decision making and resource allocation for the foreseeable future. It...