Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance
Conscious Self-Disruption: Doing Really Hard Stuff on Purpose
The couch is ready for me—the remote just lying there ready for TV action. I can go watch a game, surf some channels, and chill out. I also have a tough book to read and a paper to write and maybe, instead of surfing and zoning out, I will put my head into this taxing book, then sit at a computer and try to write something coherent and...
A Journey into the "It" World
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a Zen-seeker. I enjoy temporarily turning off the rigid, left-brain linearities of my MBA, academia, and journalistic writings for the sake of finding inner harmony and balance through meditative practice. For me, this practice is as simple as sitting quietly for five minutes without engaging any lingering...
What Struck You?
This year's Systems Thinking in Action conference hosted by Pegasus Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana, brought a question into focus: What struck you? In his keynote address, Peter Block emphasized the importance of questions, such as this. His message: Questions are the point; questions bring us together; and answers keep us apart. We...
Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk
If you’re interested in developing your capacity to listen, here’s an exercise you can try. Find a news or call-in program on the radio or on television with commentators who hold completely different opinions than you do and draw upon a belief system that you disagree with. As you listen to the commentary, imagine that you’re a...
From Being Right to Doing the Right Thing: My First Lesson in Designing Organizations to Fulfill Our Intentions
In the presidential campaign, I have been struck by how much the dialogue is about what people are “for” and how little we talk about how to do what we want. As if being “for” the right things led to a clear path to success. Indeed, our president is faulted for proposing the right ideas and making promises, but not being...
Embracing Hope in Uncertain Times
There is a saying, “Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right now, then it is not yet the end.” This mantra is proclaimed throughout the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as six British retirees grapple with getting older and lives that did not turn out as they had hoped. Each find themselves at a...
Trying Experiments: Design Thinking Meets Flawless Execution
"I have not failed. I have merely found ten thousand ways that won’t work." ~ Thomas Edison I spent an inspiring day in Palo Alto last month at the design firm, IDEO. I am a member of a community of consultants and educators who use a simulation designed by the Canadian company, Experience Point, in collaboration with IDEO to teach...
Flowing Through Change
I have been engaged in a significant structural change at Saybrook over the last few weeks that has caused me to reflect on how I move through change. In speaking with a colleague yesterday who resides outside of the organizational system that is Saybrook, I was able to gain some clarity that might be of use to others. I truly believe that we are...
Leading Public Organizations Creatively
The belief that government must continue to be structured and must function in 2012 as it has in the past is a myth. There is much that public sector leaders can do to change their organizational culture, improve the quality of services they deliver, and become more efficient stewards of the public’s money. I would argue that one of the...
11 Weeks as an Action Researcher
We had been following the blue Mercedes for almost 10 minutes up and down the streets of an upscale Miami neighborhood on that hot July morning before its driver, a middle-aged man accused of swindling private investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, slammed on the brakes bringing his car to a screeching halt. He jumped out of the...
Two of my daughters play volleyball. It’s a significantly more complicated version of the game I remember playing in gym class. It still involves six players on each side, but once the ball is served, the players move around the court in choreographed sprints that look fairly chaotic to the untrained eye. I seem to remember standing in my...
Leadership Development: What’s It Worth?
I’ll be travelling to Chicago next week to meet with a prospective insurance industry client. I’m joining Lisa, a sales director who has been talking with the potential client about our training programs and consulting services. The head of the company’s talent development function is interested in creating a centralized approach...
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