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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

I’m afraid that our efforts to understand and define leadership, its styles and types and characteristics, have not resulted in effective responses to the complex challenges we’ve created for ourselves. The field of leadership development not delivering on a central aspect of leadership—results—is a bit ironic, really. So I...
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For me, this year promises to be a year of integration. Recently, a colleague told me that I am a weaver. We were working on the design of a leadership program for social innovators when she said, “And just as I thought that we were done, your brought in another thread and weaved it to make this idea even more complete, more beautiful....
Photo by Taraji Blue, courtesy of EvocateurBlog.com
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...
Photo provided by Aimee C. Juarez
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...
Photo courtesy of Nancy Southern
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...
Image courtesy of PresentationMagazine.com
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...
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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...
Photo courtesy of FilmMattersMagazine.com
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...
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"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...
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...
Photo courtesy of OregonLive.com
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...
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...