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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

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In Kathia Laszlo’s May 2nd post, she spoke to the critical need to rethink and expand boundaries within a system to support different ways of working and learning together. The need to create organizational cultures where learning together is the norm has never been so important as it is during this time of increasing complexity and change....
Rare is the time to chat in our workday, don’t you think? The other day I sat with Brian, my organization’s director of educational services, and Kelly, our enrollment coordinator. We engaged in something unusual: a casual, unstructured conversation in the workplace. The topic was something particularly jazzy to those of you born to...
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I have labile hypertension. Having labile hypertension means my blood pressure readings bounce around. Sometimes my blood pressure reads in the normal range and sometime in the high-normal range. Unlike my internal body temperature and my pulse, there’s no obvious reason why taking two measurements under the same conditions and minutes apart...
Everything I read points to the need for attention for our brains to develop new neurons and synapses, and I've been wondering about awareness and attention. Mindfulness practice is an awareness and attention practice where we build our capacity to pay attention by stopping our activity and focusing on our direct and immediate experience. We...
Graph courtesy of Jay G. Cone
Work groups and teams make collective decisions. Jury’s reach verdicts. Executive teams choose strategies. Creative teams at ad agencies settle on a campaign they’ll recommend. Task forces and panels publish their findings. On their way to collective decisions and agreements, groups generate ideas, exchange information and opinions,...
Momentum in manufacturing happens if the marketing "stars" align and the bullwhip effect has been tamed. If you work in supply chain management or recall your MBA days, maybe you remember the Near Beer study?  Forio.com provides not only a wonderful explanation of the conundrum framed by the study but also offers a nice (but...
Photo courtesy of "The Defence Coach" on Facebook.
The March 28th edition of New York Times magazine had a deeply inspiring article about some unique programs being adopted by the U.S. Army to help returning war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Instead of medical treatment and therapy, the programs focus on activating a natural capacity of the human being for growth, learning, and...
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Reflection is one of the hardest things for leaders to implement. Even if leaders knew the value of reflection, it would be hard to implement. As it is, reflection is an unknown capacity that has enormous potential to accelerate learning. According to Jack Mezirow, founder of transformative learning theory, without reflection, there is no learning...
David Straus, founder of Interaction Associates, defined a problem as "a situation someone wants to change." I kept wondering why it was so hard to get my daughter to keep her room clean until I realized that, given Straus' definition, only one of us has a problem. That is, only one of us wants the situation to change. Situation...
Like humans, organizations develop and evolve. Organizational development follows a defined lifecycle, from inception to maturity to eventual decay if operations cease.  Forty-six percent of organizations generally fold within a year-and-a-half of opening. The ones that remain in business generally average a median lifespan of seven years. So...
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I write this entry while living and working from Cefalù, Sicily, a town not only steeped in centuries-old tradition, but part of one of the countries currently struggling to survive as a member of the European Union. Evidenced by the hand waves and chatter in the streets, people in Cefalù know each other and have a communal identity...
Image courtesy of Nonformality.org
I’ve learned some new things about inquiry recently. I’ve been working with inquiry for some time and I love learning new ways of practicing. The three things I learned came from my research in neuroscience. I have been reading Allan Schore’s 1994 book, Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional...