Logo for Saybrook University

Rethinking Complexity

Categories

Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

Image courtesy of Jorge Taborga
How would you describe finding meaning in the work you do? Would you say that work is most meaningful when you are developing yourself? Would you say that that you find the most meaning when you are expressing your full potential?  How about when you feel connected with others? Does doing service give you the most meaning? How about all of...
Just before New Year’s Eve, I dashed to Maine to watch the private premier of the film Incredibly Loud and Dangerously Close. The film’s scheduled for national release on January 20th, but I got my exclusive sneak peak courtesy of my friend, Alex Libby, who helped director, Stephen Daldry, do research for the film by speaking with...
A family is a delicate edifice with a natural tendency to fragment, split, and move in different directions over generations. New people enter as spouses and children with their own interests, preferences and life styles. But when a family shares ownership, oversight, and dependence on shared investments, they challenge this tide. Such connected...
I have three teenage daughters. Needless to say, we pay for the unlimited text-messaging feature on our family mobile phone contract. I used to worry about the impact of sending abbreviated bursts of words and symbols on the future of communication, but I’ve been won over by how responsive my daughters are when I send them a text message....
How many peak experiences have you had today? Let me rephrase this question: how many instances have you had today where you were fully immersed in what you were doing to the point that nothing else mattered? If you do not know the answer, you are not alone. Most of us go about our day without consciously attempting to experience moments that...
A couple of months ago, I came across an article in my local paper entitled, American “Allergy” to Global Warming, Why?" The article asked why so many Americans remain in denial about climate change when such a great amount of scientific evidence exists that indicates it is our reality. The article reviews some of the scientific...
Photo courtesy of the Universidad del Medio Ambiente in Mexico.
Social entrepreneurs are starting new organizations that combine best management practices with a socio-ecological purpose. They are expanding the boundaries of what it means to do business and innovating new organizational structures to respond to the needs and demands of an aching society. Working with social entrepreneurs in Mexico is a very...
Systems thinkers have long adopted the iceberg analogy as a way to describe the events, patterns, and underlying structures that drive the behaviors that affect performance within a system. The iceberg is a perfect metaphor because it depicts just how much of what is really going on lies beneath the surface—out of sight. For many, out of...
How do today’s leaders create profound innovation in the face of complexity? According to an executive report by the IBM Institute for Business Value, they do it by “embracing dynamic tensions.” In a report released in July, "Cultivating organizational creativity in an age of complexity," Barbara J. Lombardo and Daniel...
If there is one simple ability that makes the most difference in effective leaders who are able to enroll other people in their projects, it is the ability to initiate and reach resolution in areas that arouse anxiety in either party. That same skill enables people who are not formal leaders to move from feeing frustrated and powerless to empower...
The notion of perfection has been on my mind a lot lately. While working with a group that is feeling the pressure and uncertainty of the challenges it is confronting, I notice the discussions seem to swirl around a notion, unspoken but heard by all: “Whatever we do, it better be the right answer—we can’t afford to fail!”...
Photo courtesy of Carla Kimball/Pegasus Communications.
I’ve been facilitating group experiences for almost 25 years. One of the first things I learned was the importance of creating a sense of safety so that people can fully participate in the work they have gathered to do together. The best way to begin that process is to give participants a chance to check in and introduce themselves. Early on...