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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

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...
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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...
I am teaching a course on generative and strategic dialogue this term and, through the amazing dialogue with my students, I am reminded of the importance and challenge of this communicative practice. Dialogue asks us to become more aware and intentional about how we listen, think, and speak. In his 1999 book, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking...
Culture links people together. It does so, according to organizational theorist Edgar H. Schein, by allowing people to band together as a group and develop a unique set of beliefs and practices that are absorbed and accepted by all of its members. In time, the group’s beliefs and practices, which consist of shared assumptions, perceptions,...
As a newcomer in the field of organizational consulting, I have the advantage of being either the naively arrogant child who declares the emperor has no clothes! or the person who comes from a foreign land and is forced to quickly confront the differences in the visible and communicated culture. When I decided to change careers in my early 40s, I...
We live and work in the information age, an era of global knowledge sharing and social networking enabled by a variety of information, communication, and collaboration technologies (or ICCT). What do we do about it? The rescue of the Chilean coal miners is a fine example of how modern digital technology aided people from around the world to be...
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About three years ago, I had a coaching conversation with a human resources manager for a retail company. The manager confided in me that conflict she was experiencing made her uncomfortable. She described the lengths to which she would go to avoid raising challenging issues or delivering candid feedback. By way of example, she described a damaged...
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January in New England makes it hard to visualize the muddy turf of a baseball field after a spring thaw. But, after speaking with a group of parents recently, spring training for children's baseball starts as early as December up here with batting practice and other weekly regiments. Teaching children the proper sporting techniques in the pre...
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An organization is of a large group of individuals who are together for the sake of achieving a task. There are many moving pieces and many ways to see the essential task. The real challenge is figuring out how each individual can know where to put their time and energy to create the optimal synergy to achieve the organization’s results....
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"Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; the way you play it is free will." — Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Prime Minister of India (1889-1964) How do you deal with change? How comfortable are you with what is on your plate? Are you creating or are you resisting? The quality of your ...
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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...