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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance

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...
I remember covering the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in April 2003. Well, sort of. I was four months into my internship with The Miami Herald at the time covering the civic beat in the town of Miami Lakes, a suburb about 30 minutes northwest of Miami. I landed that intership after stringing for the newspaper for more than a year...
Photo courtesy of ConstructionWeekOnline.com
It's Monday and you wake up without an alarm clock, looking forward to your day at the office—you love what you do and you love the people with whom you work. You are a member of a community: trust, mutual support, open communication, and friendships sustain your whole self as much as the income you receive from your job. Just a dream?...
Ever wonder what the essence of being you is while you're at work? Ever wonder why you feel constrained at work as if the real you's buried a bit? Chances are you are not alone. The camouflaging of self appears to be part of the reason why today's executives and office workers feel like they're gasping for air in the organizational...
The phrase pecha kucha means "chit-chat" in Japanese. In 2003, two European architects created a new type of presentation that they christened Pecha Kucha and the format of this presentation stays true to its name. A Pecha Kucha is a community session where individuals present an idea in a structured PowerPoint presentation of 20 slides...