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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Leadership

Photo courtesy of DreamsTime.com.
In a previous post, I presented the need to move from systems thinking to systems being. There is a reason for that: I believe that it is through systems being that we will be able to truly transform our world. And transforming the world is the task of leaders. However, the most prevalent understanding of leadership is narrow and hierarchical: one...
Photo courtesy of 360VendorManagement.com.
Every week I see signs that our social institutions and organizations have lost their ability to accomplish key tasks, even as the urgency to do so rises. In fact, the intensity of feelings among different stakeholder groups seems to be a factor contributing to breakdown. We depend on large organizations, government, and community groups to...
 The first part of this leadership challenge explored the concept of “unveiling the illusions of the true professional.” The concept behind the exploration came from Margaret Wheatley's poem "The True Professional," where she challenges the reader to seek a “reliable truth” that will “let the human...
Photo courtesy of I/O at Work.
What is the emotional side of complexity and how can it help us understand and manage complexity? John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor and expert on leadership and change, said this year that managing change is about understanding the human condition of fear that is inherent in all change. Change, he added, is managed through deeds...
There are probably as many ideas about leadership as there are leaders. Leadership is a subject that has been explored and documented by academia and practitioners alike. Numerous models have emerged and are taught at colleges and organizations across the world. Most aim at identifying the actions of good leaders so that new ones can replicate...
Photo of Thomas L. Friedman courtesy of The Aspen Times.
I tuned into CNN this morning the way I typically do before breakfast when a quotation on the screen immediately grabbed my attention: "shock to the system." The quote belonged to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman who was discussing how he believes that a third-party, presidential candidate could deliver the systemic jolt...
Writer Margaret Wheatley's poem, "The True Professional," isn't entirely original and she lets everyone know this. It's a "found poem," Wheatley explained on her website. All of the lines of "The True Professional" are phrases "found" in Parker J. Palmer’s book The Active Life. After taking...
Art by Alex Ross.
Criticizing the leadership capabilities of presidential hopeful Barack Obama was considered a blasphemous act of heresy during the summer of 2008. Back then, you were asking for trouble and social ostracism if you dared cast doubt over Obama's vague notions of hope, change, and the future of the U.S. across various sectors. Today, it's OK...
Photo courtesy of Zap2It.
While it has been over four decades since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his message and views remain critically relevant today. With the recent unveiling of his monument in Washington D.C., I thought it fitting to reflect on his teachings and consider the implications for leadership in today’s context. Lately, the buzz surrounding...
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.
We're on the cusp of watching real change sweep through Libya this week as rebel fighters seize the capital city of Tripoli in their ongoing effort to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. With a new political body ready to replace Gadhafi's 42-year regime, the rebels' plight toward freedom these past six months has been fueled by...
Looking at the gridlock in Congress and the failing leadership of our president, I have been reflecting on the relationship between decisions and results. It's hard to think about the wisdom of the hive when we see Congress’ ineffectiveness. Their group process also has aspects of dysfunctional groupthink, indiscriminate blaming, and the...
Photo of Rep. Trey Gowdy courtesy of The Washington Times.
Last night on CNN, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina used the "s" word to describe the kind of change he wants to see in Washington, D.C., to end the recurring debt-default issue once and for all. The "s" word he used was systemic. "Systemic change," Mr. Gowdy said, is the change he'd like to...