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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Leadership

I just returned from the 9th International conference on Transformative Learning, held this year in Athens, Greece.  I was struck by the constructive engagement of different points of view expressed by the Americans and the Europeans.  The field of transformative learning grew out of Jack Mezirow’s work at Columbia University in...
During a Veterans’ commemoration ceremony at my daughter’s school, I sat amongst veterans, parents, teachers, students, school staff and others that attentively listened to the principal recite The Gettysburg Address. I found myself “hanging” onto every word. While I had read this speech before, I was struck by the last...
Ever wonder why organizational leaders cling to old ways of doing business? I did the other day while looking at my desk, equipped with a 1-week-old Motorola XOOM, a wireless keyboard, and some scattered whiteboard markers. I found myself questioning why organizations tend to be reluctant about technological innovations, like “cloud...
My perspective of leadership has been influenced by many sources but the greatest lessons are from my parents who taught me that I should always treat people, all people, with dignity and respect. What my parents taught me wasn’t what I learned in business school and the quest to expand my understanding on how to be an effective change...
There is genuine delight on the growing voice of democracy in the Middle East, as we view the struggle to give birth to institutions that support and sustain social fairness and representation.  At home, our democratic institutions are showing signs of wear, as people are frustrated by the inability to drive any sort of consistent policy in a...
Organizational leaders seem to start “conversations” by inviting people to “discuss” everything from company marketing plans to daily personal matters.  But, true discussions don’t always happen.  You already knew that through didn’t you?  Let’s face it, “conversation” is or can...
Maybe it’s time we stop trying to fool each other: nobody has all the answers. Admitting what we don’t know is the first step to improving it. I recently conducted an organizational assessment to determine what was on the minds of team members and how they might use that information to improve their performance.  I summarized the...
Ask 1,500 CEOs what the greatest challenge their organizations face is and they’ll tell you it's complexity.  We live in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world and leaders from every sector fear they are ill-equipped to meet the challenge.  Frank Kern, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services noted that the...
Photo courtesy of D'Arcy Norman
What is place-based leadership? I’ve been asking that question since May of 2010, when I was invited to a dialogue session around the subject. Since that time I’ve been asked to give numerous presentations on place-based leadership, and at first I was nervous about it.  Though I had found the subject compelling, it seemed wispy...
Our current thinking about sustainability limits our opportunity to achieve the results needed in the short timeframe we have to turn the tide. We need to change that thinking and the leadership to do it is most likely to be found at the local level, rather than the national or global. Harness that local initiative, and the kind of big change that...