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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Self and the Other

Life is a journey. I have been keenly aware of that for a good portion of my life.  I guess I became aware of the power of the metaphor in my early twenties when I broke away from some cultural patterns that diverted me from what a friend called “the franchised life” — that more or less predictable and predefined path for a...
Recently I travelled to Finland for a conference which created an opportunity to travel around the Scandinavian countries. The country that left the strongest impression was Sweden.  We took the ferry from Vassa Finland to Umea Sweden and as soon as we got on the ferry, I noticed something different in the way Swedish people interact with...
July is usually a rather reflective month for me as I embrace yet another year of progression in age with a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of life. The past two weeks have particularly been reflective and thought-provoking for me as I seek to gain deeper insights on a variety of things. These include the direction I am taking with my...
Geographically distributed, functioning in a global context and ongoing engagement with internal and external professionals are apt key descriptors of the 21st century organization. The complex pulsating networks in which an organization comes to life and thrives, in reality, is the organizations itself; while the planned and spontaneous...
I walk in two worlds though neither is home. My work and education are based in and on human systems and psychology. I’m drawn to both for a sense and deeper understanding about when, how, and if people connect.  The energy from groups has been a positive reinforcement for me that people co-create and deliver a collective goal while...
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  — Seneca I often encounter people I admire who seem extremely lucky in getting a great job, regular promotions, and seemingly unlimited professional success. For the most part, I believe these people earned this fate through taking responsibility for their luck....
This month I travelled to Finland for a conference on Culture, Values, and Justice.  An interesting group of scholars attended who were exploring the many aspects, interrelationships, and applications of ideas that comprise these three areas.  To me, these three subjects and their interrelationships suggest three questions that define...
Is risk encouraged or discouraged in your organization? What happens when someone makes a mistake? When I talk with a potential client with regard to his or her organization, these are questions I like to ask because they provide me with an indication of just how much of a learning organization it may or may not be. Peter M. Senge describes this...
Most, if not all, know the popular saying “Think globally and act locally.”  Originally this saying was a cry for sustainable living; that is, to care for the earth’s environment by consciously examining and changing how one lives and works. Not only does this saying now refer to much more, when applying it to global...
In this country, citizens across a broad spectrum of diverse backgrounds don’t often come together over a cause. We just don’t organize much anymore. Our rights and liberties were bought and fought for some time ago. Or so we think – We expect our water and electricity to just work. We expect to easily cross neighborhood...
Following some encounters I had early last month leading up to the 104th anniversary of the International Women’s Day I am reminded of lessons learned here at Saybrook University on helping human systems. I participated in an event with a group of about 100 Christian women from one of the parishes in Southwestern Kenya at a church located...
I have been teaching systems thinking as an approach to deal with complexity for many years. Complexity has become a catch word, something that is recognized as a part of modern life, something that should not be ignored or simplified. We have too many examples of reductionist approaches that tried to solve a problem through a technological (quick...