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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Self and the Other

“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...
Many of today’s complexity-related challenges require leaders to create more space in the workplace for people to share their difficulties and concerns, and explore new ways of addressing them. Whenever we are facing the unknown, doing something we haven’t done before, and unsure how to approach a new challenge or what the outcome...
Over the last five decades, while business contexts were evolving from national to international to transnational and now to global, workplace environments were shifting from “control-oriented” hierarchies to interactive teams to social networking ecologies. Such shifts in perspectives, accompanied by innovations in digital-based...
I just returned from another trip to Japan, this time including a first visit to Osaka.  The first few days were spent in Tokyo, at the seventh workshop and symposium about service systems science, hosted by Prof. Kyoichi (Jim) Kijima from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.  The purpose of the event was “to describe visions of the...
Over time, people across the world have self-organized themselves in a variety of ways. There are tribes, villages, towns and cities. Then there are city-states, nation-states and even empires. All have cultures, even subcultures that make them distinctive and give them an identity. They have borders that create separation and avenues of commerce...
When I left my job to start out on my own, after 4.5 years of working with a non-governmental organization (NGO) in underserved communities in Ghana, I knew I wanted to work with people. My experience working in these communities brought me closer to people in a different way. I was slowly able to relate to what their needs were, and I found that...