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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Self and the Other

Fear is often a hidden and unconscious emotion, an emotion that is at the root of our inaction and ‘stuckness’ in our careers and personal lives. What we often see on the surface are the symptoms of fear. Those symptoms may manifest in many ways: as anger, grief, physical pain (yes, physical pain), lack of energy and motivation,...
One morning last week, I awoke from a strange dream. I don’t recall all the particulars, but it involved a scene where I was living and working with a group of “not-quite-human” creatures made of silicone, integrated circuits and bio-engineered, synthetic flesh. These engineered creatures seemed to have acquired human-like...
As I write this post, I am in Mexico City having just spent the day with a group of mid-career managers facilitating a program about how to have more productive conversations at work. I cannot say for sure what the participants got from today’s session, but I definitely walked away with some food for thought. The fact that today’s...
On a snowy, bitterly cold Minneapolis afternoon, when my then-preschooler finally fell asleep after hours of stalling and my dog shook off large clusters of ice onto the kitchen floor following his backyard romp, it took some self-control and compassion to not snap at my mother. My compassion came from a place within that reminded me, “We...
One of the most recognizable legacies of the humanistic psychology tradition is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Ask any manager or HR professional and they know it. Like many legacy theories, people see it as self-evident and generally would say that they agree with it. It is one of the most useful and well known achievements in the field of...
My previous Rethinking Complexity posts have primarily dealt with subjects of organizational development, evolution, complexity and management. In this blog entry, I address a more basic topic, that of subjectivity. I firmly believe that we construct our own reality as we make meaning of life and as meaning changes with our life experiences....
When the pace of things is fast and we have too much to do, we drain our inner resources --resources that are necessary for creativity. Stress is an energy hog that depletes our concentration, and it cuts us off from our best thinking. There's a whole bunch of brain science behind this.  Practices from Mindfulness & MBSR that spark...
Individual consciousness/awareness --> comprehension of complexity --> increased potential for effective development and action Consciousness is a term related to awareness. Awareness of what? Awareness of ourselves and others, those things we can observe and those that we cannot. Those we can measure and those we intuit. Victor Havel wrote...
Once upon a time (this week on Wednesday to be exact), in a city among the hills (Atlanta), a part-time cashier spotted an envelope just off the curb of the park-and-ride deck at the international terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Puzzled, the cashier picked up the envelope and found it stuffed with $7,000 in cold hard cash (...
Image courtesy of ProfessionalTechIntegration.com
As awareness grows that we are living in a world, not just made up by parts, but by complex systems, the desire to develop a systems perspective is growing. I am co-presenting at a conference of social workers this week, helping them understand how poverty is a systemic issue and how approaches to solving it must also be systemic. Fortunately, the...
Photo courtesy of NewEmpressMagazine.com
Two decades ago, actress Wynona Ryder donned a graduation gown, stood at a podium and, as Lelaina Pierce in the movie Reality Bites, gave a college commencement speech that, in a few sentences, managed to probe two extremes and the ambiguous space in between. "And they wonder why those of us in our 20s refuse to work an 80-hour week just so...
Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/GlobalLeadershipLab
I had a powerful experience this past week. It was the launch of the Global Leadership Lab, an organization I co-founded even though it was never my plan to do so. The experience has shown me the power of pure intention and deep collaboration in the quest to accelerate systemic transformation. For the past six months, I have been part of a magical...