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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Self and the Other

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 (...
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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...
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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...
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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...
I’m afraid that our efforts to understand and define leadership, its styles and types and characteristics, have not resulted in effective responses to the complex challenges we’ve created for ourselves. The field of leadership development not delivering on a central aspect of leadership—results—is a bit ironic, really. So I...
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For me, this year promises to be a year of integration. Recently, a colleague told me that I am a weaver. We were working on the design of a leadership program for social innovators when she said, “And just as I thought that we were done, your brought in another thread and weaved it to make this idea even more complete, more beautiful....
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Who among us is not experiencing frustration with the nature of the debate about the future of our government tax system? Our tax, pensions, as well as the health of our whole economy hang in the balance, and we see a duel of extreme and simplistic statements about “job creators,” “becoming another Greece (or Europe),”...
Photo provided by Aimee C. Juarez
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a Zen-seeker. I enjoy temporarily turning off the rigid, left-brain linearities of my MBA, academia, and journalistic writings for the sake of finding inner harmony and balance through meditative practice. For me, this practice is as simple as sitting quietly for five minutes without engaging any lingering...
Photo courtesy of Nancy Southern
This year's Systems Thinking in Action conference hosted by Pegasus Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana, brought a question into focus: What struck you? In his keynote address, Peter Block emphasized the importance of questions, such as this. His message: Questions are the point; questions bring us together; and answers keep us apart. We...