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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Sustainability

Photo courtesy of the Sustainable Enterprise Conference's Facebook page
On May 11th, I attended the Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Rohnert Park, California. This conference has become a vibrant event in Sonoma County that fosters innovation and cultural change toward sustainability. Businesses, government and nonprofits are represented in this conference which presents both the best practices as well as the...
Spring is turning to summer here in the high desert and the restless energies of the changing seasons are moving through me. I've been cleaning out my office little-by-little lately, going through old mail and the like. The idea of shredding documents impacted me surprisingly deeply this time. When I've worked as an internal consultant,...
When we look at change, we can easily distinguish between planned and unplanned change. In simple terms, planned change is change that we seek. Conversely, unplanned change is the type of change we are forced to accept and integrate. This latter type of change may have been planned by others and we are just the unsuspecting recipients of it; or...
We have come to appreciate diversity as an asset in organizations. Diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, or any other manifestation of the ways we, as human beings, express our uniqueness. But beyond affirmative action, which creates a legal platform for equal employment opportunity, why should we care about organizational cultures that foster...
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It is inspiring to see more and more social enterprises been created. Social entrepreneurs are innovating new structures to integrate business knowledge with a socio-ecological purpose, expanding what traditionally has been considered profit. At the same time, the experimentation with new structures and processes also means that social...
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I write this entry while living and working from Cefalù, Sicily, a town not only steeped in centuries-old tradition, but part of one of the countries currently struggling to survive as a member of the European Union. Evidenced by the hand waves and chatter in the streets, people in Cefalù know each other and have a communal identity...
There is no doubt that we have been rapidly evolving as social beings since our tribal beginnings to our now global media-connected existence. As our evolution continues, we can see two very different paths ahead of us: one of a sustainable future and one of apocalyptic outcomes. Our current ethical fabric may not be enough to propel us into a...
Image courtesy of ncbsr.org
Corporations—or business organizations—are being (re)defined at this very moment. Presently, there's a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that involves human rights violations committed by a corporation in a foreign country. Proponents of human rights are concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision will indicate that...
I have been thinking a lot about the need for new business models. By “new” I mean truly innovative and deeply ethical—in other words, revolutionary, or even better, evolutionary. I’m of the opinion that we have plenty of evidence and experience to harvest the lessons of what works and what doesn’t work in our current...
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Present sustainability programs in organizations have severe limitations built into them and the implementers are generally unaware of them. While these programs may reduce resource or fossil fuel energy consumption and reduce environmental pollution, they are not truly sustainable. At best, present day corporate sustainability programs are most...
As can be seen by the current economic crisis and issues regarding global warming, leading organizations in the 21st century is very challenging and requires new approaches. Leading a sustainable organization involves stretching the organization to re-envision how it uses its resources, not only natural resources, but its workforce and business...
Image courtesy of TaigaCompany.com
I completely believe in "the power of intention to spark evolutionary change," as Nancy Southern so eloquently wrote in a previous post. As human beings, we have the capacity to envision a different future and to commit to actions that will turn that vision into a new reality. That’s the power of systems design: the power of coming...