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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Systems Theory

Image courtesy of Jamshid Gharajedaghi
There's a cold, hard fact that a majority of us MBAs don't learn in business school and it's the reality that companies falter and fail quite badly, quite often. Theoretically, a company's competitive advantage should strengthen its positioning and it's ability to succeed among competitors. This, we MBAs are told, is done by...
Photo courtes of City-Data.com
If you really want us Miamians to complain about something, ask us how bad our morning or afternoon commute is on any given weekday. It can be just as bad on weekends when we're either stuck in dense traffic courtesy of a random car crash or when we're all out-and-about at the same time clogging up the limited amount of lanes on our...
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I’m about as shocked by the recent National Football League bounty scandal as Captain Louis Renault was in the movie Casablanca when he closed down Rick’s Café Américain for gambling. In case you missed it, the New Orleans Saints’ defensive players had been pooling money to provide a bounty for any teammate who...
Carl Rogers
Individuals create social societies wherever they go, according to several organizational theorists of the late 19th and early 20th century. Douglas McGregor, for instance, created his ABC theory regarding attitude, behavior, and consequences to illustrate the importance of the individual within working groups and the effect upon successful output...
So what is complexity? The definition of complexity is... complex. Most people associate complexity with complication. We view something as complex when we do not understand it, it appears difficult to manage, or it simply has too many moving parts. The challenge with defining complexity is similar to defining happiness. It doesn't have a neat...
Image courtesy of Jorge Taborga
How would you describe finding meaning in the work you do? Would you say that work is most meaningful when you are developing yourself? Would you say that that you find the most meaning when you are expressing your full potential?  How about when you feel connected with others? Does doing service give you the most meaning? How about all of...
Graphic recording courtesy of Regina Rowland/Syntony Quest.
Dealing with Complexity—that’s the title of one of our foundation courses in the organizational systems program at Saybrook University. It is the introduction to systems thinking and students get an opportunity to learn the concepts and tools of how to not only understand but also identify leverage points where an intervention can make...
Photo of Michael Erickson sketching a graphic recording by Aimee C. Juarez.
David Sibbet finds it tough to understand a story unless you can see it in some way. “Really good storytellers paint pictures in your mind,” he told attendants of the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action Conference this morning during his keynote address titled Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Creating and Sustaining High Performance. A...
We are at the portal of what systems scientist Béla Bánáthy called the "fourth generation" humans. What distinguishes this fourth generation from its predecessors is evolutionary consciousness, according to Bánáthy, a professor emeritus at Saybrook University until his death in 2003. Báná...
Photo courtesy of DreamsTime.com.
In a previous post, I presented the need to move from systems thinking to systems being. There is a reason for that: I believe that it is through systems being that we will be able to truly transform our world. And transforming the world is the task of leaders. However, the most prevalent understanding of leadership is narrow and hierarchical: one...
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Today’s educational system is wrought with complexity—from the work of educating students to the lack of financing in heated political climates. Working in the educational system can be complex, but it can also be rewarding. The challenge is finding the right people with the right passion who are able to view the world from a systemic...
Diagram courtesy of Jorge Taborga.
Our life choices and commitments feed on each other causing them to form a reinforcing loop. This type of loop is the causal relationship of two variables that affect each other in the same direction. If one grows the other does as well. The opposite is also true: the reduction in one variable causes the other to diminish. The choices we make in...