Posts tagged with the category Systems Theory
Helping students “get a voice” through collective courage
I have been working with Laurie Mandel, Ed.D., founder and Executive Director of Get-A-Voice™, recently. As I dove deeply into her philosophy, I ended up revisiting elements of systems knowledge intermingled with a motivation to establish conscious school cultures—from the student level! After nearly two months of work, these...
Systems Archetypes and Their Application
Systems archetypes are common and usually reoccurring patterns of behavior in organizations. These patterns almost always result in negative consequences. Systems archetypes were first studied in the 1960s and 1970s by Jay Forrester, Dennis Meadows, Donella Meadows and others in the nascent field of systems thinking. In his popular 1990 book...
First Thing's First: Who Are We?
Today's buzzwords are collaboration, community engagement, and networked leadership across several industries. There's a lot of talk about adapting a systems perspective and moving away from linear approaches to change. These views and processes are all well and good. As a matter of fact, they hold the promise of a more holistic pathway...
The Practices of Systemic Sustainability
Systemic sustainability is a process of development—individual, organizational, or societal—involving an adaptive strategy of emergence that ensures the evolutionary maintenance of an increasingly robust and supportive environment. Systemic sustainability goes beyond the triple bottom line and embraces “the possibility that human...
"...In the hardest of moments, we can also live the fullest of lives."
While perusing my Facebook page this afternoon, I learned that the friend of a friend—a woman named Maria—was recently hospitalized in her battle against an inoperable brain tumor. Maria's name sounded familiar so I looked her up. I know her, I thought. But I don't know her. At least not formally. I remembered her as Mari...
Will the real systemic leaders please stand up?
Last night on CNN, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina used the "s" word to describe the kind of change he wants to see in Washington, D.C., to end the recurring debt-default issue once and for all. The "s" word he used was systemic. "Systemic change," Mr. Gowdy said, is the change he'd like to...
Before Spiral Dynamics, There Was ECLET
Don Beck and Chris Cowan, the authors of Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change worked with Dr. Clare Grave for about 10 years prior to his death in 1986. Spiral dynamics has its roots in the research of Dr. Graves and is one of the most popular practices in value systems in use today by organizational development...
From Systems Thinking to Systems Being
A system is a set of interconnected elements which form a whole and show properties which are properties of the whole rather than of the individual elements. This definition is valid for a cell, an organism, a society, or a galaxy. Joanna Macy says that a system is less a thing than a pattern—a pattern of organization. It consists of a...
Dealing with Complexity, Dogs, and Fearful Neighbors
I have a problem with my neighbors and it's bothering me more than I like to admit. I like having good neighbors and was raised to be a good neighbor, but there's basic problem we can't seem to resolve: They fear and hate dogs; my husband and I have two dogs. Our problem may sound simple, but it's a complex situation. So I decided...
The Organizational Psyche: A Depth Psychology Model
In the 2003 book Mapping the Organizational Psyche: A Jungian Theory of Organizational Dynamics and Change, authors John G. Corlett and Carol S. Pearson model the organizational psyche in two layers: conscious and unconscious. The authors assert that the ego-driven actions and behaviors of those leading the organization manifest activity and...
The Trappings of a Reinforcing Loop: Cable Media and the Casey Anthony Trial
OK, I'll admit it: I've been following the Casey Anthony trial for the past 32 days on both Court TV and HLN. I don't veg out on the couch all day, eat potato chips, and let the trial proceedings numb my brain, but I have kept the TV on during the trial every so often while I work at my freelance writing, catching snippets of testimony...
The Evolution of Systems Thinking
Systems thinking as a method of inquiry deals with complexity from the perspective of the whole, not the parts. Most methods of inquiry follow the traditional path of reductionism as established by our sciences. We have learned to answer life’s difficult questions by dissecting our subjects into parts with the idea that they are...
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