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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Dennis Jaffe

Photo courtesy of UTSanDiego.com
After two days with 150 artists, land developers, business and government executives, architects, and players in public and private global ventures designed to change the face, lifestyle, and economy of urban places, I was exhausted by the openness, creativity and, most of all, the pragmatic willingness to take action that I was hearing about. The...
I first learned about appreciative inquiry in the late 1980s when David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney developed their model, echoing Maslow’s idea that we look at the successful rather than pathological examples to really be helpful to individuals and organizations. At that time the concept of excellence was shaking organizations and Covey...
Photo courtesy of "The Defence Coach" on Facebook.
The March 28th edition of New York Times magazine had a deeply inspiring article about some unique programs being adopted by the U.S. Army to help returning war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Instead of medical treatment and therapy, the programs focus on activating a natural capacity of the human being for growth, learning, and...
Photo of Richard Davidson and the Dalai Lama courtesy of Trialx.com
While I have been generally skeptical about the ability of academic psychology to deliver deep truths about human functioning in a complex environment, two books I have been reading have shown me that there is some wonderful work that can be done within the rubric of psychology that has the potential of changing the way we see ourselves, make...
Visiting Vietnam was a disquieting experience on many levels. It has been part of my emotional vocabulary since my college years; the center of so many arguments and social issues. I knew what we should be doing there and what we should not as there were always others who had deep emotional commitments to the opposite viewpoint. But until I went...
Photo courtesy of GrowthStageConsulting.com
An organization is of a large group of individuals who are together for the sake of achieving a task. There are many moving pieces and many ways to see the essential task. The real challenge is figuring out how each individual can know where to put their time and energy to create the optimal synergy to achieve the organization’s results....
A family is a delicate edifice with a natural tendency to fragment, split, and move in different directions over generations. New people enter as spouses and children with their own interests, preferences and life styles. But when a family shares ownership, oversight, and dependence on shared investments, they challenge this tide. Such connected...
I had a sense of déjà vu when I heard that the “protester” was Time magazine’s Person of the Year. I remembered images of the Chicago protesters who arguably denied us the experience of President Hubert Humphrey and my personal memory of the huge protest of the arrest of Black Panthers in New Haven. My role was to...
If there is one simple ability that makes the most difference in effective leaders who are able to enroll other people in their projects, it is the ability to initiate and reach resolution in areas that arouse anxiety in either party. That same skill enables people who are not formal leaders to move from feeing frustrated and powerless to empower...
Photo courtesy of TimeOutSingapore.com.
Groups of young people and business-attired elders swarmed the lobby of the Ritz Carlton in Singapore in one of the most inspiring and unique gatherings I have ever experienced. An estimated 700 family business owners from more than 40 countries—ranging from restaurants to oil refining, from media to manufacturing, from food to green...
A young person from a wealthy family has an incredible array of choices as he or she enters adulthood and considers the age-old question—what will I do with my life? How do I make a difference? For the heir of a wealthy family, the many opportunities that lie ahead may include an undertone of anxiety as he or she tries to reconcile an...
Photo courtesy of 360VendorManagement.com.
Every week I see signs that our social institutions and organizations have lost their ability to accomplish key tasks, even as the urgency to do so rises. In fact, the intensity of feelings among different stakeholder groups seems to be a factor contributing to breakdown. We depend on large organizations, government, and community groups to...