Logo for Saybrook University

Rethinking Complexity

Categories

Posts tagged with the category Jay G. Cone

Image of Susan Cain courtesy of Ted.com
Susan Cain, perhaps ironically, has become the voice of introversion. She is the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. In January of this year, Cain wrote a provocative piece for the New York Times disparaging collaboration in our organizations as "the rise of the new groupthink." She even...
Two of my daughters play volleyball. It’s a significantly more complicated version of the game I remember playing in gym class. It still involves six players on each side, but once the ball is served, the players move around the court in choreographed sprints that look fairly chaotic to the untrained eye. I seem to remember standing in my...
I’ll be travelling to Chicago next week to meet with a prospective insurance industry client. I’m joining Lisa, a sales director who has been talking with the potential client about our training programs and consulting services. The head of the company’s talent development function is interested in creating a centralized approach...
One of the most often repeated punch lines from Gallup’s famous Q12 survey of employee engagement is that employees join companies, but leave their immediate supervisor. In other words, people mostly talk about the company when asked what attracted to them to a particular job, but they mostly cite issues with their immediate manager when...
So much of how we make sense of the world starts with the questions we choose to ask. At the same time, the questions we choose to ask are shaped by the way we make sense of the world. Which came first, the question or the answer? A great example of how one can trace the source of our questions to our frames of reference can be found in Edwin A....
OK, I'll admit it: I’m addicted to Donald Trump's The Apprentice. Watching the show on TV a few weeks ago, I was struck by how its premise runs completely counter to the ideals of collective intelligence. Even though we’re watching teams compete, the show isn't about teamwork—it's about 18 individuals trying to...
Agreements are the currency of human systems. Many agreements are implicit social or cultural conventions. We’re not really conscious that we’ve agreed to anything when we stop at red lights, for example, or when we allow people to exit the elevator before we enter. Other agreements are hard won and inconsistently implemented. When I...
The other day, National Public Radio published a story about partisan politics. According to insights offered by Dartmouth College political scientist Brendan Nyhan in the story, partisans tend to be partial to their political loyalties on a range of issues, side-stepping the facts. When remaining loyal requires them to change their views of the...
Photo courtesy of Kaushik.net
I have labile hypertension. Having labile hypertension means my blood pressure readings bounce around. Sometimes my blood pressure reads in the normal range and sometime in the high-normal range. Unlike my internal body temperature and my pulse, there’s no obvious reason why taking two measurements under the same conditions and minutes apart...
Graph courtesy of Jay G. Cone
Work groups and teams make collective decisions. Jury’s reach verdicts. Executive teams choose strategies. Creative teams at ad agencies settle on a campaign they’ll recommend. Task forces and panels publish their findings. On their way to collective decisions and agreements, groups generate ideas, exchange information and opinions,...
David Straus, founder of Interaction Associates, defined a problem as "a situation someone wants to change." I kept wondering why it was so hard to get my daughter to keep her room clean until I realized that, given Straus' definition, only one of us has a problem. That is, only one of us wants the situation to change. Situation...
Photo courtesy of SpliceToday.com
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...