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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Jay G. Cone

My colleague Tom has a new assignment. The director of executive development for a Fortune-500 engineering and construction company, Tom summed up his new assignment this way the last time I saw him: "I moneyball potential executives." He was referring to the 2003 Michael Lewis bestseller, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game....
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About three years ago, I had a coaching conversation with a human resources manager for a retail company. The manager confided in me that conflict she was experiencing made her uncomfortable. She described the lengths to which she would go to avoid raising challenging issues or delivering candid feedback. By way of example, she described a damaged...
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A January 15th New York Times' opinion piece, "The Rise of the New Groupthink," Susan Cain argued that solitude rather than collaboration is more conducive to creativity. "…People," Cain wrote, "are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.” She went on to describe a trend in our...
I have three teenage daughters. Needless to say, we pay for the unlimited text-messaging feature on our family mobile phone contract. I used to worry about the impact of sending abbreviated bursts of words and symbols on the future of communication, but I’ve been won over by how responsive my daughters are when I send them a text message....
An Oklahoma first grader was suspended recently for making a gun gesture with his hand because the gesture violated the school district's zero-tolerance policy against weapons and violence, according to news reports. That's just one in a handful of stories making headlines today. Stories of kids being expelled for having nail clippers or...
Three organizations I work with are undergoing restructuring. In one case, the company is being acquired. The other two organizations are spinning off divisions to create new publicly traded companies. I have firsthand experience of working for a company that's being spun off. I was a human resources director when PepsiCo divested itself of...
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I was chatting with colleagues over lunch during a workshop a few weeks ago when a consultant from a leadership development firm polled us about career development trends we’re noticing in our client organizations. We all agreed that our training programs targeting high-potential leaders have been selling well. We noted that due to a cruel...
Organizational systems consultants, like myself, usually have loads of advice for bosses about how to lead meetings. Meetings fascinate us consultants because that’s where all the action takes place—they are a microcosm of an organization’s culture. You can learn a lot about an organization by paying attention to how the...
To: Management From: A concerned employee Subject: Performance Management Well, it’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the kids are back in school in their new shoes, and I’m preparing to meet with my boss to have a year’s worth of behavior summed up in a two-or three-word euphemism that will determine my...
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I’m working on becoming more compassionate. His Holiness the Dalia Lama believes that compassion forms the basis for ethical behavior. My interest in compassion is less noble. I find that when I remember to shift my attention from analysis to compassion, I always learn something. Two articles published last week have tested my capacity for...
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Harry Nilsson’s Grammy award winning song, "Everybody's Talking at Me," has been stuck in my head all day, specifically the lyric: Everybody’s talking at me, I don’t hear a word they’re saying, only the echoes of my mind. I actually met Harry Nilsson years ago when I managed a restaurant in Southern California...
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This time of year, a lot of my conversations with friends, colleagues, and clients began with the question: How was your vacation? Typically, you hear a wistful recounting of highlights followed by comments about the shock of re-entry into the daily routine. It seems that memories and feelings from even the most inspiring vacations fade fast....