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Southwest, Google, Apple, McDonalds, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Cragslist and many others have influential business models that have changed industries and the way we live.  A business model is what we experience as stakeholders.  Unless we are intimately connected to an organization, we do not know or understand its strategies or tactics but we do relate to its business model. If you fly Southwest, then you are familiar with their direct booking process, its transparent low prices, the ability to buy-in an earlier boarding position, no...
Photo by Jesus Solana
As reported in the Wall Street Journal (Curran, 2013), Australia has been ranked the happiest industrialized country in the world for the third year in a row, according to the Better Life Index of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  That puts it ahead of Sweden, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland – and in sixth place – the United States. The ranking includes evaluations of housing, incomes, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction,...
Traditionally, organizational strategy has been cast as equal parts analysis and prediction. A small group of elite organizational leaders apply a framework (e.g. Porter’s Five Forces), consider trends that might alter the status quo, and then produce a plan to guide decision making and resource allocation for the foreseeable future. It’s that “foreseeable future” thing that has undermined the value of strategic planning. Market conditions are increasingly turbulent and competition arises from unexpected places. Who...
Bill Gates stated at the World Economic Forum in 2008 in Switzerland, “there are two great forces of human nature—self-interest and caring for others.” It is easy to understand the impact of giving and taking at a global scale. Our world leaders show us the results of both. Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King amply demonstrated how giving results in large positive change. In contrast, Hitler, Stalin and Gadhafi embodying the taker mentality caused great strife and destruction. It is a lot harder to understand the...
By Szentkiralyi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by
There is a long lineage of systems thinkers, and systems scientists, who have proposed ways to purposefully design the social systems in which we live. Bela H. Banathy, who created the systems program at Saybrook, used an idealized approach to social systems design. John Warfield offered his Interactive Management process. His long-time colleague, Aleco Christakis, expanded that to what is now known as Structured Dialogic Design. Russ Ackoff, like Bela, thought in terms of idealized design, but from a different view and with applications...

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