Sorting out complexity is, by nature, difficult. When we talk about complexity we tend to mean something beyond normal, regular, or average. Even agreeing on definitions is problematic. A search of the “systemspedia” in the online library of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence found 362 entries related to complexity. (Note that this is different than results from a general online search engine, such as Google, which may have little if any actual relevance.) The first reference for the first result cites...
Last February, I went snowboarding for about the 18th time in 14 years. When 50, on a bit of a lark, I learned how to snow board. I was already too old to do this. The young boarders call any boarder over 50 “a gray on a tray,” and that was me. I so loved it. The joy of swooshing down the huge, miles-long slopes in Utah or Colorado. The bracing air, the snow sparkles, the athleticism. Eleven times I went with my sons so I could add the joy of being with them and last February I even had my grandson Micah with us, his first time on...
The nature of leadership competencies is evolving because the context and challenges facing leaders in organizations today are shifting, as are the demands and speed of necessary change. One quality that is emerging as essential is the need for leaders to be focused outward, reaching out and moving across many boundaries, spanning multiple constituencies of people. The leader does not just lead downward, but also out, across, up, and down, crossing many boundaries and hearing from many interest groups and communities. While other members of a...
Two decades ago, actress Wynona Ryder donned a graduation gown, stood at a podium and, as Lelaina Pierce in the movie Reality Bites, gave a college commencement speech that, in a few sentences, managed to probe two extremes and the ambiguous space in between. "And they wonder why those of us in our 20s refuse to work an 80-hour week just so we can afford to buy their BMWs," Pierce says defiantly to random hoots and cheers from the audience during the movie's opening scene. "Why we aren't interested in the counterculture...
Continuing the conversation about collaborative advantage, in our interdependent world, organizations are intelligent networks that thrive on connectivity. Companies are not lifeless “brick-and-mortar” buildings, financial balance sheets filled with numbers, or warehouses stacked with products, but dialogical human enterprises that flourish and serve customers through the application of human ingenuity and engagement. Spirited workplace communities that are not confined by traditional organizational structures and processes allow...
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