Following some encounters I had early last month leading up to the 104th anniversary of the International Women’s Day I am reminded of lessons learned here at Saybrook University on helping human systems. I participated in an event with a group of about 100 Christian women from one of the parishes in Southwestern Kenya at a church located about 65 kilometers from my parent's home, on a hillside in the outskirts of Kisii town. I had been invited by the lead organizer of this group to speak at their monthly meeting that brings...
After going through a long destructive cycle in my life, where everything I counted on fell away, I have emerged into a generative period in which life energy has returned, and I am moving toward the world again. This period of disintegration changed everything for me. Keeping my seat as life’s fabric unraveled was hard, to say the least. And that was all I could do—try to keep centered, meditate more, stay present with my experience, and as best as I could be compassionate toward myself and others. I rode the waves of Lyme disease...
I have been teaching systems thinking as an approach to deal with complexity for many years. Complexity has become a catch word, something that is recognized as a part of modern life, something that should not be ignored or simplified. We have too many examples of reductionist approaches that tried to solve a problem through a technological (quick) fix to only find out that the solution had “side effects” that made the problem worse or created new problems. So acknowledging and even embracing complexity has been, in my opinion, a...
Many of today’s complexity-related challenges require leaders to create more space in the workplace for people to share their difficulties and concerns, and explore new ways of addressing them. Whenever we are facing the unknown, doing something we haven’t done before, and unsure how to approach a new challenge or what the outcome might be, we feel vulnerable. This sense of vulnerability often precedes our knowing what we can expect of ourselves, or what is expected of us in our work environments, and can cause undue stress....
I recently attended a meeting at the Almaden Research Lab near San Jose, CA. The T-Summit was jointly sponsored by Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute and IBM's Global University Programs. As described in the announcement about the meeting: Employers are placing increasing importance on competencies that allow young professionals to handle information from multiple sources, advance professional relationships across organizations, contribute innovatively to...
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