Dealing with Complexity—that’s the title of one of our foundation courses in the organizational systems program at Saybrook University. It is the introduction to systems thinking and students get an opportunity to learn the concepts and tools of how to not only understand but also identify leverage points where an intervention can make a difference. Individuals and organizations seem more able to acknowledge the increased complexity in our daily lives. It has become quite evident that the crucial problems that afflict our...
The globe can't escape exponential growth. Population rates continue to spike, countries such as China and India continue to rapidly develop, consumption and waste trends continue to increase, and businesses continue to seek out more and more market share across the globe. Our current patterns are placing a huge toll on our planet, which author Peter Senge called a "finite box" during Wednesday's closing keynote address at the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action conference. "We can't keep putting things in a finite box...
In a world where the original Ben & Jerry’s may only be a memory trace for many young Americans, Alex and Ani is creating a deep offshore swell of waves prompting many to grab their organizational surf boards and join the team. This movement birthed in Rhode Island appears to be the first positivity movement in jewelry to date. Not unlike Ben & Jerry’s or Tom’s Shoes, Alex and Ani’s momentum is in part due to its strong alignment with humanistic values. Owner and designer Carolyn Rafaelian truly fuels this...
Storytelling's not big in the business world. Author and consultant David Hutchens says he encounters resistance every time he asks executives to tell him about the results they got on a project. They generally clam up, he said, and default to standard answers. We reached our target, some executives will say. Others will tell him everything went as planned and leave it at that. They generally don't relay the tale of what got them from point A to point B, which is what Hutchens wants to hear. They won't naturally open up and tell...
David Sibbet finds it tough to understand a story unless you can see it in some way. “Really good storytellers paint pictures in your mind,” he told attendants of the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action Conference this morning during his keynote address titled Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Creating and Sustaining High Performance. A pioneer in the field of graphic facilitation, Sibbet talked about the importance of visual literacy in systems thinking and how tools such as graphic recordings—those oversized, mural-esque type of...
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