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Photo of Carolyn Rafaelian courtesy of AlexAndAni.com
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...
Photo of David Hutchens courtesy of Aimee C. Juarez.
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...
Photo of Michael Erickson sketching a graphic recording by Aimee C. Juarez.
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...
A Día de los Muertos altar.
My time living and working in Mexico has given me an appreciation for the celebrations of Halloween on October 31st, All Saints' Day on November 1st, and the Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) on November 1st through the 2nd. To remember the dead and honor their joys and pleasures in life at the end of October, I often create an altar adorned with photos of my loved ones who have passed on, marigolds, and other beautiful things they enjoyed in life. This year it's different. This year on the Día de los Muertos, I...
Photo of Charlotte Roberts courtesy of Aimee C. Juarez
How we view the world around us is pretty darn interesting from the perspective of systems thinker Charlotte Roberts. According to Roberts, our mental models shape the structures we create, the patterns that we spot, and the events that we choose to see or acknowledge. It's a hierachical evolution of perception—applicable to both individuals and organizations alike—that Roberts called "the four levels of reality" during her keynote address this morning to attendants of the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action conference in...

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