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I have been working with Laurie Mandel, Ed.D., founder and Executive Director of Get-A-Voice™, recently. As I dove deeply into her philosophy, I ended up revisiting elements of systems knowledge intermingled with a motivation to establish conscious school cultures—from the student level! After nearly two months of work, these foundational systems Laurie “suspected” would spark cultures of acceptance have been interconnected through a comprehensive plan to bring Get-A-Voice™ (or GAV) to the national market. The GAV...
It’s been a bad week for government and technology. It was revealed this week that the medical records of over 300,000 Californians sat on unsecured servers … leaving everything from insurance claims to social security numbers available to anyone who wanted to Google it. On the other side of the spectrum, Florida Governor Rick Scott admitted that months key emails from his transition team were deleted  … in violation of open records laws.   These are some pretty big “oopses,” although arguable no...
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We're on the cusp of watching real change sweep through Libya this week as rebel fighters seize the capital city of Tripoli in their ongoing effort to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. With a new political body ready to replace Gadhafi's 42-year regime, the rebels' plight toward freedom these past six months has been fueled by leverage points leading to change. In her 2008 book, Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Donella H. Meadows defined a leverage point as a "point of power" within a system. A leverage point's...
Photo courtesy of AmericaSpeaks.
Recently one of my previous students sent me an email inviting me to write to my senators asking them to get on board with spending cuts. The email made the argument that just as individuals cannot continue to spend more than they bring in, neither can governments. She noted that she would “fire” all members of the U.S. Congress for their inability to adequately address the issue and pointed to the recent agreement to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling as totally inadequate. While I don’t disagree with the need to...
Photo courtesy of TCU Magazine.
To find inspiration and clarify my latest thinking on embracing complexity, I recently turned to popular, off-the-shelf publications and the latest business books. Not only did I not find inspiration and clarity, I experienced confusion and loss of interest from the dogma I found there.So much of what I read was filled with jargon, buzz words, and claims of a silver bullets that I had a hard time sorting out the message. The advice or suggestions I found simply did not resonate with me. The literature didn't create a shift in thinking or a...

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