The complexity surrounding our everyday life leaves many of us feeling drained, perpetually chasing an infinite to do list. We run faster and faster, hurrying to get things done, to meet deadlines, and to keep pace with demands and challenges. This hectic pace is overwhelming that it challenges our ability to sustain high performance. How do we get beyond this cycle of doing? How do we move beyond simply surviving? How can we embrace complexity rather than cope with it? The answer might be easier than you think. But it...
Old traditions can be innovative. As I contemplate the meaning of inter-organizational collaboration, I am reminded of stories I have read and heard about St. Helena Island, South Carolina, the place where I now live. It’s the kind of place ignored by management gurus and corporate boardrooms; it’s also the kind of place they could learn a lot from. In the literature, organizational collaboration is described as occurring when people work together on a shared goal, through purposeful relationships in which they...
There is genuine delight on the growing voice of democracy in the Middle East, as we view the struggle to give birth to institutions that support and sustain social fairness and representation. At home, our democratic institutions are showing signs of wear, as people are frustrated by the inability to drive any sort of consistent policy in a climate of blame and recrimination that produces a stalemate. This is a good time to look at what are the preconditions in the citizens that enable democratic institutions to grow and thrive....
Are you a hateful person? The answer may depend on where you live. Culturally, we think of emotions as individual things: If you “love,” it is “you” loving. Jealousy, anger, and fear are also all matters of the individual psyche. But believing that emotions are this particular is only a partial truth. There is increasing recognition that the systems we live in can predispose us to some emotions. Previous articles on Rethinking Complexity have suggested that the workplaces we spend much of our lives in in can be...
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." — William Butler Yeats Two weeks ago, my fourteen-year-old daughter summed up her day at school: “I finished the science TAKS [The Texas assessment of knowledge and skill] in about an hour and then slept for five hours.” On this particular day a 60-question single subject test was the only activity for every 8th grader in the state. Sleeping on TAKS days, it turns out, is quite common. In fact, it’s one of the three activities permitted...
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