Category: Rethinking Complexity


An Ecology of Life: Systems Theory, Relational Knowing and Stories to Reweave the World

This is the title of a seminar I will be offering next week at Saybrook’s Residential Conference to launch the spring semester. I’m excited to be offering it in collaboration with my dear friend and colleague Nora Bateson who has produced a profound film about her father — the anthropologist and systems theorist Gregory Bateson…. Read more »

Can We Fix Charities in the U.S.?

Dan Pallotta, is a father, activist, and fundraiser who is speaking out against the current way that nonprofits operate. In March, 2013 Pallotta presented a TED Talk that passionately discusses how to change the way we think about a charity. He identifies a double standard—where too many nonprofits are rewarded for how little they spend… Read more »

Is the “Eco-System Economy” Ready for Prime Time?- A Review of “Leading from the Emerging Future”

For anyone interested in 21st century organizational effectiveness, sustainability, integral leadership, conscious evolution and/or societal transformation who has not yet delved into Otto Scharmer’s concept of “presencing” — the practice of “sensing” future possibilities and acting from the presence of what wants to emerge – I invite you to prepare for a most satisfying journey… Read more »

Sometimes, It Pays to Think

Bill Gates apparently took time out of his busy schedule to guest edit the December 2013 issue of Wired Magazine. In that issue is an article entitled, “This is the Man Bill Gates Thinks you Absolutely Should be Reading.” The article opens with the quotation from Gates, “’There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil.’” … Read more »

Fear: Its Impact on Individuals and Organizations

Fear is often a hidden and unconscious emotion, an emotion that is at the root of our inaction and ‘stuckness’ in our careers and personal lives. What we often see on the surface are the symptoms of fear. Those symptoms may manifest in many ways: as anger, grief, physical pain (yes, physical pain), lack of… Read more »

Great Leadership Requires Asking Questions

So often we look to leaders to provide answers to the most challenging problems we face, whether in politics or business. In fact, great leaders are those who instead ask the right questions and engage others to arrive at the best answers together. The media overly promotes a single businessman, politician or sports star as… Read more »

Will Cyborgs Ever Learn to Pray?

One morning last week, I awoke from a strange dream. I don’t recall all the particulars, but it involved a scene where I was living and working with a group of “not-quite-human” creatures made of silicone, integrated circuits and bio-engineered, synthetic flesh. These engineered creatures seemed to have acquired human-like appearances, capabilities, and behaviors; to… Read more »

Listen for a Change

As I write this post, I am in Mexico City having just spent the day with a group of mid-career managers facilitating a program about how to have more productive conversations at work. I cannot say for sure what the participants got from today’s session, but I definitely walked away with some food for thought…. Read more »

Social Media, Shared Learning, and the Consciousness of Collaboration

Recently, through a Saybrook University learning experiment entitled “Project X” participants were immersed in a learning experience designed through the lens of social media. The course was on Evolutionary Leadership for Sustainability and was facilitated by Kathia Laszlo, Ph.D. As a bit of a flanuer, I observed the class for research on its effectiveness and… Read more »

Group Intelligence

Why does the intelligence of a group matter? What is group intelligence? We spend most of our lives engaged with people in a myriad of activities. Our livelihoods depend on our interaction with others.  For most of us living in modern societies, our success and quality of life are completely dependent on the various groups… Read more »