Posts tagged with the category Self and the Other
How Do We Develop a Systems Perspective?
As awareness grows that we are living in a world, not just made up by parts, but by complex systems, the desire to develop a systems perspective is growing. I am co-presenting at a conference of social workers this week, helping them understand how poverty is a systemic issue and how approaches to solving it must also be systemic. Fortunately, the...
Reality Bites... Without Meaningfulness
Two decades ago, actress Wynona Ryder donned a graduation gown, stood at a podium and, as Lelaina Pierce in the movie Reality Bites, gave a college commencement speech that, in a few sentences, managed to probe two extremes and the ambiguous space in between. "And they wonder why those of us in our 20s refuse to work an 80-hour week just so...
Intentionality, Collaboration, and Presence: Accelerating Systemic Transformation
I had a powerful experience this past week. It was the launch of the Global Leadership Lab, an organization I co-founded even though it was never my plan to do so. The experience has shown me the power of pure intention and deep collaboration in the quest to accelerate systemic transformation. For the past six months, I have been part of a magical...
Leadership at “The Wall”
I’m afraid that our efforts to understand and define leadership, its styles and types and characteristics, have not resulted in effective responses to the complex challenges we’ve created for ourselves. The field of leadership development not delivering on a central aspect of leadership—results—is a bit ironic, really. So I...
For me, this year promises to be a year of integration. Recently, a colleague told me that I am a weaver. We were working on the design of a leadership program for social innovators when she said, “And just as I thought that we were done, your brought in another thread and weaved it to make this idea even more complete, more beautiful....
Framing the Conversation: The Power of Initiative
Who among us is not experiencing frustration with the nature of the debate about the future of our government tax system? Our tax, pensions, as well as the health of our whole economy hang in the balance, and we see a duel of extreme and simplistic statements about “job creators,” “becoming another Greece (or Europe),”...
A Journey into the "It" World
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a Zen-seeker. I enjoy temporarily turning off the rigid, left-brain linearities of my MBA, academia, and journalistic writings for the sake of finding inner harmony and balance through meditative practice. For me, this practice is as simple as sitting quietly for five minutes without engaging any lingering...
What Struck You?
This year's Systems Thinking in Action conference hosted by Pegasus Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana, brought a question into focus: What struck you? In his keynote address, Peter Block emphasized the importance of questions, such as this. His message: Questions are the point; questions bring us together; and answers keep us apart. We...
In the Right Light
I’d never heard of artist Aaron Rose until I stumbled across him online this morning while looking up quotes on the topic of perspective. “In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary,” Rose once said. While it’s unclear whether he uttered these words in one of his films or wrote it down as part of a...
Embracing Hope in Uncertain Times
There is a saying, “Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right now, then it is not yet the end.” This mantra is proclaimed throughout the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as six British retirees grapple with getting older and lives that did not turn out as they had hoped. Each find themselves at a...
"I’m Spiritual, But Not Religious"
I’m spiritual, but not religious. I say that quite often and it's also something I hear quite often, typically when I'm getting to know a new friend or an acquaintance and the topic turns to spirituality, meaning-making, defining a sense of purpose, or just pondering the mysteries of a vast and mysterious universe. Whether it's...
Living Systems, Feeling Systems
My work has been grounded in systems thinking. That has been the intellectual field that has informed my inquiry and has justified my natural tendency for connecting seemingly unrelated things and expanded boundaries. The field that has supported my personal quest for greater integration and inclusivity. However, although I continue to do much of...
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