How can we end the cycles of violence and injustice that cause so much suffering and misery? Is a more peaceful and equitable world really possible? If so, what would it actually look like? My research over several decades has focused on these questions. They are questions deeply rooted in my own early life experiences, when my parents and I narrowly escaped from Nazi Europe. Had we not been able to flee, like most of my relatives, we would almost certainly have been killed in the Holocaust. As I grew up, I looked for answers to these...
To: Management From: A concerned employee Subject: Performance Management Well, it’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the kids are back in school in their new shoes, and I’m preparing to meet with my boss to have a year’s worth of behavior summed up in a two-or three-word euphemism that will determine my future income and career potential. Yep, it’s performance appraisal season. If I’ve had a successful year, the boss will give me a rating of "meets expectations." A rating, I...
I had the opportunity last week to help facilitate a session for non-profit, business, technology, education, and media leaders who came together for the inaugural summit of ConvergeUS. Co-Chaired by TechNet’s CEO, Rey Ramsey, and Twitter’s Co-Founder, Biz Stone, ConvergeUS drives technology-based breakthroughs for critical social problems and thus accelerates social innovation. ConvergeUS—the non-profit arm of TechNet—is a bipartisan, political network of technology sector CEO’s and senior executives. It was...
It is clear that collaboration is a necessity in navigating today's complex work environments where ambiguity and change are constants. What is not clear is how to make collaboration part of an organization's culture and the default behavior pattern for leaders. One possible solution comes from Morten T. Hansen's 2009 book, Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid The Traps, Create Unity, And Reap Big Results. Hansen has been studying collaboration since the 1990s and offers a clear model for thinking about and managing collaboration. He...
As leaderless mobs of angry, unemployed 20-somethings continue to march on Wall Street this week picketing against big business and the federal government, my thoughts can't help but drift back to the pages of Marvin R. Weisbord's 2004 book, Productive Workplaces Revisited: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century. They return specifically to the chapters of the book that discuss the work of Eric Trist, Fred Emery, and the Tavistock Institute in 1950s London. At the time, Tavistock's study of groups in organizational...
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