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...
Consider the possibility that everything we know today about our world emerged out of a vast pool of questions. Consider that human systems naturally evolve towards the questions people ask. Questions push the boundaries of our knowledge and understanding of what is possible. How might we transplant a heart or put a person on the moon? These accomplishments may not have been likely without first opening the door with powerful inquiry. Questions open up a new level of thinking, one that reaches beyond problem solving towards possibilities and...
Reflecting on the significance of Mother’s day my daughter told me: “Today, everybody should celebrate two mothers: our birth mother and also Mother Earth.” And she is right: the Earth is loving, nurturing and generous in supporting all of its creatures. What can we learn from our mothers and from the Earth as we seek to lead change toward peace and sustainability? Mother’s day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the love, care, and service that we receive from our mothers. A day to appreciate the best of women...
Organizational leaders seem to start “conversations” by inviting people to “discuss” everything from company marketing plans to daily personal matters. But, true discussions don’t always happen. You already knew that through didn’t you? Let’s face it, “conversation” is or can be one of those overused words like “authentic leadership.” When we opt to do toss a word into workplace use without consciousness we are more likely to remove the very possibilities of...
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