Author: Nancy Southern


Why We Need New Thinking about Crisis Management

Our Oct 3 blog post by Gary Metcalf announced Saybrook’s plans to offer a new certificate program in Crisis Management, based on the important work of Ian Mitroff. Mitroff is a systems guy, someone who understands that planning, preparing, and responding to the crises we are experiencing today need a new approach. Angie’s list recently… Read more »

The power of meaningful conversations to clarify a path forward

We struggle in organizations to clarify objectives and future directions. We are working in complex adaptive systems that are ever changing and uncertain, and our ability to foresee the future, establish goals, and work toward them in a linear way, is difficult, if not impossible, in organizations today. At the same time the challenges before… Read more »

Learning to Work and Manage Virtually

The decision made by the CEO of Yahoo to order all employees working virtually back into the office was an unfortunate indication of how little we have learned about working in a virtual world. Sad, given that people have been doing this for over a half century. I was fortunate to work for a company… Read more »

How can we best support cross-organizational collaboration?

It seems that many of the conversations I am engaged in these days focus on the need for organizations to collaborate. When I first started working in the area of collaboration, the focus was on creating cultures in organizations that supported people in collaborating across their often siloed functional structures.  Maybe that was the beginning… Read more »

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… Read more »

“Being in Care”: Obama’s Call for Transformative Change

Having the flu gave me the opportunity to watch U.S. President Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremonies on Monday. As I watched, I wondered if I was observing an event that will help foster a new United States of America—an America that is inclusive of all people and enriched by an empowered citizenry.  Obama’s speech was a… Read more »

Leadership Lessons Learned from the Presidential Election

As I turned on the TV yesterday evening to watch the election results, I didn’t know what to expect. The polls were too close to give a confident advantage to either candidate and, given recent history, it was plausible that either candidate could have won. Reflecting on what emerged during the evening, I began thinking… Read more »

Personal Choices in Support of Sustainability

Since I became involved in sustainability work six years ago, my life path has changed quite dramatically. I have moved to another state where I could live for less in a natural environment that reminds me daily of the life we need to protect. I have changed my patterns of consumption and waste, and make… Read more »

Scaling Social Change Through an Ecosystems Approach

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of developing our capacity for systems thinking to address the complex problems that surround us. As we consider the rapidly increasing growth and interrelated nature of these problems, the question arises as to how we can rapidly scale our change efforts to have larger impact… Read more »