Tag: Aimee C. Juarez

SYSTEMS THINKING IN ACTION: A Conversation with Storyteller David Hutchens

Storytelling’s not big in the business world. Author and consultant David Hutchens says he encounters resistance every time he asks executives to tell him about the results they got on a project. They generally clam up, he said, and default to standard answers. We reached our target, some executives will say. Others will tell him… Read more »

SYSTEMS THINKING IN ACTION: Seeing is Understanding

David Sibbet finds it tough to understand a story unless you can see it in some way. “Really good storytellers paint pictures in your mind,” he told attendants of the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action Conference this morning during his keynote address titled Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Creating and Sustaining High Performance. A pioneer… Read more »


How we view the world around us is pretty darn interesting from the perspective of systems thinker Charlotte Roberts. According to Roberts, our mental models shape the structures we create, the patterns that we spot, and the events that we choose to see or acknowledge. It’s a hierachical evolution of perception—applicable to both individuals and… Read more »

“Getting the Work Done”: Leadership and the Difficulty of Contextualizing Emotions

I led two team projects during the last semester of my MBA program. One project involved the development of a business plan for a new deli. The other involved the development of a consulting plan for a crime-laden, Miami neighborhood seeking to become a tourist destination that could one day rival South Beach. The business… Read more »

The Collective Voice of a Leaderless Group

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… Read more »

A Different Kind of Leader: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs broke all the rules of leadership and management. He was an erratic micromanager; a brutal force to be reckoned with at meetings, often eviscerating staffers for their “bozo ideas“; and typically shrugged off his associates’ suggestions in favor of his own gut instinct. “He never mellowed, never let up on Apple employees, never… Read more »

Dealing with Vulnerability

After my study session wound down earlier tonight, I scanned my bookshelf to find an organizational systems topic that I could write this post on. Organizational culture. Sustainability. Leverage points. They all jumped out, but none of them grabbed me. Then my eyes landed on a thin booklet from the Leadership Institute of Seattle (or… Read more »

Got Assumptions?

One of the best tips I ever got came from journalism school. The tip involved assumption-making and it was offered in the form of a question-and-answer. Do you know what happens when you make assumptions? The journalism professor asked my undergraduate, database research class. The first three letters of the word “assumption,” that’s what you… Read more »

Shocking the System

I tuned into CNN this morning the way I typically do before breakfast when a quotation on the screen immediately grabbed my attention: “shock to the system.” The quote belonged to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman who was discussing how he believes that a third-party, presidential candidate could deliver the systemic jolt—the “shock… Read more »

One in 30,000

Imagine walking into work every morning wondering if it’ll be your last day there. That’s how thousands of Bank of America employees probably felt this morning after the company publicly announced its plans yesterday to slash 30,000 jobs over the next few years. The massive downsizing is part of a cost-cutting measure crafted by Bank… Read more »