Tag: Collaboration


Collaborating for a Sustainable Future

On May 11th, I attended the Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Rohnert Park, California. This conference has become a vibrant event in Sonoma County that fosters innovation and cultural change toward sustainability. Businesses, government and nonprofits are represented in this conference which presents both the best practices as well as the challenges ahead to create a… Read more »

Rethinking Family Relationships Within the Business Context

This week, I hosted a conference call with Saybrook professor Dennis Jaffe, which led me to rethink the most muddied and, perhaps, top-of–the-totem-pole thinking: family relationships within the business context. During my conversation with Dennis this week, I had an opportunity to visit his 2009 book on family stewardship, Stewardship in Your Family Enterprise: Developing… Read more »

Reflecting on Boundaries: Who is Teaching and Who is Learning?

As a systems thinker and practitioner, the question of boundaries has always fascinated me. Which boundaries are real and which ones are humanly constructed? Which boundaries are helpful and which ones need to expand to include more? Where is the boundary of our socially constructed world and how does it interface with the natural world?… Read more »

Making Time for Dialogue

I am teaching a course on generative and strategic dialogue this term and, through the amazing dialogue with my students, I am reminded of the importance and challenge of this communicative practice. Dialogue asks us to become more aware and intentional about how we listen, think, and speak. In his 1999 book, Dialogue and the… Read more »

From Disaster to a Bright Future: A Story of Complexity

At 5:41 p.m. on May 22nd, 2011, a powerful tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. Its 200-mph winds carved a path of destruction as it barrelled through the town in 45 seconds. That same, horrific day led to the beginning of an incredible story of compassion at Joplin’s St. John’s Regional Medical Center—now called Mercy Hospital Joplin—and… Read more »

Social Media Gives Wings to Our Aspiration

Language shapes our world and relationships. Yet we talk, write, and think without attending to language itself—it is like the air we breathe without noticing. How we speak and think frames the way we conceptualize experience and relationships. The idea of social swarming, which Dr. Nancy Southern discussed in her most recent post, is an… Read more »

Systemic Implications of Social Swarming

I recently received an invitation to comment on a blog posting defining social swarming and how it worked in regards to the decision of the Susan B. Komen foundation to withdraw support of Planned Parenthood, which was fairly quickly reversed. According to Leland Russell, social swarming occurs “when a disparate group suddenly moves en masse… Read more »

Allowing Transformation Toward Sustainability

I completely believe in “the power of intention to spark evolutionary change,” as Nancy Southern so eloquently wrote in a previous post. As human beings, we have the capacity to envision a different future and to commit to actions that will turn that vision into a new reality. That’s the power of systems design: the… Read more »