Tag: Systems Theory


Dealing with Complexity

Dealing with Complexity—that’s the title of one of our foundation courses in the organizational systems program at Saybrook University. It is the introduction to systems thinking and students get an opportunity to learn the concepts and tools of how to not only understand but also identify leverage points where an intervention can make a difference…. 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 »

Conscious Evolution

We are at the portal of what systems scientist Béla Bánáthy called the “fourth generation” humans. What distinguishes this fourth generation from its predecessors is evolutionary consciousness, according to Bánáthy, a professor emeritus at Saybrook University until his death in 2003. Bánáthy defined evolutionary consciousness as the knowledge and awareness of how we get to… Read more »

Evolutionary Leadership: The Embodiment of Systems Being

In a previous post, I presented the need to move from systems thinking to systems being. There is a reason for that: I believe that it is through systems being that we will be able to truly transform our world. And transforming the world is the task of leaders. However, the most prevalent understanding of… Read more »

Rethinking the Complexity of Learning Organizations

Today’s educational system is wrought with complexity—from the work of educating students to the lack of financing in heated political climates. Working in the educational system can be complex, but it can also be rewarding. The challenge is finding the right people with the right passion who are able to view the world from a… Read more »

Life Choices and Commitments: A Reinforcing Loop

Our life choices and commitments feed on each other causing them to form a reinforcing loop. This type of loop is the causal relationship of two variables that affect each other in the same direction. If one grows the other does as well. The opposite is also true: the reduction in one variable causes the… Read more »

Helping students “get a voice” through collective courage

I have been working with Laurie Mandel, Ed.D., founder and Executive Director of Get-A-Voice™, recently. As I dove deeply into her philosophy, I ended up revisiting elements of systems knowledge intermingled with a motivation to establish conscious school cultures—from the student level! After nearly two months of work, these foundational systems Laurie “suspected” would spark… Read more »

First Thing’s First: Who Are We?

Today’s buzzwords are collaboration, community engagement, and networked leadership across several industries. There’s a lot of talk about adapting a systems perspective and moving away from linear approaches to change. These views and processes are all well and good. As a matter of fact, they hold the promise of a more holistic pathway towards ecological… Read more »

The Practices of Systemic Sustainability

Systemic sustainability is a process of development—individual, organizational, or societal—involving an adaptive strategy of emergence that ensures the evolutionary maintenance of an increasingly robust and supportive environment. Systemic sustainability goes beyond the triple bottom line and embraces “the possibility that human and other forms of life will flourish on the Earth forever” as beautifully expressed… Read more »