Tag: Systems Theory


Story “Pull”: Do You Have Any?

I had a speaking engagement on the West Coast last week. The topic was Threshold Story™—a method of storytelling used to engender trust and demonstrate value when a business service provider meets a new prospect, team member, or returning client.  The professionals attending my lecture were a bit guarded. They’d never met me before and… Read more »

The Art of Thinking Together

According to William Isaacs, professor, author and co-founder of the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT alongside Peter Senge, dialogue is a vehicle for creative problem identification and solving. However, it is different than what is normally conceived as problem solving. The usual modality to tackle problems is discussion. We are used to expose our… Read more »

Hate is Supported by Many Systems

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… Read more »

Kids Aren’t Widgits and Education Isn’t an Assembly Line

“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… Read more »

Systems Only Get the Right Answers When They Ask the Right Questions

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… Read more »

Understanding Snowball Effects (and Donald Trump)

 Just when we thought the controversy over President Obama’s birth certificate was over, it got riled up again by Donald Trump. Now, it seems, even President Obama’s birth certificate can’t stop it. What happened?  How did we reach this point? The answer is a term you’ve probably heard before, a “snowball effect.”  Unless you’re happy with… Read more »

Organizational Systems: What Leaders Need to Know

Ask 1,500 CEOs what the greatest challenge their organizations face is and they’ll tell you it’s complexity.  We live in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world and leaders from every sector fear they are ill-equipped to meet the challenge.  Frank Kern, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services noted that the findings of their 2010… Read more »