systems science Category

Reframing change

Change is one of the few universal constants as things — people, planet, galaxy — are always in some state of movement, even if it’s imperceptible. Change is also widely discussed and desired, but often never realized in part because we’ve treated something nuanced as over-simplified; it’s time to change.  For something so omnipresent in […]

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Exploding goals and their myths

Goal-directed language guides much of our social policy, investment and quests for innovation without much thought of what that means in practice. Looking at the way ideas start and where they carry us might offer us reasons to pause when fashioning goals and whether we need them at all.  In a previous article, I discussed […]

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Smart goals or better systems?

If you’re working toward some sort of collective goals — as an organization, network or even as an individual — you’ve most likely been asked to use SMART goal setting to frame your task. While SMART is a popular tool for management consultants and scholars, does it make sense when you’re looking to make inroads […]

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Decoupling creators from their creations

The world is transformed by creators — the artists, the innovators, the leaders — and their creations are what propel change and stand in the way of it. Change can be hard and its made all the more so when we fail to decouple the creator from the created, inviting resistance rather than enticing better creations.  […]

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Time. Care. Attention.

A read through a typical management or personal improvement feed will reveal near infinite recommendations for steps you can take to improve your organization or self. Three words tend to be absent from this content stream and they are what take seemingly simple recommendations and navigate them through complexity: time, care, and attention. Embedded within the torrent […]

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Jaded: Whether You Are a Plant or a Stone Makes All the Difference

An attempt to innovate – do something new to produce value — is always fraught with risk and a high likelihood that things won’t go as planned, which can leave people jaded toward future efforts. Whether that metaphor of jade is one of a rock (static) or a plant (growth) makes all the difference.  Innovation is hot. […]

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What’s in your baggage?

Social and emotional baggage is what we bring with us and, like the real thing, it’s all in what we pack, how we pack it and how aware we are of what we’re packing it for. And like the real thing, individuals and organizations can’t go on much of a journey without carrying some of […]

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A Beautiful Idea

Is what you do, where you work, or how you organize, beautiful? Among the many words used to describe our work lives the most neglected and maybe necessary might be described that one word: it’s time to take it seriously.  For those working in design one of the biggest challenges is getting people to understand that […]

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Seeking simplicity among complexity? Go Dutch!

In a world awash in content and the resulting complexity that comes when it all intersects the viable options for how to manage it remain few. The Dutch De Stijl art and design movement might offer some lessons on dealing with complexity that we can apply beyond products to creating beautiful, functional, and effective services, […]

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International Women’s Day, Every Day

Today is International Women’s Day when the attention of one half of the world’s population is brought to the entire world, suggesting that maybe this day is best honoured the other 364 days as well. Time to consider how this might look.  People worldwide will be celebrating and honouring women as part of International Women’s […]

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