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Fostering complexity thinking


I am really excited that after a long and pretty tedious process two peer reviewed articles I co-authored with a bunch of heavy-weight academics have finally been published.  Both articles form part of a special feature on Applied Research for Enhancing Human Well-Being and Environmental Stewardship: Using Complexity Thinking in Southern Africa. The academic publication process … Continue reading Fostering complexity thinking

The tyranny of the moment


  Warning!  This post doesn’t contain 7 steps or 12 ideas, nor is it the ideal 600-800 word length … “The greatest tragedy in using speed as the answer to complexity and the complexities of work-life, is that very soon we cannot recognize anything that is not traveling at the same velocity as we are. We … Continue reading The tyranny of the moment

Has management become a dirty word?


I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine yesterday about the perspective that “everyone is a leader” and what that says about management.  The debate around the difference between management and leadership is certainly not a new one, and it seems that everyone has a different definition for each of these concepts.  It … Continue reading Has management become a dirty word?

Metaphors shape our language


  More and more academic research is being done on metaphors – they are no longer considered a “rhetorical flourish” found in literary texts. Rather, linguists have shown that metaphor is a pervasive phenomenon in everyday language, a major force in the development of new word meanings, and the source of at least some grammatical … Continue reading Metaphors shape our language

Leadership is about climate control, not command and control


  In a new TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson (embedded below) he focuses on prevailing education systems and how they stifle learning and creativity.  He eloquently makes the case that education is not a mechanistic endeavor that is about conformity and compliance, but an inherently human and organic process that is about valuing diversity … Continue reading Leadership is about climate control, not command and control

Work and meaning


In The Upside of Irrationality, Dan Ariely reflects on work and meaning.  Can human beings find satisfaction and be engaged in work that pays well, but offers no meaning? He defines two “types” of meaning: “m”eaning – a feeling of being challenged by our work, and completing it to our own satisfaction vs “M”eaning – a hope … Continue reading Work and meaning

A great metaphor for teamwork from Steve Jobs


In the same “lost” Steve Jobs interview I blogged about last week, he shares this anecdote as a metaphor for team work. “When I was a young kid there was a widowed man who lived up the street. He was in his eighties. He’s a little scary looking. And I got to know him a … Continue reading A great metaphor for teamwork from Steve Jobs

Why it’s not a bad idea to become a better storyteller


When I think about my favorite teachers and speakers I can’t think of one that doesn’t use stories to make their subject “come alive”.  I think most people feel this way, and this has spawned countless ‘become a better storyteller’ workshops.  While I’m not a big fan of many of these interventions (although there are … Continue reading Why it’s not a bad idea to become a better storyteller

A monster that devours itself: a capitalist’s parable?


Erisychton (Er-is-ya-thon), according to Ovid’s tales from Greek mythology was a wealthy timber merchant and Thessalian King.  He was a greedy man who thought only about profit.  To him, nothing was sacred.  The goddess Demeter had a sacred grove with a special tree beloved by the gods.  Prayers of the faithful were tied to the … Continue reading A monster that devours itself: a capitalist’s parable?