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From FastCompany: Working to create change inside a company — or being a “systempreneur” working to change an entire system — can be just as valuable to society and the economy as charting your own course.
From Steve Barry at Forum.com: Open any book about leadership transitions and you’re likely to see a model of the various business situations executives may need to navigate when they take on a new company, initiative, or project. We’ve synthesized those many models into one that we find especially useful: we call it the Business Terrains framework.
From John McWade at Before&After: Here is an issue that is, to me, of utmost gravity — the attitude toward clients that we bring to our work, most pointedly the idea that we are better than they, and our work inherently more worthy. It’s a sensitive issue but enough of a learning opportunity for all of us that I wanted to not let it slip away.
We are all unjust judges, which is easy to see once we notice that our judgments always come out in our favor.
My advice: Respect your client. Give him your best work. Hold it lightly. Stay open. Help him get where he wants to go. If he needs to circle back, be there when he arrives.
From Leader to Leader Journal: In the past 5 years, corporate leaders have talked more about learning and development than in the previous 50. But the discussion inspires frustration as well as hope. Senior executives invariably want to know, “How do I build a learning organization?” It is the most frequent question I am asked, but it is the wrong question, for two reasons. First, it implies that the president or CEO can singlehandedly make changes in an organization’s genetic code. Second, it suggests that building a learning organization (and learning itself) involves a definitive formula rather than an ongoing process.
From Peter Senge in Leader to Leader Journal: As individuals and organizations, we have never had to be concerned about how our day-to-day decisions, like the products we make and buy and the energy we use, affect people and larger living systems thousands of miles away, even on the other side of the planet. This is the real message of “globalization,” and it is indeed an alien one for all of us. We’ve never been here before.
From Leader to Leader Journal: The word revolution has many different meanings. We often use the word to represent political revolutions. And then there are techno-economic-cultural revolutions such as the Industrial Revolution, where in many ways virtually everything about society shifted—the nature of the economy, core technologies, how people lived, where people lived, and how they saw the world around them. But while the Industrial Revolution vaulted society dramatically forward in many ways, it also put us on a path that is so fundamentally contradictory to nature — both the nature of living systems in general and human nature — that it can’t possibly continue. It is not sustainable.
From Margaret Wheatley in Leader to Leader Journal: When complex systems fail, prevailing models of leadership offer little help. What we learn now with Y2K can prepare us for a future where more and more failures of complex systems will confront us. It can also help us look beyond the confines of in-house systems and structures, and to see new, more effective ways to lead our business and social institutions.
From On Being: Astronaut Ron Garan did an AMA on reddit. This photo was his reply when asked, “Have you seen anything when looking down on earth or into space that has you completely awed that is captured in your memory for the rest of your life?” It’s the illuminated border between India and Pakistan, as seen from the International Space Station.