Category Archives: Working Smarter

A Cynical Theory of Power and Organizational Dynamics

from GapingVoid.com by Hugh Macleod I‘ve previously mentioned that the most important thing I learned from 37 years in the business world is that in large organizations of every kind, almost all valuable work is done by workarounds, i.e. people on the … Continue reading

Posted in Preparing for Civilization's End, Working Smarter | 25 Comments

The Patterns of Effective Conversation

A week ago, at the Next Edge Festival in Montréal, I made a point of paying attention to the many conversations I had, or witnessed, in both small and large groups. It was an eye-opening experience. What I learned was: … Continue reading

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The Meeting Map: Making Both Process and Content Explicit

This is the first of three articles that stem from last weekend’s Next Edge Festival in Montréal. I’m grateful to the wonderful organizing team and all the participants who made the event a success and a great learning opportunity for me. … Continue reading

Posted in Working Smarter | 10 Comments

The Power of Pattern Languages

I was recently interviewed about Pattern Languages, and specifically about Group Works, the pattern language of  collaborative, deliberative and participative processes that I was involved with (I’m a member of the coordinating team that produced the card deck based on … Continue reading

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Systems Thinking and Complexity 101

This is a synopsis of a talk and mini-workshop I gave recently in Vancouver. It introduces a model for identifying and dealing with both the complicated and complex aspects of issues we face in our own lives, in our organizations … Continue reading

Posted in How the World Really Works, Working Smarter | 8 Comments

10 Ways to Help Your People Shine

image: Paul Stevenson, from flickr, Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 When the members of the non-profit Group Pattern Language Project developed the 91-card Group Works deck [download 1-page summary of all 91 patterns; download a deck free; buy a professionally … Continue reading

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A Discussion on The Art of Hosting and the Group Works Deck

Recently, Janaia Donaldson and Robin Mallgren of Peak Moment TV, an online ‘channel’ of insightful video interviews with leading progressive, permaculture and post-collapse thinkers, interviewed me for the third time. Janaia and Robin had been staying at my house, so I … Continue reading

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Elselien Epema Interviews Dave About “Finding the Sweet Spot”

 image of Elselien from her website; image of Dave by Bowen artist-photographer Debra Stringfellow I was delighted and flattered to learn, last year, that Elselien Epema, an instructor at the University of the Hague in Nederland, has been using my book … Continue reading

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The Qualities of a Great Story

Lest my readers conclude, as a result of yesterday’s article, that I’m down on stories, let me say again: I love stories, and find them useful for learning and imagining, and also very entertaining. So today I’d like to summarize … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves, Working Smarter | 4 Comments

Conversations That Matter

painting “In Deep Conversation” by Irish artist Pam O’Connell When I was younger, most of my waking life was consumed in conversations. In my work life, I learned that most learning occurs, and most decisions are made, in small group … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves, Working Smarter | 10 Comments