Category Archives: Working Smarter

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

More Years of Schooling for Fewer and Fewer Jobs

This week’s (July 9/16) New Yorker has a terrific one-page summary by James Surowiecki of why so many job vacancies are left unfilled “for want of any sufficiently qualified candidates” while so many people (especially young people with university degrees) … Continue reading

Posted in Working Smarter | 5 Comments

Group Works Card Deck – A Joyful Announcement

For the past couple of years a group of professional facilitators and others experienced in and interested in improving “group process” has been working to create a “pattern language” (an integrated collection of practices, processes, qualities and other phenomena that … Continue reading

Posted in Working Smarter | 6 Comments

The Top 10 Most Common Mistakes in Consensus Process, and How to Avoid Them

(a guest post by Tree Bressen) consensus process flowchart [Last month I posted an article entitled When Consensus Doesn’t Work. This guest post by Tree Bressen describes situations where consensus can and should work, but gets derailed, and how such … Continue reading

Posted in Working Smarter | 3 Comments

Making a Living for Ourselves

US population by employment status: Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you assume most of the “not working” Americans not currently listed as officially “unemployed” would, if they had the opportunity, be working at least part-time, the real unemployment rate … Continue reading

Posted in Preparing for Civilization's End, Working Smarter | 9 Comments

An Existential Approach to Bringing About Change

Donella (Dana) Meadows was famous for her twelve ways to intervene in a system, one of the most often cited works in the field of bringing about change. What is often forgotten is that she listed the twelve ways in … Continue reading

Posted in Working Smarter | 32 Comments

Complexity: It’s Not That Simple

Complexity theory has been around for a generation now, but most people don’t understand it. I often read or listen to consultants, ‘experts’ and media people who proffer ludicrously simplistic ‘solutions’ to complex predicaments. Since it seems most people would … Continue reading

Posted in Working Smarter | 10 Comments

The Roles of the Facilitator (Guest Post by Tree Bressen)

[Sorry, folks: I jumped the gun on this post; I will repost it here once Tree has had time to properly edit and approve it, so stay tuned]

Posted in Working Smarter | 2 Comments

The Lifecycle of Emergence

Although I’m thoroughly disillusioned with most of the analytical models (like the classic 2×2 matrix) that consultants use to try to describe how things work, I remain fond of “flow” models that depict the dynamics or life-cycle of things. Unfortunately, … Continue reading

Posted in Working Smarter | 5 Comments