The advent of spring here in New England serves
as a reminder that, as Christina Baldwin so eloquently
phrased it, "Change is the constant." After five years
as marketing director of Pegasus and editor of
Leverage Points, Vicky Schubert has left to
complete her certification as an executive coach and,
in the short term, offer freelance communication and
design services. We thank Vicky for the outstanding
work she has done to strengthen the Pegasus brand
and grow the systems thinking community. At the
same time, we would like to welcome Keith McKinnon.
Keith's customer focus and business development
experience will help us better understand and meet
the needs of the growing ranks of systems thinkers
around the world. Please join us in thanking Vicky and
|Confessions of a Recovering Knower
by Brian Hinken
Hi, my name is Brian, and I am a recovering
knower. But for the grace of God, and the disciplines
of organizational learning, I would have died a knower.
I started knowing at an early age and was praised and
rewarded for knowing more than my peers.
knowing continued all the way through graduate
school and eventually into my first few jobs. Even as
my knowing continued to grow, I felt I had it under
control. I was young and had the stamina to know late
into the night and still work the next day. I received
recognition for these exploits.
Being a knower started out as a harmless
way to get noticed and applauded, but it continued as
a habit that complicated my life. The pressure
increased to keep providing the right answers. I
sometimes took panicked action in an attempt to
maintain the appearance of effectiveness. I sensed
that something wasn't right, but I never recognized that
being a knower was hurting me.
When I use
the term "knower," I'm not referring to a
person who is somehow defective or implying that
what he or she
knows is not important. A knower is simply someone
who adopts a "knower stance." The difference
between a knower and a learner, very simply, is that a
learner is willing to admit, "I don't know" and be
Knowers believe that they know all
they need to address the situations they are
responsible for. But, at an even deeper level, knowing
is so central to who they are that they sometimes act
as if they do know something, even when they don't.
As a consequence, knowers can easily become
defensive. If they are
responsible for addressing an unsatisfactory situation
but don't actually have the ability to get the desired
results, they will blame someone or something else,
hide the evidence, ignore the situation, or deny that the
situation was unsatisfactory in the first place.
Learners are people who operate from a "learner
stance." They choose a mental posture that includes,
at a minimum, three decisions: (1) They admit they
are not currently achieving desired results--they want
something more or better; (2) They take responsibility
for addressing the current unsatisfactory situation;
and (3) They admit that what they are presently doing
is not producing the desired results. Learners often
go deeper and make two more decisions: (4) They
admit that, to achieve the desired results, they must
go beyond the repertoire of actions they can reliably
use; and (5) They are willing to be influenced. These
five decisions motivate learners to seek new
Condensed from "Confessions of a Recovering
Knower," The Systems Thinker, Vol. 16
|Isn't It Time for Your Organization to Live Up to Its Potential?
Join us in Boston this November to
discover how to fuel new cycles of success by
applying classic and leading-edge systems thinking
concepts, tools, and techniques.
· Gain inspiration for the journey ahead from
of systems thinking in action.
· Network with peers from almost all industry
segments and every level of the organization.
· Return to your work with fresh, actionable
strategies for creating value and improved
now for greatest value.
Teams save even more. Contact Mark at
1-781-398-9700 for information about team discounts.
|What It Takes to Lead a "Tribe"
recently been studying leadership models, with the
intent of picking the top 10 and comparing them to my
two favorites, The Leadership Challenge by
Posner and Kouzes and the organizational learning
model and treatise on leadership by Senge in his
2006 edition of The Fifth Discipline. In the
process, I stumbled upon a quirky little book,
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, by Seth
Godin is a bestselling author,
entrepreneur, and change agent. In Tribes,
Godin paraphrases the Peter Principle; his version
reads, "In every organization everyone rises to the
level at which they become paralyzed with fear." Fear
of criticism, blame, and lack of faith are the stumbling
blocks that prevent many from assuming a leadership
role. Godin believes that, because of this fear, many of
us are content to be followers, to push harder and
harder without achieving tangible results.
notion is that people need to break free from this
constraint and embrace their roles as leaders, from
wherever they sit in an organization. And the most
effective way to make a difference is to find or
assemble a "tribe" and lead it. According to Godin, a
tribe is a group of people who are connected--to
other and to a leader
--by a shared interest.
The Change Journey Map: A Fresh View on Change in Organizations
Holger Nauheimer, known as one of the key
innovators in the change management field,
announces a new approach: The Change Journey.
The concept departs from the blueprint approach of
traditional change models and suggests that each
organization has to reinvent itself in a change
process. Along comes the Change Journey Map, a
tool that enables organizations to:
initiate an open dialogue about the required change,
identify priority areas for intervention,
select the appropriate tools for driving that change,
create a list of actions for sustainable change.
about how change can happen in the
21st century and participate in one of the global
Coming Up from
Insights from the U.S. Army's Jedi
Warrior Training Program
A live webinar for leaders confronting
complexity and uncertainty
Wednesday, May 26
2:00 - 3:30 PM
As leaders in complex, high-stakes
systems, many of us now find ourselves in what the
U.S. Army calls, "VUCA" times: Volatility, Uncertainty,
Complexity, and Ambiguity are the norm. The
Army's "Jedi Warrior" training offers a set of core
principles and skills that anyone can apply to expand
their ability to lead in conditions of uncertainty.
Learn more and register...
See other Pegasus webinars
In this live session, Joel and Michelle Levey,
who helped design and direct the Jedi Warrior
training, will introduce you to principles and practices
you can adopt to deepen your insight and intuition,
gain confidence, and improve your performance as a
Position Openings for
July 1, 2010
Seattle University has two openings for
full-time non-tenure track faculty team members in its
OSR Organization Systems RenewalŪ Graduate
Program beginning July 1, 2010. The full position
description and application process can be
downloaded here. A Ph.D. or Ed.D. is required.
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