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October 23, 2002 Issue 31
"One thing is clear to me: We, as human
beings, must be willing to accept people who
are different from ourselves."
is not necessary to change. Survival is not
W. Edwards Deming
Leading in a Complex
this year's conference, Pegasus launched
The Leverage Points Video Series,
designed to catalyze intelligent change
by introducing innovative management approaches
in a concise, entertaining, and energizing
presentation. Our first video, Leading
in a Complex World, introduces elements
of self-inquiry, collaboration, shared vision,
and systems thinking to inspire everyone
in your organization to recognize new possibilities
for leadership and achieve uncommon results.
clips on our web site.
8 minutes, color, $295.00
VHS Item #VLPC01
PAL Item #VLPC01P
the 13th Annual Systems Thinking in Action Conference!
October 8-10, 2003, Boston, Massachusetts
theme of next year's Pegasus conference is "Changing
Organizations to Change the World: Systems Thinking
in Action." There will be four primary areas
of concentration: Management by Means, Strategic
Conversations, Multistakeholder Engagement,
and Systems Thinking in Action, as well as an
education track. The conference will be held
in Boston at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade
Center, and begins with the "Building the Conference
Community" session on Tuesday evening, October
7. Register for this not-to-be missed event
by December 31, 2002, for only $950.00. For
more information or to register, contact Julie
Turner at 781-398-9700 or go to our conference
Catalog Now Available
a copy of Pegasus's Fall Catalog by going to
Innovation by Presencing Emerging Futures, Ashland,
May 6-9, 2003
This four-day hands-on course for leaders at
all levels is based on the findings from interviews
with 130 thought leaders in the areas of creativity,
high performance, and leadership, plus learnings
from more than 30 years of experience with scenario-based
strategy formation and generative leadership
development. Learn the basic tools and techniques
of "presencing," an approach that blends sensing
and bringing into presence one's highest future
potential. Ample small-group practice in applying
new competencies to your own business challenges
is provided. Led by Beth Jandernoa and Otto
Scharmer. For more information, go to Generon's
web site. To register, call Pegasus Communications
at (781) 398-9700.
Management Education in Tune with the Times?
Lessons Learned from the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
As a Learning Tool
Management Education in Tune with the Times?
What is an MBA
worth today? Last month, after extensive discussion around this
question, the Academy of Management concluded, "Not much." Research
argues that there is little evidence that an MBA has much impact
on one's career attainment or salary. Meanwhile, in the wake of
corporate scandals, people are questioning how adequately business
schools are preparing graduates to handle complex ethical dilemmas.
Furthermore, in the current economic climate, fewer jobs exist for
the increasing pool of MBAs in the marketplace.
Now that an MBA no longer opens doors to senior executive positions
as quickly as before, the MIT Sloan School of Management is redesigning
its curriculum to focus on educating people to effectively lead
innovation. According to Dean Richard Schmalensee, one of Sloan's
approaches is to bridge the gap between research and hands-on learning
experiences. For instance, current Sloan initiatives include the
Global E-Lab ("E" for entrepreneurial), in which students attend
two six-week sessions before and after a lengthy residency at a
company in a foreign country, and the Medical Innovations program,
a cross-MIT collaboration with local research hospitals to develop
Many students are excited about the prospect of engaging in practical,
innovation-oriented experiences. Even though the pilot programs
are experimental, they believe that immersing themselves in business
environments will help them better integrate theory with industry
practices. And Sloan hopes to lead the way in improving how business
schools educate the leaders of tomorrow.
Source: D.C. Denison, "Sloan School Rethinks Its Mission," Boston
Globe, October 7, 2002
Learned from the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
United States, Soviet, and Cuban officials and military officers
who were involved in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis attended a three-day
conference in Havana, Cuba, to discuss newly declassified documents
and share insights. This was the sixth such conversation in the
last 40 years. This time, part of the participants' hope was to
apply lessons learned to the present-day Iraq crisis in order to
prevent another showdown with potentially catastrophic consequences.
By bringing three sets of participants to the table, the group has
been able to get a better sense of the "system" as a whole and realize
just how close the two sides were to nuclear war. For example, participants
discovered that President Kennedy did not know the Soviets had already
put tactical nuclear weapons on Cuba when he quarantined the island.
If the U.S. had attacked Cuba to force the Soviets to remove their
missiles, it would have almost certainly unleashed a nuclear war.
Through new insights gained from the conversations, the group has
identified some learnings that might be applicable to current and
future international conflicts. For example, when President Bush
recently invoked Kennedy's actions during the Cuban missile crisis
to justify a preemptive strike on Iraq, Robert McNamara, a conference
participant and Kennedy's former defense secretary, emphasized that
Kennedy's approach was not preemptive. Rather, he purposely chose
to "quarantine" Cubaa defensive moverather than "blockade"
ita military action. What these conferences highlight is the
importance of ongoing discussions, prudent language, and cautious
actions to defuse highly charged political situations.
Marion Lloyd, "Caution Called Lesson of Cuban Missile Crisis," Boston
Globe, October 12, 2002; and Anthony Boadle, "Cuba Missile-Crisis
Veterans Fault Bush on Iraq," The Philadelphia Inquirer,
October 11, 2002
As a Learning Tool
by Kristin Cobble
and Ed Gurowitz
Over the past
several years, coaching has emerged as a powerful new model for
leadership and management. Coaching focuses less on telling employees
how to complete a task than on asking them good questions to lead
them to discover their own answers. It also centers more on the
follower than on the leader. The following four coaching models
illustrate how each can facilitate organizational learning.
Expert coaching focuses on delivering knowledge and information
quickly and accurately, for example, classroom training centered
on a dynamic presentation or lecture.
Facilitator coaching involves helping teams and individuals
manage processessuch as meetingsmore effectively. It
can also help groups learn to question their assumptions and develop
Mentor coaching occurs when a mentor trains, develops, and
promotes a learner who, in return, works on the mentor's projects.
The mentee gains valuable experience while the mentor's projects
Generative coaching requires a coach to act as a "steward"
in service of the coachee's goals, completely independent of the
coach's immediate interests and projects. It focuses on developing
the employee's creative abilities and giving him or her tools to
initiate innovative organizational change.
While each method does have drawbacks, expert and facilitative coaching
can be low-cost and time-effective methods of promoting short-term
organizational learning. For the long term, however, mentor and
generative coaching provide more effective tools for creating an
organizational culture in which learning forms the basis for work
the complete article.
Copyright 2002 Pegasus Communications. LEVERAGE POINTS can be
freely distributed in its entirety or reproduced or excerpted for
another publication with written permission from Pegasus Communications.