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January 29, 2003 Issue 34
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measure of success is not whether you have
a tough problem to deal with, but whether
it is the same problem you had last year."
top management at Enron, exemplary leaders
reward dissent. They encourage it. They
understand that, whatever momentary discomfort
they experience as a result of being told
they might be wrong, it is more than offset
by the fact that the information will help
them make better decisions."
Invitation to the Pegasus ConferenceNEW
A remarkable energy characterizes the annual
Pegasus Conference. Last year, for the
San Diego conference, Leading in a Complex
World: Systems Thinking in Action®,
we took along our video crew and interviewed
both participants and presenters. The result
is an astounding inside look at the event, the
experience, the people, and the remarkable skill
and intelligence they bring to changing their
organizations. Now you can see for yourself
or show others what the Conference is all about.
the video online or request a free CD-ROM
to play on your computer.
Video Cassettes for Leading in a Complex
World Now Available!
preview cassettes (VHS or PAL) of our Leading
in a Complex World video are now available.
View the complete video and discover how a new
look at leadership can transform your organization.
Keep the tape for a week and send it back to
us. The preview cannot be used for training
purposes. Send an e-mail to Julie
Turner with your preview request, and we'll
send one to you right away. View
clips of the video on our web site. Order
World Café: An Innovative Approach
to Dialogue Pocket Guide
by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs
handy two-sided pocket guide explains the
principles of the World Cafe, a creative
process for leading collaborative dialogue,
sharing knowledge, and creating possibilities
for action in groups of all sizes. It also
highlights the key points to consider when
conducting a Café conversation in your organization.
Laminated and sized at 5-1/2" x 8-1/2",
this quick-reference tool conveniently fits
in a daily planner. Order #PG23, $5.00,
volume discounts available
by Peter Senge
a complete list
A Changing Leadership Paradigm for the 21st
Century: Linking Reflection and Action
Listen to Peter and other leading
thinkers in this multi-part plenary session
from the 2002 Pegasus Conference. Individually
and in a panel discussion, they grapple
with the complex challenges organizations
face in the 21st century and explore new
ways of thinking about leadership, work,
Audiotape, Order #T0228S, $51.95
CD, Order #T0228SC, $71.45
A Brief Walk into
the Future: Speculations About Post-Industrial
Peter gives a broad overview
of organizational development since the
beginning of the Machine Age 200 years ago.
Sharing examples of corporations such as
Toyota, Visa, and Shell Oil that have reorganized
themselves as human communities rather than
money-making machines, he discusses current
trends in measurement, governance, and strategy
and explores the role of leadership in influencing
an organization's destiny.
Order #090901R, PDF article, $6.00
Creating the World
discusses our increasing reliance on science
and technology to improve our effectiveness
in the world, and the growing gap between
our technical prowess and our ability to
understand technology's effects on our lives--both
positive and negative. He explores the profound
shift occurring in the scientific worldview
today that could help us to bridge that
gap and create a more sustainable future.
Order #130301, PDF article, $6.00
Most organizational change efforts
enjoy some initial success but do not produce
fundamental, long-lasting change. A critical
factor in this dynamic may be the failure
to innovate and embed new infrastructures
that will sustain the effort. Drawing on
his experience with dozens of companies,
Peter presents a framework for building
learning infrastructures in this engaging
Order #V9404, videotape, $99.00
Is Key to Organizational Change: An Interview with Peter Senge
How Attractive Can Our Communities Be?
Studies Produce Well-Prepared Teachers
Out of Gas:
A Systems Perspective on Potential
Collaboration Is Key to Organizational Change: An Interview with
by Kali Saposnick
get a fresh perspective on how organizations can meet the global
challenges of the next several years, Leverage Points invited
Peter Senge to share some of his current thinking. More than a decade
has passed since Senge wrote the groundbreaking book The Fifth
Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
(Currency/Doubleday, 1990), which Harvard Business Review
named as one of the seminal books of the past 75 years. Through
his engagement in countless change initiatives over the years, Peter
has further developed his thinking about what it will take for organizations
to thrive in the 21st centuryand the role each of us can play
in making that happen.
According to Peter, what any individual organization, whether a
school or business, can do today to significantly break from the
cultural mainstream is small. "Each one operates as if it were tied
with a rubber band," he explains. "Even a group that innovates a
great deal for a while eventually gets snapped back to the norm.
Many extraordinary, innovative schools, for example, in which kids
are engaged and teachers love their work, usually return to average
within 5 to 10 years."
Why do organizations resist change? One reason, Senge explains,
is that most of us erroneously believe that somebodysome senior
leader or managermust be controlling the organization's systems,
which we ourselves feel overwhelmed by. From a systemic perspective,
the reality is just the opposite. "Most large institutions are so
complex that no one personno 'mover or shaker' in a position
of authoritycan bring about the needed change," says Peter.
"Rather, large-scale transformation can only evolve when lots of
people at all levels of an organization start to do things differently."
the complete article.
to an audio recording of interview excerpts.
For additional resources by Peter Senge, see "Pegasus Highlights."
Attractive Can Our Communities Be?
by Andrew Jones
of cities large and small show that working to improve all aspects
of our community will probably be self-defeating. According to Jay
Forrester's "attractiveness principle," no urban center
can remain an overall better place to live than others for long.
For example, if all the goals for my home town, Asheville, NC, were
met, we would have high wages, inexpensive housing, clean air, and
no traffic congestion. But then what would happen? People would
flock here, and eventually wages would fall, rents would climb,
smog levels would increase, and roadways would become jam-packed.
path or another, changes that improve the attractiveness of a locale
will result in compensating changes that lessen its attractiveness
until it is generally as appealing as other places. Consider how
other cities naturally provide "bads" to balance the "goods."
Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Charlotte have traffic, smog, and long
commutes to balance high-paying jobs and big-city perks. Rural Vermont,
Montana, and Wisconsin have cold winters and few jobs to balance
open space, inexpensive housing, and clean air. Asheville's expensive
housing, low wages, and pollution offset its inspired culture, beautiful
scenery, and easy-going pace of life.
the attractiveness principle can boost our power to shape our future,
by compelling us to choose the imperfections that we are willing
to live with. If we concede that, in the long term, we can't "have
it all," then we might explore what we are willing to let go
in order to reach the goals that matter most. Otherwise, the urban
system will choose for us.
the complete article, or see The Systems Thinker,
Vol. 13, No. 1 (February 2002).
International Studies Produce Well-Prepared Teachers
in the United States today are increasingly expected to understand
the world community and their nation's role in it, explain such
information in meaningful ways to students, and educate classes
that include immigrants. To help teachers expand their worldview,
a handful of cutting-edge U.S. education programs have begun to
integrate study abroad into their curriculum. While many institutions
offer courses on diversity, few require international studies. But
especially since September 11, as more people try to engage in cross-cultural
conversations that emphasize our commonalities, some colleges have
recognized that teachers need to have real immersion experiences
in foreign cultures.
this need, these schools are providing creative opportunities. For
instance, the University of Minnesota-Morris offers teaching experiences
in many Middle Eastern nations; Northeastern University in Boston
began a student-teaching program in Belfast, Northern Ireland, three
years ago; and Michigan State University in East Lansing offers
comparative education programs in Australia, Ecuador, and South
Africa. In many of these programs, students observe local teachers
and live with local families. Meanwhile, these colleges try to weave
discussions on international culture into their social sciences
classes back on the home campus.
participants claim that exposure to new teaching strategies, languages,
and cultures have better prepared them for the classroom, most colleges
hesitate to fund global study because they're focused on meeting
state and professional standards. Also, many student teachers prefer
teaching in schools they're familiar with. The challenge then for
administrators interested in developing such programs is to demonstrate
the advantage of international experience for teachers tasked with
introducing their students to a world that's reaching out to meet
Julie Blair, "Colleges Sending Teacher-Candidates to See the
World," Education Week on the Web, December 11, 2002
Out of Gas:
A Systems Perspective on Potential
by Bill Harris
In his latest column, Bill Harris gives us a glimpse of what our
world might look like if we ran out of fossil fuel. He has created
a computer simulation based on current fuel-consumption data. Now
he invites us to test the model and explore whether such a future
seems reasonable and how we might transition from fossil fuels to
the next stage.
Read the column and test the model.
Copyright 2003 Pegasus Communications. Leverage Points
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