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February 26, 2003 Issue 35
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dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the
stormy present. The occasion is piled high with
difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.
As our case is new, so we must think anew and
is only when we truly know and understand
that we have a limited time on earth, and
that we have no way of knowing when our
time is up, that we will begin to live each
day to the fullest; as if it was the only
one we had."
Announcing Keynote Sessions for Pegasus's
13th Annual Conference
are pleased to announce the keynote sessions
for the 2003 Pegasus Conference Changing
Our Organizations to Change the World: Systems
Thinking in Action, to be held on October
810, 2003, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Our remarkable keynote session lineup includes:
Together Well: A Foundation for Changing the
Baldwin, Sayra Pinto, and Vichey Phoung, from
Roca, a local community-building organization;
and Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline
Quick Fixes: Transforming Complex Organizations
at Their Core
H. (Harry) Spence, commissioner, Massachusetts
Department of Social Services
the Focus to Achieve Landmark Results: Management
B. Johnson, executive director of MBM Associates,
and H. Thomas Johnson, coauthor of Relevance
Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting
Our Fullest Potential: Enabling Our Differences
to Become Our Strengths
Thomas, Harvard Business School professor and
author of Breaking Through: The Making of
Minority Executives in Corporate America
Potential of Talking and the Challenge of Listening
Kahane, founding partner of Generon Consulting
Our Organizations to Change the World
addition, the program includes concurrent sessions
and forums, tracks for systems thinking and
healthcare, pre- and post-conference skill-building
sessions, and special gatherings for educators
and nonprofit leaders. Part of the program will
assist teams in getting the most out of the
For more information about the
conference or to register, contact Julie Turner
at 1-781-398-9700, or visit our conference
page. Also, request
a free video CD about the Pegasus Conference.
Competencies Course: Building Learning OrganizationsNew
Perspectives for Individual and Collective
Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
March 1014, 2003
Sponsored by the Society for Organizational
Learning, this course is facilitated by
Peter Senge and Sara Schley. It focuses
on concepts, methods, and tools of organizational
learning and how to apply them in an organizational
and personal context. Contact: Jackie Tabb
at 1-617-300-9560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information, go to the SoL
by Marilyn Paul
Organizational Learning (Learning Path LP3)
to Marilyn and other organizational learning
practitioners in this three-part learning
path from the 2002 Pegasus Conference. The
tools of organizational learning are explored
through three lensesthe individual,
the team, and the organizationto help
you develop your capacity to create and sustain
Audiotape set, Order
CD set, Order
Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find
Your Keys: The Seven-Step Path to Becoming
Truly Organized (Viking Compass,
from Blame to Accountability
Pocket guide, Order
Essentials of Servant-Leadership: Principles
in Practice by Ann McGee-Cooper
and Gary Looper
Servant-leadership is a powerful leadership
model that capitalizes on the knowledge and
wisdom of all employeesnot just
those at the top. This volume differentiates
servant- leadership from traditional models,
shares case studies of industry leaders practicing
servant-leadership, and offers practical suggestions
for putting servant-leadership principles
Print version, Order
PDF version, Order
Does the "Soft Stuff" Really Work with Tough
Problems? by Ann McGee-Cooper,
Gary Looper, and Kelli Miller
Audio CD, Order
Guide to Servant-Leadership by
Ann McGee-Cooper and Gary Looper
Pocket guide, Order
New Mindset for Getting Organized: An Interview with Marilyn Paul
From Hero As Leader to Servant As Leader
Stimulus Package Is Right?
A New Mindset for Getting Organized: An Interview with Marilyn
by Kali Saposnick
matter how hard she tried to get organizeddespite applying
tips from countless books and hiring personal organizersorganizational
consultant Marilyn Paul could not make a dent in the clutter that
surrounded her. A disorganized person for many years, Marilyn's
chronic messiness adversely affected her work, relationships, home,
and health. "I knew the source of my disorganized state was coming
from me," Marilyn admitted, "but I didn't know how to access and
change it." She finally decided to write a self-help manualfor
herself. In the process, she realized that her systemic approach
to getting organized could be a powerful tool for others as well.
Her recently published book, It's Hard to Make a Difference When
You Can't Find Your Keys: The Seven-Step Path to Becoming Truly
Organized (Viking Compass, 2003), offers hope for people who
know that getting organized is key to doing what they most want
True change began when Paul decided to examine her deep-rooted belief
that messiness and chaos were signs of creativity and that being
organized indicated stuffiness and rigidity. She explains, "I thought
being disorganized was a critical part of my creative identity and
that by adding structure to my life, I would lose my creativity.
No wonder I didn't want to get organized." When she mustered the
curiosity to test this assumption, Marilyn quickly discovered its
flaws. She discovered a plethora of creative yet "organized" people
whom she admired, such as the extraordinary painter Barbara Cassel.
"Once I saw how primitive my thinking was," she says, "I began to
unpack other unexamined beliefs that were holding me back. Soon
I realized that the most difficult challenge to becoming organized
is changing our mindsets about organization."
Another belief Marilyn exposed was that she was too busy to handle
little tasks in the moment. Repeatedly allowing folders and unopened
mail to stack up instead of refiling or reviewing them immediately,
she attributed this behavior to lack of time. But she soon discovered
that restoring order often takes only a few seconds or a few minutes.
"What we don't realize is that each of those few seconds accumulate
to create large barriers if we don't address them in the moment,"
explains Marilyn. "It's a myth that we don't have time to organize
things every day. Of course we can't always address something immediately,
but most of the time we can. And filing, for example, in the present
moment turns out to be easier than filing later when we are faced
with a huge pile."
the complete article.
For resources by Marilyn Paul, see "Pegasus Highlights."
Hero As Leader to Servant As Leader
by Ann McGee-Cooper and Duane Trammell
is a practical philosophy that encourages collaboration, trust,
foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.
It contrasts markedly with common Western ideas of the leader as
a stand-alone hero. Especially when we face organizational crises,
we tend to long for a savior to fix the messes that we have all
helped create. Even in impressive corporate turnarounds, we tend
to look for the hero who single-handedly "saved the day." But this
myth causes us to lose sight of all those in the background who
provided valuable support to the single hero.
Seeing the leader as servant, however, puts the emphasis on very
different qualities. Servant leadership is not about a personal
quest for power, prestige, or material rewards. Rather than controlling
others, servant-leaders work to build a solid foundation of shared
goals by awakening and engaging employee knowledge, building strong
interdependence within and beyond the organization's boundaries,
meeting and exceeding the needs of numerous stakeholders, making
wise collective decisions, and leveraging the power of paradox.
A growing number of industry leaders, including Southwest Airlines
and TDIndustries, have practiced servant-leadership for several
decades. As they experiment with unprecedented and accelerated changes
in how they define leadershipin whom employees choose to follow,
what it takes to effectively lead others, and how individuals can
come together to address constant fluxthese companies are
overcoming their limitations and accomplishing a true and lasting
transformation within their organizations.
the complete article, or see The Systems Thinker,
Vol. 10, No. 3 (April 1999).
For additional resources on Servant-Leadership, see "Pegasus Highlights."
Stimulus Package Is Right?
by Bill Harris
As elected officials debate which stimulus package would most benefit
the United States' economy, many citizens are struggling to understand
the long-term implications of each proposal on the floor. Republicans,
led by President Bush, are proposing tax cuts to free up cash for
people and businesses to spend, claiming that only long-term cuts
can lead to true recovery. Democrats are suggesting a one-time tax
rebate to get things moving without worsening the debt. Which is
the right course to take? Which policy will truly stimulate the
In the "At Any Rate" column "Can We Budget for the Future?" published
Points Issue 18, Chris Soderquist and I developed a model
that takes a systemic approach to reducing the U.S. federal debt
and deficit while stimulating the economy, and we invited you to
try your hand at testing solutions on our model. While the simulation
does not provide the "answer," it offers a framework for improving
the dialogue about the issue.
In addition, in a posting on the Pegasus
forums, I offered my own thinking on how the economy
could worka short-term government stimulus to boost the economy
now and reduce the debt laterand that approach achieved both
goals on our model. I encourage people concerned about the U.S.'s
economic future to make their thinking operational by exploring
their ideas on our modelor by creating their ownand
sharing the results with others. In this way, we can raise the rigor
of discourse in society and improve the decisions we make collectively.
Read the column
and test the model.
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