A free e-newsletter spotlighting systemic thinking and innovations
in leadership, management, and organizational development. Please
forward to your colleagues.
May 28, 2003 Issue 38
let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish
something stand in the way of your doing it.
The time will pass anyway; we might just as
well put that passing time to the best possible
"In organizations, real power and energy is
generated through relationships. The patterns
of relationships and the capacities to form
them are more important than tasks, functions,
roles, and positions."
Essential Readings for the Innovative
Our new series highlights the
most compelling ideas from Pegasus Communications
for leading and managing change in today's complex
work environments. Each volume contains an overview,
full-length articles and summaries, discussion
questions, next steps, and additional resources
to highlight learnings and provoke conversation
around key themes.
in a Complex World, a selection
of five articles from The Systems Thinker
Newsletter, explores how today's leaders
can successfully guide their organizations
through constantly changing landscapes.
The volume can be used as support material
for the Pegasus video, Leading in a Complex
#ANT01, $15.95, PDF
That Work, a selection of
five articles from The Systems Thinker
Newsletter, identifies key systemic tools
for cultivating high-performing teams in
order for organizations to remain competitive
in today's marketplace. The volume can be
used as support material for the Pegasus
video, Teams That Work.
#ANT02, $15.95, PDF
That WorkA New Video from Pegasus
are pleased to announce the release of the
second video in our Leverage Points
for Change Video Series. Teams
a 6-minute VHS video that provides an excellent
way to introduce key ideas and practices
to organizations seeking to maximize the
effectiveness of people working together.
offerOrder before June 30th
for only $225 (regularly $295).
Want to get the word out to your colleagues
who are interested in creating more effective
Pegasus is now making space available for
advertising in Leverage Points and
The Systems Thinker newsletters,
and on our web site. Get
information about ad rates, specs, and
on Effective Collaboration
on MeetingsPart 2
by Ann McGee-Cooper, Duane Trammell,
and Gary Looper
To make meetings more meaningful
and productive, we must consider all learning
styles and preferences. Moving from a "one-meeting-fits-all"
mindset to multiple settings, styles, and
procedures can help us capitalize on the
strengths of our diverse workforce and answer
the cries for "No more meetings!"
#130602, $6.00, PDF article
Inner Game of Work: Learning How to Change,
featuring Timothy Gallwey
"inner skills"learning how to learn
and preserving a strong foundation of independent
thinking--provide the unchanging foundation
for building capability in a changing world.
In this presentation, Timothy Gallwey discusses
ways to overcome barriers to learning and
create optimal learning environments.
#V9731, $99.00, videotape
Dynamics: A New Framework for Understanding
People and Realizing the Potential in Our
by Sandra Seagal and David Horne
Dynamics® presents a powerful framework
for understanding the distinct ways in which
we process information, learn, communicate,
relate with one another, manifest stress,
maintain well-being, and develop as human
beings. Actual accounts from major companies,
including Intel Corporation, Intermountain
Healthcare System, and London Life Insurance
Company, document how Human Dynamics can
optimize business relationships, organizational
learning, teamwork, and communication.
Order #HD001r, $42.95, softcover
Together Well in Diverse Urban Communities: An Interview with Molly
Mindshift on MeetingsPart 1
Deadline Fast Approaching!
Barry Richmond Scholarship Recipient Announced
Infuses Curriculum with Systems Tools
Together Well in Diverse Urban Communities: An Interview with Molly
by Kali Saposnick
Baldwin is founder and executive director of Roca, Inc., a grassroots,
multicultural human development and community-building organization
in Massachusetts based on a vision of helping young people and families
to thrive and lead change. Molly will be a keynote speaker at this
year's 2003 Pegasus Conference in October in Boston, where she will
share how Roca has succeeded in bringing multiple stakeholdersbe
they rival gangs, gang members and police, parents and children,
youth and politicians, teachers and studentsto the table to
address tough questions and help them create action plans for change.
The following is a preview of some of the values and tools Roca
brings to its initiatives.
The issues facing teenagers todaydrug abuse, teen pregnancy,
and gang wars, to name a fewseem daunting to most adults.
Especially in diverse urban settings, many young people do not have
the support they need to thrive in the world, let alone cope with
their stressful problems. Consequently, they often succumb to poverty,
isolation, and despair.
In 1988, a group of community activists concerned with these issues
decided to take on the challenge of supporting the youth in the
Chelsea, Revere, and Lynn communities. Forming Roca, Inc.originally
an acronym for "Reaching Out to Chelsea Adolescents," but now a
reference to the Spanish word for rock or foundationthey
initiated numerous projects that have brought hope to scores of
previously marginalized children. "We've helped kids who had no
parents, or whose parents weren't there for them because they were
struggling with their own issues," says Molly Baldwin, founder and
executive director of Roca. "Some teenagers were living on the streets;
others were experiencing trauma, having immigrated to the United
States from war-torn countries. Whatever their situation, our staff
has consistently taken action based on Roca's vision that every
young person belongs and that all children are our children."
the complete article.
to an audio recording of interview excerpts.
more about or register for the 2003 Pegasus Conference.
on MeetingsPart 1
by Ann McGee-Cooper, Duane Trammell, and Gary Looper
Meetings are a required ritual in organizations around the world.
Yet, they often seem like black holes, doggedly devouring our days.
Here are three ways to improve the quality of work gatherings:
View Meetings As Work. Rather
than resent meetings as interruptions to doing the "real work,"
envision them as an integral part of our jobs that helps us connect
with others for profit, learning, and mutual growth. By taking the
time to talk about a project, we can avoid redundancy, identify
scheduling problems, share resources effectively, and stay current
on the big picture.
2. Make the Link to Vision and Values. Are our weekly staff
meetings aligned with our business identity and purpose? Do they
make it safe for people to take turns leading, brainstorm new paradigms,
and challenge current work practices? To make sure that meetings
are connected to our raison d'etre, consider radically changing
the meeting format or what you call them, for instance, break into
small cross-functional groups or conduct "buzz sessions."
3. Move Toward Interdependence. Instead of depending on
leaders for running meetings, encourage interdependence among coworkers.
In this way, employees learn both to lead and to follow seamlessly,
when appropriate. They don't depend on others for constant direction,
supervision, discipline, reminders, and approval. All feel responsible
for ensuring the quality of the process.
People who learn to make meetings highly collaborative may actually
get together more often than those mired in the traditional format,
but they make far better use of time individually and collectively
than ever before. By undergoing these "mindshifts" about meetings,
employees at all levels come to gatherings with a total commitment
to bringing high value to all stakeholders.
liked this article, go to "Pegasus Highlights" on the
right for additional resources on effective collaboration.
Read the complete article, or see
The Systems Thinker,
Vol. 13, No. 5 (June/July 2002).
to The Systems Thinker.
30th Deadline Fast Approaching!
The special $1095 conference pricea $500 savings off the full
conference rateends May 30th. Register
now for the 2003 Pegasus Conference, Changing Our Organizations
to Change the World: Systems Thinking in Action, to be held
in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 8-10.
Scholarship Recipient Announced
Last year, at the 2002 Pegasus Conference, we announced an annual
scholarship in honor of the life and work of Barry Richmond, who
had been an important contributor to the fields of systems thinking
and system dynamics, and a friend. Because of Barry's commitment
to bringing systems thinking to K12 educators and students,
we decided to give the award to people working in the field of education.
The selection of the award recipient will be made by the Creative
Learning Exchange (CLE) (http://clexchange.org), a Pegasus partner.
CLE will nominate one person who exemplifies Barry's drive to create
"systems citizens" through K12 education. The decision will
be made by an informal process of information gathering and consensus
rather than by formal application or nomination.
This year's recipient of the Barry Richmond Scholarship is Davida
Fox-Melanson, superintendent of schools in Carlisle, Massachusetts.
Find out more about Davida by reading the "From the Field" column.
Learn more about
or register online for the conference, or contact Julie Turner
at 1-781-398-9700 or email@example.com.
Team discounts and scholarships are available too!
Infuses Curriculum with Systems Tools
best for the kids" is the motto of Davida Fox-Melanson, superintendent
of schools in Carlisle, Massachusetts. This year's recipient of
the Barry Richmond Scholarship to the 2003 Pegasus Conference, Davida
has consistently championed the integration of system dynamics (SD)
and systems thinking (ST) perspectives into the school curriculum
and organization. Through her leadership over the last decade, she
has fostered a culture of continuous improvement in which SD and
ST have become part of the vision shared by the town's school district.
An ardent believer that students need systems skills and a holistic
perspective to thrive in a dynamically complex global economy, the
superintendent has marshaled financial resources to train teachers
in systems tools, provided ongoing support, heralded student and
staff accomplishments, and diplomatically countered resistance to
change. This year, to raise the bar and involve all teachers in
this initiative, Davida has required that, as part of teachers'
performance evaluation, they each demonstrate that they have taught
at least one systems lesson a year.
When asked why she believes so strongly in the power of systems
tools to help children learn, Davida says, "There is so much complexity
and interrelatedness in the issues and problems facing kids today.
As we strive to create a world-class school system in Carlisle,
we recognize that we can't teach students all the skills and knowledge
they need. But we can inculcate in them a commitment to life-long
learning. We can teach them to be adaptable, to use creative approaches
to problem solving, and to examine the unintended consequences of
solutions. Systems thinking and system dynamics have been an integral
part of helping us do that."
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