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and innovations in leadership, management, and organizational development.
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June 24, 2003 Issue 39
goal is created three times. First, as a mental
picture. Second, when written down to add clarity
and dimension. And third, when you take action
towards its achievement."
Gary Ryan Blair
"If your actions create a legacy that inspires
others to dream more, learn more, do more, and
become more, then you are an excellent leader."
Offer on Pegasus Videos
The first two videos in our new Leverage
Points for Change series are now available.
Order both videos for only $400and receive
more than 30% off the original price! (Offer
expires July 31, 2003)
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.
6 min., color. View
That Work shows your organization how
to move beyond pitfalls that can disable
team performance and points the way toward
a new team synergy based on openness, dialogue,
and the value of diversity. 6 min., color.
two-video set, Order #VLPCST1i, VHS, $400
free previews of both videos on our
web site, or call 1-781-398-9700.
Organized to Make a Difference Pocket
by Marilyn Paul
This handy two-sided pocket guide explains
how to get and stay organized both at home
and on the job. Based on personal experience,
Paul shows how doing so is not about simply
changing behavior but fundamentally shifting
how we think. As we begin to notice the
flaws in our deeply held beliefs, we can
develop productive new ways of engaging
in our daily activities. Laminated and sized
at 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", this quick-reference
tool conveniently fits in a daily planner.
#PG24, $5.00, volume discounts available
Spring 2003 Catalog Now Available!
our catalog from the web, or call 1-781-398-9700
to request a print copy.
for Organizational Learning, Core Competencies
Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
September 2226, 2003
Facilitated by Beth Jandernoa and Robert Hanig.
This program focuses on concepts, methods, and
tools of organizational learning, and how to
apply them in an organizational and personal
context. Contact Frank Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 1-617-300-9535. For more information, go
to the SoL
on Organizational Learning
for Learning: Strategies for Knowledge Creation
and Enduring Change
Daniel H. Kim
This collection of feature articles
from The Systems Thinker Newsletter
opens a new dimension of insight into dilemmas
that confound many organizations, and offers
concrete ideas and suggestions for building
a work culture where learning can thrive.
#OL017r, softcover, 112 pages, illustrated,
the Wolves: Surviving and Thriving in a
Learning Organization, Second Edition
David Hutchens, illustrated by Bobby Gombert
With its fanciful illustrations and deliciously
wicked humor, Outlearning the Wolves
is the story of a flock of sheep that overcome
their fear of the wolves' cleverness by
building a culture for learning in which
the contributions of each individual are
utilized in strikingly new and productive
ways. Any organization seeking to build
both a rewarding workplace and a thriving
enterprise should introduce these ideas
to every workerfrom the front line
to the boardroom.
#FT004R, softcover, 68 pages, illustrated,
#FT004E, PDF, 79 pages, illustrated, $14.95
Package: Organizational Learning
Five softcover books, including:
the Wolves (see description
Change at Philips Display Components
by Iva M. Wilson, 16 pages: Insights about
how the principles of organizational learning
helped the author and her colleagues create
a new corporate culture at Philips
Learning at Work,
144 pages: Articles that use the potent
approach of systems thinking and organizational
learning to tackle prevalent organizational
It Happen, 160 pages:
Case studies on large-scale change, critical
business challenges, and cultural transformation
for Learning (see description
#LP004r, 5 softcover, illustrated, $79.30
for Team Success
THE RESOURCE SHELF
When Technology Alone Isn't Enough: Rediscovering the Social
Nature of Learning
Pre/Post Skill-Building Sessions and Gatherings
Doing Less to
for Team Success
by Kali Saposnick
Getting the job done well in today's sophisticated workplace
often requires people with a variety of knowledge and skills to
work togethersometimes just to figure out what a problem or
an opportunity is. Yet enabling teams to be effective remains a
constant challenge for many managers. To gain insight into the cause
of team failure and strategies for team success, Leverage Points
interviewed some leaders and coaches about their experiences; interestingly,
they all agree that what a team does at the outset of a project
usually determines its long-term performance. To build on this insight,
intact teams can take advantage of special team discounts and learning
opportunities at the upcoming Pegasus
Conference on October 810 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Assigning a team to tackle a complex problem seems to be the default
process for achieving many organizational goals today. But for those
of us experienced in working with a group, being asked to participate
doesn't necessarily produce an enthusiastic response. Although we
may like the prospect of taking part in an exciting new project,
we're wary of stepping in the potential quagmire of team dynamics.
Too often, our frustration begins when the team is formed and certain
questions are left unanswered: What were the criteria for selecting
team members? What is the team's purpose and direction? Who holds
us accountable for achieving our goals? What are our individual
roles and responsibilities? These issues must be addressed upfront
for the effort to be successful, but instead they're often neglected
or overlooked in the face of people's eagerness to get started.
According to Wendy Skinner, director of enterprise process engineering
for Sabre Holdings, a world leader in travel commerce, "When I hear
someone say a team did not perform well, I ask, 'What were the conditions
that made it not successful?' People typically blame the failure
on team dynamics, personality conflicts, and bad management, but
in reality, poor team performance usually stems from the organization
not being ready to support the project or not providing the team
with clear direction and appropriate sponsorship from leaders."
the complete article.
See additional resources on team learning.
more about special team opportunities at the 2003 Pegasus Conference.
THE RESOURCE SHELF
Technology Alone Isn't Enough: Rediscovering the Social Nature of
by Janice Molloy
can millions of people successfully operate a relatively complex
piece of heavy equipmentan automobilewhile few seem
capable of getting a simple videocassette recorder to tape a TV
show? In their book The Social Life of Information (Harvard
Business School Press, 2000), John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid point
out an important distinction between these two scenarios: acquiring
the skills and instincts required to drive usually takes place in
a social context, while learning to program a VCR is generally an
individual endeavor. Almost anyone who gets behind the wheel has
already spent countless hours observing other drivers in a wide
range of situations. In contrast, we seldom witness someone set
a VCR or receive ongoing coaching about how to do so.
Partially as a result of the different settings in which these activities
take place, the VCR has remained an underused piece of electronics,
while the automobile continues to play a central role in our culture.
This example is just one of many that the authors cite in weaving
a cautionary tale about relying exclusively on technologyespecially
information technologyto drive the future of our organizations,
institutions, and societies. Instead, we must recognize how social
needsespecially around learninginfluence our acceptance
and successful application of new technologies. If we fail to do
so, we'll continue to build products that people can't use, design
strategies that people won't implement, and recommend changes that
people fail to embraceregardless of how elegant or sophisticated
those solutions may be.
the complete article, or see The Systems Thinker, Vol.
12, No. 1 (February 2001).
If you liked this article, go to "Pegasus Highlights" on the right
to see additional resources on organizational learning.
to The Systems Thinker.
Pre/Post Skill-Building Sessions and Gatherings
planning to attend this year's Pegasus ConferenceChanging
Our Organizations to Change the World: Systems Thinking in Action,
to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 810add
even more ballast to your experience and value to your travel dollars
by participating in our pre- and/or post-conference skill-building
sessions and gatherings.
Skill-building sessions are workshops focused on broadening your
toolset by honing your specific areas of learning. Gatherings are
more informal get-togethers that are geared to a particular segment
of the conference communitynonprofit, education, and World
Caféalthough they're open to all. UPDATE: Ruth McCambridge,
editor-in-chief of Nonprofit Quarterly, will be co-leading
the Nonprofit Gathering with David Peter Stroh.
One additional bonus: If you do participate in a post-conference
session and decide to stay over on Saturday night, you may get a
lower airfare and even have time for sightseeing. Boston is beautiful
in the fall!
about these gatherings, or contact Julie Turner to register at email@example.com
or 1-781-398-9700. Team discounts and scholarships are available
Less to Accomplish More
Have you ever tried to do two or three things at oncesend
an e-mail while talking on the phone, sort through mail while listening
to a colleague, make a list while participating in a meetingand
suddenly you cannot recall the last thing that was said? What you
think might be a "senior moment" is actually reduced cognitive ability
due to chronic high-stress multitasking.
A growing body of research shows that the action most of us think
saves us timedoing many things at onceactually reduces
our brainpower and makes us less efficient. Why? The evidence suggests
that true multitasking is extremely hard to do, causing the kind
of stress that is linked to short-term memory loss. This data is
particularly alarming in light of today's trend toward doing more
in less time. In a recent study, 45 percent of American workers
said they feel they're being asked to accomplish too many tasks
Some additional findings include:
Multitasking is more time-consuming than focusing on one
project at a time, especially as the complexity of the tasks increases.
Returning immediately to a previous task takes longer than
waiting a few seconds to adjust to the switch.
Doing two things at once reduces the brainpower available
for either task and inhibits our listening and visual abilities.
So what are the implications for each of us in our fast-paced, driven
society? Slow down. Stay focused on the moment. Finish one task
and then move on to the next thing. And you'll get a lot more done.
Source: Sue Shellenbarger, "Multitasking Makes You Stupid: Studies
Show Pitfalls of Doing Too Much at Once," The Wall Street Journal,
February 27, 2003
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