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July 24, 2003 Issue 40
SPECIAL CONFERENCE ISSUE!
Join us at the 13th Annual Pegasus
Conference, to be held October 810 in Boston, Massachusetts,
Register by contacting Julie Turner at 1-781-398-9700 or email@example.com.
See our special pricing offer
in "Pegasus Conference Corner"!
can remain reactive to the forces that are unjust
and limiting or we can begin to think more powerfully
and generatively to call people toward another
view . . . We must reach for each other in empathy
across the rubble of our worst ideas and actions
in hopes that old boundaries and distinctions
will fade in a common human will for peace with
Ruth McCambridge, editor-in-chief of Nonprofit
"The field of systems thinking is especially
effective for enabling people to understand
why they have been unsuccessful in solving
chronic problems despite their best efforts
. . . By understanding the exact nature
of the vicious circles we have been trapped
in, we can create new patterns of relationships
that serve us better."
David Peter Stroh, principal of Bridgeway
Ruth and David are facilitating the Nonprofit
Gathering at this year's Pegasus Conference.
more about the gathering.
Step: A Framework for Large-Scale Change,
featuring Karl-Henrik Robèrt
By establishing a shared set of principles,
an organization can begin to develop a framework
for large-scale transformation. Karl-Henrik
Robèrt shares his experiences and
insight into large-scale organizational
change efforts from working with The Natural
Step, a federation that is helping to mobilize
an entire countrySwedento address
the issues of environmental sustainability
and continued prosperity.
#V9522, videotape, 73 minutes, $99.00
Creating Sustainable Organizations: Meeting
the Economic, Ecological, and Social Challenges
of the 21st Century by Sara
Schley and Joseph Laur
This volume builds on the Natural Stepa
federation of professional associations
in Sweden (economists, physicians, business
leaders, lawyers, entertainers, and so forth)
that is working toward developing a sustainable
society. It offers a new modela triple
bottom linefor designing sustainable
organizations. The authors also present
success stories of actual companies that
have achieved sustainability goals.
#IMS008, softcover, 20 pages, illustrated,
The Global Citizen by Donella
Commenting on world events and issues
from a systems point of view, Meadows challenges
us to explore the complex connections and
interrelationships that shape our world
and for which we are all responsible. In
a clear, concise, and engaging manner, she
provocatively starts the book with the essay
"System Dynamics Meets the Press"; other
topics include poverty and development,
energy we can live with, land use and urban
growth, the longing for leadership, unconventional
economics, and keeping going when the going
#OL018, softcover, 85 essays, 300 pages,
People Who Really Shape Our Organizations: An Interview with Art Kleiner
Redefining Business Success: The "Triple" Bottom Line
Conference MadnessSpecial Pricing Offers and Financial Aid
Diagrams: A Way to See How People Think
People Who Really Shape Our Organizations: An Interview with Art
by Kali Saposnick
purpose are most organizations seeking to fulfill? In his forthcoming
book Who Really Matters: The Core Group Theory of Power, Privilege
and Success (Doubleday, October 2003), Art Kleiner asserts that
the primary purpose is notas many of us believemeeting
customers' needs, fostering innovation, or making a better world.
Rather, organizations are set up, first and foremost, to fulfill
the perceived desires and priorities of a "core group" of people.
As such, the success or failure of the organization is determined
by the behavior of this key set of individuals.
Art, who will be speaking at Authors' Night at the upcoming
Pegasus Conference, asserts that core groups exist in every organization,
large or small, for-profit or not-for-profit, private or public
sector. Members of this elite set take their power not from their
position in the hierarchy, but from the way they influence decisions
at every level of the hierarchy. Every organization, at any given
moment in time, has its own unique core group pattern; the most
influential people might be high-profile shareholders, critical
technology specialists, key suppliers, major customers, or members
of the company's founding family. Core groups often include "bottlenecks,"
people who control or manage essential parts of operations, such
as the graphic design and production staff of a publishing company,
or the veteran school bus administrator of a local school system.
In other words, the core group doesn't necessarily comprise just
people with hierarchical authority but those who are, for whatever
reason, perceived as central to the enterprise by the people who
the complete article.
Authors' Night is a free event open to the general public. Your
family and friends are welcome to attend. Art Kleiner will be speaking
on October 8, from 8:009:30 p.m. Learn
Business Success: The "Triple" Bottom Line
by Sara Schley and Joseph Laur
Most of us know that there are certain physical limits we must respect
if life on Earth is to thrive and prosper for generations to come.
But what are the implications of these limits for business? To answer
this question, Karl-Henrik Robčrt and his colleagues at The Natural
Step (a Swedish organization that helps businesses and professional
organizations explore ways to achieve sustainability) introduced
the "funnel" concept.
Because of its shapewide at the top and narrower at the bottoma
funnel represents the growing constraints that happen when our exponential
population growth increases our demand for products and services
while weakening Earth's capacity to provide water, fisheries, arable
land, food, forest cover, and waste absorption. As time moves forward,
more and more constraints (the funnel's narrow end) are placed on
business and industry as they struggle to establish prices, compete,
and earn a profit.
One way to avoid getting squeezed in the funnel is to view constraints
as opportunities for business innovation. Companies that embrace
this view attend to the "triple bottom line"meeting the financial,
ecological, and social needs of the present while ensuring that
future generations can meet those needs as well. The triple bottom
line requires companies to align product and service development
strategy with sustainability principles by asking, "How does this
particular product, service, or action impact our business, the
natural systems that our business uses and relies on, and the communities
in which we do business?" Keeping all three of these aspects in
focus is a challenge for any organization, but doing so attends
to the real bottom line: Building a business that can stand the
test of time.
the complete article, or see LEVERAGE, No. 22 (November
Sara Schley and Joe Laur are presenters at this year's conference.
Their session, "Filters for Our Minds, Not Filters for Our Pipes:
Rethinking Business Success Through Environmental Sustainability,"
focuses on creating new ways of collaborating in order to preserve
and replenish our natural resources.
Learn more about their session.
liked this article, go to "Pegasus Highlights"
on the right to see additional resources on sustainability.
Conference MadnessSpecial Pricing Offers to Help You Make
It Through the Dog Days!
Is it heat stroke? No. Is it lunacy? Guess again. A midsummer night's
dream? Not quite. It's a Pegasus Conference offer you just can't
Me, Myself, and I: Register at the current $1395 price and
receive a coupon good for $50 worth of Pegasus products at the conference
Two for the Show: One person attends for $1395 and the other
attends for $795. Both registrations must be submitted together.
Four to Go: Register a team of 47 people at today's
discounted team price and receive a free copy of the new Pegasus
video Teams That Work, which highlights strategies for team
success (a $295 value).
Eight Is Great: Register a team of at least 8 people at
today's discounted team price and receive a free copy of the new
Pegasus video Teams That Work, which highlights strategies
for team success, and a CD-Rom of the last 4 volumes of The Systems
Thinker Newsletter (a $740 value).
With each passing day, the idea of "Changing Our Organizations to
Change the World" becomes increasingly vital to our long-term organizational
and global viability. Choose an offer that works for you and sign
up now! Offers good through August 15!
Call Julie Turner at 1-781-398-9700 for more information or to register.
Scholarships are still available for the Pegasus Conference. To
make this event accessible to more participants, Pegasus Communications
offers scholarships on a case-by-case basis to candidates who need
partial financial assistance to attend the conference because they
or their organizations are unable to pay the full registration fee.
Learn more about
scholarships and how to apply.
Loop Diagrams: A Way to See How People Think
by Kali Saposnick
does a group reach mutual understanding of why their actions failed
to produce the results they wanted? More important, how do they
use that insight to make better decisions in the future? According
to Dave Packer, managing partner of the Systems Thinking Collaborative,
one of the most effective ways to reach shared understanding is
to draw causal
loop diagrams (CLDs). A key systems thinking tool, CLDs offer
a shared visual language for mapping out a situation. By doing so,
a group can agree about the forces at work and explore both the
intended and unintended consequences of different strategies.
By depersonalizing the discussion, CLDs can facilitate open communication.
Rather than pointing fingers at individuals or departments, participants
focus on which variables are inhibiting or improving performance.
They identify where they disagree about how the system is behaving
and work to clarify their assumptions. In these ways, CLDs can improve
the quality of discussions within organizations or teams.
CLDs also help groups recognize the importance of understanding
both the short- and long-term effects of decisions. For example,
a management team that hopes to improve short-term profitability
by cutting R&D may discover that doing so will jeopardize the organization's
long-term survival by reducing the number of new products it can
launch. Once team members identify the loops that best reflect the
behavior of the system, they can gain insight into how they might
intervene to move the system in the direction they want to go.
For people interested in improving their communication and decision-making
skills using CLDs, the Causal Loop and Stock and Flow Clinic
at this year's Pegasus Conference offers a great opportunity.
Dave, who is co-facilitating the clinic, coaches participants on
how to depict their particular workplace challenges using causal
loop or stock and flow diagrams. Like most things, he says, the
more you do it, the better you get at it!
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