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and innovations in leadership, management, and organizational development.
Please forward to your colleagues.
September 23, 2003 Issue 42
of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling
ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got
here because somebody bent down and helped us."
"A leader takes people where they want to go.
A great leader takes people where they don't
necessarily want to go but ought to be."
Peter Senge Videos Offer Extended Until
the last issue Pegasus announced the launch
of the One on One Video Series
with two new productions featuring Peter
Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline
and one of the most renowned figures in contemporary
management thought. Some subscribers who wanted
to view clips on the web site were unable to
do so because of technical problems at our hosting
facility. As a result, we are extending the
offer until October 1st. Never
again will the price for these videos be so
low. So, please, take advantage
of this unique offer now to add these remarkable
videos to your training and consulting toolkit
at the very lowest prices.
this powerfully engaging video, Peter Senge
speaks in plain, straight-to-the-point language
about crucial leadership issues facing all
organizations as they work to create the
results they really care about.
26 minutes, color, list price $395Special
pre-publication price of $247 until 10/1/03!
#VONE001, VHS cassette
on Change and Learning
In this gripping discussion, Peter Senge
illuminates the crucial role of learning
in any successful organizational change
effort and helps us understand ways to get
beyond frustrating barriers to learning.
#VONE002, VHS cassette
Approx. 26 minutes, color, list price $395Special
pre-publication price of $247 until 10/1/03!
List price $595Special
pre-publication price of $389 until 10/1/03!
#VONE0102SET, 2 VHS cassettes
NOTE: The DVDs are in NTSC format, but most
PAL DVD players are able to automatically
convert and play the signal.
The videos are ideal for use by
consultants, trainers, managers, and leaders
who plan and lead change efforts or leadership
development programs. Each video is divided
into four or five sections on specific topics;
each section is designed as a stand-alone
presentation to set a context for reflective
discussion. The video can also be used in
pre-publication offer is good only until October
1, so don't miss this one-time opportunity!
We expect the videos to ship on October 1. Order
the videos by clicking on the links above or
by calling 1-781-398-9700.
Guide to Accountability Leadership
by Gerald A. Kraines, M.D.
most of us, the word "accountability" has
painful connotations, in that the term is
often used to indicate who gets the blame
when things go wrong. In this handy guide,
Gerry Kraines rehabilitates accountability
by clearly defining both employee and managerial
obligations for delivering outputs and maximizing
value in an organization, and introducing
a systemic way of thinking and acting that
greatly increases a manager's effectiveness.
#PG25, 5-1/2 x 8-1/2-inch laminated guide,
$5.00, volume discounts available
Conference on Getting Organized with Marilyn
Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't
Find Your Keys: The Seven-Step Path to Becoming
Date: Wednesday, November
12, 2003 12 noon1:15 p.m. EST
matter how hard you try to get organizeddespite
applying tips from countless books and hiring
personal organizerssometimes it's
impossible to make a dent in the clutter
that surrounds you. But true change can
happen when we understand our deep-rooted
beliefs and realize that the most difficult
challenge to becoming organized is changing
our mindsets about organization.
Take part in this audio conference and discover
how you too can transform the way you approach
your life. By looking at organization and
time management in a systemic way, Marilyn
will guide you through a process for personal
change and help you recognize how seemingly
simple, isolated decisions can lead to vast
unintended consequences over time.
#AC200304, Cost: $99 per listening site
more about or register for the audio conference.
Books by Phil Ramsey
includes Billibonk and the Big Itch, Billibonk
and the Thorn Patch, and both Fieldbooks
#BBST02, 4 softcover, illustrated, only
and the Thorn Patch: Join Billibonk
the elephant and his friends as they grapple
with the unique challenges of living in the
jungleand untangle a stubborn set of systems
problems at the same time! Children and adults
will delight in this fanciful, fun-filled story
while learning about systems thinking at the
same time. (Order
#BB001 for this book only, $19.95)
"Thorn Patch" Fieldbook:
With its wealth of practice activities,
this fieldbook helps you explore how Billibonk's
discoveries might apply to you and your
organization. Learn how to reframe problems,
use diagrams to grasp key causal relationships,
and work with "undiscussables" so you can
focus on what really matters (Order
#BB002 for this book only, $12.95)
and the Big Itch: The jungle of Knith
is in an uproar! The elephants are knocking
down trees, acting strange, and getting frustrated
with each other. Why are the elephants so itchy?
This new jungle mystery builds on Billibonk
and the Thorn Patch as it takes a close
look at how to avoid the long-term costs of
today's "quick fixes." (Order
#BB003 for this book only, $19.95)
"Big Itch" Fieldbook:
This fieldbook can help you identify and
overcome the counterproductive organizational
pattern of choosing superficial quick fixes
over more fundamental change efforts. Discover
how understanding an archetype can bring
leverage to your systemic interventions.
#BB004 for this book only, $12.95)
Thinking Hits Its Stride: An Interview with Michael Goodman
at the Conference
Growing Up with
Thinking Hits Its Stride: An Interview with Michael Goodman
by Kali Saposnick
Goodman, principal of Innovation Associates Organizational Learning,
has developed and conducted systems thinking programs around the
world. Having attended and presented at every Pegasus Conference
since its inception in 1991, Michael will continue the tradition
at this year's conference in October in Boston by co-facilitating
the "Designing a Systems Thinking Intervention" learning path. In
these sessions, he will help participants apply systems tools to
understanding and solving a chronic problem in their organization.
In the following interview, Michael shares some thoughts about how
systems thinking has shifted over the years and why its application
is relevant today.
In the late 1950s, a brilliant electrical engineer at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) pioneered the use of computer simulation
to address business and organizational issues. Jay Forrester, the
founder of the field of system dynamics, challenged business and
world leaders to use these tools to consider the long-term, unintended
consequences of their policies and actions. Inspired by the potential
of systems thinking to contribute to a better world, the students
in Jay's courses built upon his insights and branched out into many
fields. One of those MIT graduates, Michael Goodman, found his niche
developing and applying systems thinking in the area of organization
change and learning.
"The key question my peers and I continually asked ourselves was,
'How can we make systems thinking available to a wider audience?'"
says Michael. "The sense of urgency in organizations to fix problems
quickly has led people to take short-sighted actions, resulting
in unintended, adverse, and sometimes devastating effects. We wanted
to figure out 'How can we get the greatest number of people to think
things through thoroughly before they make far-reaching decisions?
How can we help them test their assumptions and beliefs so they
can identify the unintended effects of their strategies and dig
deeper for new, long-lasting solutions to old problems?'"
Answers to these questions began to emerge over the past three decades,
as innovative breakthroughs in software, tools, and literature made
systems thinking accessible to an increasing number of people. On
the simulation modeling front, Michael points to less technical,
more user-friendly computer programs, such as ithink®,
developed by the late Barry Richmond of High Performance Systems,
and Vensim®, developed by Bob Eberlein of Ventana Systems,
that have enabled more people to create simulations of and, in turn,
better understand complex problems in their organizations.
reading the interview.
Learn more about
or register for the 2003 Pegasus Conference.
by Randall L. Englund
When people in organizations feel that their leaders lack authenticity
and integrity, trust cannot develop, and performance is inhibited.
How can managers create a culture that supports these qualities
instead of undermining them? Authenticity means that managers mean
what they say. Integrity means that they do what they say they will
dofor the reasons they originally stated. By linking intentions,
words, and actions, these qualities help leaders establish credibility
in the workplace.
Managers who don't "walk the talk" seldom motivate people to follow
them; instead, they cause energy levels to drop and productive work
to slow down or even cease. I worked with one project team whose
enthusiasm to develop a year-long strategy foundered when the project
manager shifted the team's original purpose by advancing a senior
manager's request. Another group suffered serious morale problems
when its manager prodded it to complete an 18-month project in 6
Some might accuse such leaders of committing "integrity crimes."
They failed to be fully honest and to treat others with respect.
One reason these offenses occur so often in organizations is that
measurement and reward systems based on short-term objectives and
bottom-line results often compel managers to compromise their commitment
to workers' goals, aspirations, and vision and only manage upward.
True leaders, however, act with honesty and authority based on their
beliefsrather than react based on external demandsso
that all concerned come to believe in the direction they choose.
As employees come to trust their managers and grow comfortable taking
risks, they ultimately contribute their best efforts because they
know where the organization is headed and what they need to do to
help it reach its goals.
the complete article, or see LEVERAGE, No. 41 (May 2000).
now for the 2003 Pegasus Conference, Changing Our Organizations
to Change the World: Systems Thinking in Action, in Boston,
Massachusetts, on October 810. Call Julie Turner at 1-781-398-9700
for details, or visit the conference
at the Pegasus Conference
For the past several years we have set up the general session
room at the conference like a World Café and have extensively
utilized the World Café format as a way to facilitate meaningful
dialogue. We strongly support the belief of the World Café
Community that the future is born in webs of human conversation
and that the concepts of the World Café are extremely important
in creating such websthey show us how powerful questions can
generate powerful understandings when people carry seeds of one
conversation to other interactions, thereby deepening our collective
One key distinction we want to make, however, is that the Café
"props"tables, checkered cloths, vases, flowers, and so forthare
helpful but not necessary to have a successful World Café.
Conversations that matter can take place wherever people are willing
to engage their hearts and minds with the people around them.
This year, we are continuing to offer a more structured Café
formatcomplete with red-checkered tableclothsin an "Evening
of Conversation" on Thursday night, hosted by David Isaacs and Ken
Homer. We also have a special post-conference gathering on Friday
afternoon for World Café practitioners, which is open to
anyone interested in learning more about the process. During the
general sessions, however, we will be engaging in questions that
matter without the trappingsbecause we can. So bring your
head and your heart to Boston in October and get ready to connect
with colleagues from around the world who want to create global
networks for change.
more about the World Café gathering.
Up with Billibonk
summer, Pegasus Communications hired a special administrative intern
from New Zealand: 18-year-old Alexandra Ramsey, daughter of the
popular Pegasus author Philip Ramsey. About 10 years ago, Phil began
writing the Billibonk books, a series of systems stories for children
and adults about an elephant and his friends grappling with the
challenges of living in the jungle. We recently got the inside scoop
about what gave Phil the idea for the stories.
According to Alex, her younger brother Nick's mealtime troubles
inspired the first installment of "Billibonk and the Thorn Patch."
One night Nick refused to eat his dinner and grew increasingly upset
because he wasn't allowed to leave the table until he did. To calm
him down, Phil made up a story about an elephant who got stuck in
a thorn patch and whose cries caused him increasing painuntil
Frankl the mouse convinced him that the pain would end if he just
got himself out of the patch (and if you just ate your dinner, Nick).
Thus Billibonk was born.
The stories delighted Alex, and she proudly explains her role in
helping her father develop them. "When I was 8," she says, "I used
to take each new chapter into my room and edit them with my pencil.
Dad told me that he turned my questions, like 'What's a pachyderm,
anyway?' into the book's footnotes." (Note: Elephants are sometimes
called "pachyderms," which means "thick skins.")
Because she grew up thinking systemically, Alex naturally sees many
of the archetypes described in her dad's books at work around her.
"I learned that with escalation, if you just stop, then the whole
problem might stop," she explains. "At a previous job, my boss constantly
said things that annoyed me, which caused me to annoy her back,
which might have lost me my job had I not realized that if I just
stopped responding that way, she would quiet down and get back to
To convey how much the Billibonk stories meant to her, Alex recalls
getting stuck in an elevator while playing at her father's office.
As she waited in panic for help, she saw something pass through
the small gap between the doors. It was the Billibonk manuscript.
"My dad knew it would comfort me," she remembers, "and I read it
through my tears until I was rescued."
Alex's experiences show us that stories with systemic lessons can
help children bring out what they naturally seem to know. Even if
we don't possess Phil's gift for storytelling, we can draw from
any event in our lives to explore new ways of thinking and behaving
to create a better world.
To learn more
about the Billibonk books, go to Pegasus Highlights on the right.
Alex will be participating in this year's Pegasus Conference, so
please stop by the registration desk and say hello.
Copyright 2003 Pegasus Communications. Leverage Points®
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