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September 27, 2005 Issue 66
is a crack in everything. That's how the
light gets in."
moment we break faith with one another,
the sea engulfs us and the light goes out."
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It is with regret that we say good-bye to
publications editor Kali Saposnick. Kali
is leaving Pegasus to go to graduate school
in Belgium.We will miss her insatiable curiosity,
unshakable support, and unparalleled organizational
skills. Best wishes, Kali!
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Pegasus Communications provides resources that
help people explore, understand, articulate,
and address the challenges they face in the
complexities of a changing world. Since 1989,
Pegasus has worked to build a community of practitioners
Newsletter, books, audio and videotapes, and
its annual Systems
Thinking in Action®
Conference and other events.
Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
We are profoundly grieved by the terrible suffering and devastation
caused by Hurricane Katrina. We take this as a sober occasion
to reflect on the usefulness of understanding systems and learning
within and across organizations in meeting the complex and
challenges we all must face together. We encourage you to
make a donation to the charity of your choice to assist in
the relief effort. Also,
you may wish to read more about how corporations can help at
for Corporate Citizenship.
An Interview with Marv Adams and Jeremy Seligman
Special Features Enhance Learning OpportunitiesRegister
by October 5 to Save $300
the Seven Sustainability Blunders
Interview with Marv Adams and Jeremy Seligman
become and remain successful in today’s business climate, companies
in all industries must adopt leading-edge ways of dealing with interdependence.
Spearheaded by Marv Adams, senior vice president and chief information
officer, Ford Motor Company’s IT function has drawn on lessons
from the natural world to transform its operations and lay the foundation
for creating an “adaptive business.”
In a keynote presentation at the 2005
Pegasus Conference, Marv will discuss the transformational journey of Ford
Motor Company’s IT group as it faces a world where the methods and competencies
of the last 50 years are no longer adequate—a world in which it is not
the fittest who will survive, but those most willing and able to learn and adapt
to change. Jeremy Seligman, director of IT Strategy and Organizational Development,
and his colleague Shelia Covert-Weiss will follow with a concurrent session, “The
Nuts and Bolts of Transformational Change: Building New Capacities in Ford’s
In the following interview with Leverage Points editor Vicky Schubert, Marv and
Jeremy discuss Ford’s innovative approach to developing organization-wide
capacity for adapting to the demands of a changing world.
interdependence” is the theme of the Pegasus Conference you’ll
be addressing this November in San Francisco. Can you comment on
why the idea of interdependence is so relevant to your efforts to
build the capacity for learning and adaptation in Ford’s information
technology (IT) organization?
world is becoming increasingly interconnected. The global economy,
for example, is interconnecting countries
and companies and supply chains that haven’t been as directly
connected before. The Internet is interconnecting people across
the globe. Various forms of communication systems, like satellite
communications, are interconnecting people and objects and things
in unprecedented numbers.
When you think about this level of interdependence and connectivity, it’s
pretty easy to see how one change can ripple through and affect all the other
things that are connected to it. With the density of connections going up,
the amount of change that ripples through the world goes up. Some of that change
is insignificant; some of it is substantial.
the complete interview
more about the 2005 Pegasus Conference
Annual Pegasus Conference
Embracing Interdependence: Effective and Responsible Action
in Our Organizations and the World
San Francisco, California, November 1416, 2005
Conference Special Features Enhance
Getting the most out of this conference involves not just the
number of sessions you attend, but your own intentions to be fully
involved with other participants and the overall conference environment.
We’ve called upon the talents of several people to set the
stage for learning, including:
Booth Sweeney provides the weaving and thematic integration
throughout the program, framing and contextualizing the sessions
to enable deeper learning and understanding. A researcher and systems
educator, Linda has a doctorate from Harvard’s Graduate School
of Education, and is the coauthor of The Systems Thinking Playbook and the author of When
a Butterfly Sneezes.
Boos-Stone, founder/principal of Gecko Graphics, captures
the plenary sessions through mind-mapping graphics, conveying the
emotional and intellectual essence of the presentations with captivating
the Conference Community
Sunday, November 13, 8:15–9:30 p.m.
Charles Alday, Alday Consulting Services
Michelle Boos-Stone, Gecko Graphics
you’re attending the conference for the first time or the
fifteenth, start it off by joining us for an evening of creativity
and fun! Through a variety of engaging activities, set the stage
for learning, get acquainted, and deepen connections—with
ideas, with practices, and, most importantly, with old and new friends.
Discover how you can gain the most from the conference, and learn
how to take the lessons back to your organization and share them
Loop and Stock and Flow Clinic
Dave Packer and Kris Wile, Systems
Stop by the clinic and practice using these powerful systems thinking
tools to understand the dynamic relationships inherent in your organizational
or personal challenges. Bring your questions and “diagrams
Tuesday, November 15, 12:30–2:00 p.m.
Exchange ideas with fellow conference participants around a shared
interest or focus! Emerging questions are welcome.
One of the essential tools of systems thinking is causal loop mapping.
To enhance the weaving experience, a team of experienced “loopers”
will share insights gained while creating loops of some of the plenary
sessions. By identifying and making visible key feedback processes
in the speakers’ talks, we hope to illuminate some of the
interdependencies they observe.
Conference BrochureNow Available!
a copy of the final brochure for the 2005 Pegasus Conference.
Find out about the exciting sessions and dynamic presenters, along
with the many learning opportunities designed to build your skills
and give you the inspiration to face the challenges that lie ahead.
by October 5 to Save $300
Register through October 5 for only $1295 (a $300 savings!). When
you register, get a special subscription price for The Systems
Thinker Newsletteronly $89 for a one-year subscription
(regularly $109). Register
on our web site, or call 1-800-272-0945. Significant
team discounts are available for groups of 4 or more. Call Vicky
at 1-781-398-9700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
Overcoming the Seven Sustainability Blunders
response to growing ecological and social equity problems, few
have adopted effective sustainability measures. And, of those that
have made the attempt, many plateaued after a short time or fell
short when jumping from rhetoric to action. A major downfall lies
in the belief that sustainability simply involves reducing or
waste. This perspective leads organizations to commit a series
• Patriarchal Thinking That Leads to a False Sense of
Patriarchal thinking creates an addiction to the directives of higher
authorities and an abdication of personal responsibility.
“Silo” Approach to Environmental and Socio-Economic
Separate functional units aren’t able to identify ways that
processes or products affect the environment or social welfare.
Clear Vision of Sustainability
Compliance with the law is a backward-oriented goal that depresses
motivation and creativity. A forward-looking vision gains commitment
and unleashes energy.
Confusion over Cause and Effect
Organizations focus on reducing emissions and discharges, never
recognizing that these are the results, not the causes, of their
Most organizations fail to communicate effectively about the need
for and the purpose, strategies, and expected outcomes of their
Mechanisms for Learning
Organizations struggling to become sustainable rarely institute
mechanisms that allow workers to continually test new ideas, expand
their knowledge base, and learn how to overcome barriers to change.
to Institutionalize Sustainability
Organizations fail to incorporate sustainability in their core policies
and procedures, leaving employees unconvinced of a real commitment
to this crucial issue.
Until we shift
our mindset to eliminate the concept of waste entirely, we’ll
never overcome these missteps and achieve the results that our mounting
ecological and social problems require.
the complete article, including seven interventions
for the blunders, or see The Systems Thinker, V14N5
to The Systems Thinker
additional resources on sustainability.
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