With summer upon us here in Massachusetts,
we relish the slower pace and longer days
that give us a little extra time for
reflection. It's a good time to remind
ourselves that slowing down and stepping back
are not activities that should be confined to
the summer months, but are essential systems
thinking habits to cultivate year round.
This month we bring you some perspective
on the importance of taking the time to
assess our own learning practices, share
stories that deepen our understanding, and
learn from our mistakes. We're very excited
to announce the publication of a new book by
Brian Hinken that will help you strengthen
your capacity for reflection and let go of
some of the habits that prevent you from
achieving the results you desire.
|Telling the Power of Circle: An Interview with Christina Baldwin
by Janice Molloy and Vicky
The leader of a small software development
firm was frustrated. A tall, barrel-chested
man with a German accent, he had been unable
to overcome his employees' perception of him
as a dominating authority figure. Despite his
efforts to cultivate an open and approachable
leadership style, his mostly female staff
seemed intimidated. To shift the dynamic, he
agreed to experiment with a group process
methodology, combining collaborative
conversation and storytelling.
The intervention started with an appreciation
exercise. With the whole staff seated in a
circle, one at a time, each team member held
an object and, for three full minutes, the
rest of the group expressed what they
appreciated about him or her. The experience
was profound. People got feedback they had
never heard before. When the women began
appreciating the leader, he allowed himself
to get teary. At the end of the meeting, for
the first time, the women saw him as a big,
The leader closed out the session by
telling a story. He said, "I grew up near
Frankfurt during the war when all the men
were gone. I was a little boy and all around
me were my mother, my sisters, my
grandmother, and my aunts. I realize that
I've tried to recreate my family by hiring
almost all women on this staff. I've learned
that I have had a lack of clarity about how I
relate to women, and I've been the object of
your lack of clarity about how you relate to
me. But now that I know my piece and you know
your piece, I think we're going to be fine."
And all the women said, "Yes, we are!"
With this story, Christina
Baldwin illustrates her reasons for
being a champion of the use of circle and
storytelling in organizational settings. An
accomplished teacher, speaker, and
facilitator, Christina co-developed the group
process methodology known as PeerSpirit.
For over twenty years she has contributed to the
emerging body of knowledge around journal
writing, group processes, and spirituality.
Her groundbreaking book, Calling the
Circle: The First and Future Culture
(Bantam, 1998) has introduced thousands of
people to a practical, hands-on way for
convening their meetings in circle and
tapping collective wisdom.
|Weavers, Artist, Poet Help Us Amplify Our Impact
When you attend the Pegasus Conference
your learning is shaped not just by the
presenters and your fellow participants, but
by a team who use their special gifts to
animate the experience for all of us.
before August 31 to save $300 off your
individual conference registration...
A researcher and systems
educator, Linda Booth Sweeney 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
Thomas J. Hurley is
currently guiding the global evolution of the
World Café and serves as a senior advisor to
leaders interested in new organizational
forms. He has held leadership positions with
both the Chaordic Alliance and the Institute
of Noetic Sciences. Tom is the author of
numerous seminal papers, including "Changing
Images 2000" and "Archetypal Practices for
Nancy Margulies, the
developer of the visual recording methodology
called Mindscaping, and author of Mapping
Inner Space, captures the plenary
sessions in evocative graphics. Nancy is also
one of the pioneers of the World Café and has
led workshops around the world for Fortune
500 corporations, community groups, and
Tim Merry, founder and
partner of the Shire Learning Centre,
distills the essence of the opening and
closing keynotes with his incomparable slam
poetry. Tim has spent years organizing,
designing, and hosting inspired spaces in
support of life-affirming leadership,
collaborative learning, organizational and
social change, and self-organization.
Significant team discounts are available
for groups of 4 or more. Send us
an email with your questions about team
registration options or call
Reminder: If you have
registered for the conference but haven't yet
reserved your hotel room, you can click
here to make your reservation, while
there are still rooms available at a
|Are Great Teams Less Productive?
Harvard Business School professor Amy
Edmondson and doctoral student Sara Singer
recently completed research that pointed to a
paradoxical tendency in well-led teams to
make more mistakes than average teams. As
they took their inquiry deeper, they
uncovered some data that may help managers
understand the need to push through the
"worse before better" phase of
team learning to achieve the results they
In an interview with Sarah Jane Gilbert of
HBS Working Knowledge, Edmondson
discussed the built-in tensions between
learning and performance that smart
organizations must learn to recognize and
|Summer Specials from Pegasus
Did you receive your summer specials mailing?
Click on the card before August 31 to save
big on the latest and the greatest from Pegasus!
Are You a Recovering Knower?
The Learner's Path: Practices for
SAVE 20% when you order this brand
new addition to the popular Pegasus Workbook
by August 31
(delivery guaranteed before September 30).
This fresh, accessible new book provides a
map for moving from awareness to action,
empowering you to be learners more focused on
increasing your ability to produce desired
on protecting your reputation for
Softcover book, approx. 140 pp, $31.96 through
August 31, 2007.
Delivery guaranteed before September 30.
Savings on The Systems
Thinker is a powerful, practical
e-newsletter that helps you act with the
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October 2007 Learning Journey with
Berkana. Travel to two of Mexico's most
unique regions, Oaxaca and Chiapas, to explore
essential lessons about leadership.
you go in life depends on your being tender
with the young, compassionate with the aged,
the striving and tolerant of the weak and
strong. Because someday in your life you
will have been all
--George Washington Carver