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All That Jazz

“Where’s jazz going? I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.” Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk reflected on the mystery of this quintessential American music. Trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Miles Davis once said: “When you hit a wrong note it’s the next note that makes…

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The Control Revolution

The Crisis of Control It is clear that traditional organizational structures are struggling to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Yet they were once revolutionary, responding to the wave of change created by industrialization. Before the Industrial Revolution, businesses were small and a single individual could manage them. Until then, James Beniger wrote in…

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Emergent Properties of Organization

  States of Matter We are all familiar with the properties of water. It transforms magically at different temperatures — from a solid to a free-flowing liquid, to a vapor that appears to have no substance at all. Scientists are familiar with another state of matter that exists only at very extreme temperatures – plasmas…

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Crisis and Renewal

The Adaptive Cycle in Nature Nature responds to opportunities. Empty spaces fill quickly after a fire destroys a forest and leaves barren ground. Plants adapted to survive in harsh conditions arrive first. Once established, they pave the way for others. Early colonizers are followed by shrubs and trees. Over time, the ecosystem resettles into a…

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The Social Operating System

Programming Complex Systems M. C. Escher was famous for his art, where foreground becomes background and background becomes foreground, alternately attracting our attention. His drawings change what we see by playing with perspective, We generally see things rather than the spaces between them. But it is in the interactions between things that higher systems emerge.…

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Why We Should Rethink Teams?

Rethink your Teams and tap into a well of hidden potential, capacity and capability. In today’s organization we spend hours bouncing from one priority to the next. We rarely find the time or space to get into a groove to produce meaningful work or results. How can we change this dynamic? How can we unlock…

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