Category: Articles

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Shifting the Burden: Moving Beyond a Reactive Orientation

Although the parable of the boiled frog has become a familiar story in organizational learning circles, it does not yet seem to prevent organizations…

Using “Drifting Goals” to Keep Your Eye on the Vision

As a child, did you ever have a contest to see who could build the tallest house out of playing cards? As you crafted…

Taking the Teeth out of Team Traps

Have you ever worked as part of a team that was truly stuck, unable to move forward on a project? Have you seen negative…

From Students to Citizens and Workers: An Interview with Deborah Meier

You and some colleagues are on a retreat, discussing long-term strategies for your organization. As the hour grows late, someone brings up the issue…

To Make Better Decisions, We Need Better Information

This column is not a Honda ad, although it will start off sounding like one. This is an ad for feedback. I’ve had a…

How Is This Similar to That?

In a handful of classrooms across the country, middle and high school students are learning about the dynamics of systems by experimenting with a…

Selecting Variable Names for Causal Loop Diagrams

When first beginning to draw a causal loop diagram, don’t spend a lot of time up front trying to select the “perfect” variable name.

The “Attractiveness Principle”: Trying to Be All Things to All People

Your friends raved about the new restaurant in town — “Great food, great service, great price” — so you finally decided to go. By…

Changing Behavior in Organizations: The Practice of Empowerment

Empowerment is the process of enabling individuals to adopt new behaviors that further their individual aspirations and those of their organizations. This article presents…

Four Conversations in a Successful Workplace

Everything we talk about involves one or more of four types of conversation. We use them when we are socializing, talking about the weather,…