Category: Articles

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Until the Vulcan Mind Meld… Building Shared Mental Models

In the popular science fiction TV series Star Trek, the Vulcans, an extraterrestrial species, possess a unique characteristic: They can wordlessly share thoughts, experiences,…

The Art of Facilitative Leadership: Maximizing Others’ Contributions

Leadership traditionally has been thought of as “doing the right thing” while management has been defined as “doing things right.” Contemporary leadership combines these…

Appreciative Inquiry: Igniting Transformative Action

In the streets of Seattle, Washington, last year, the world witnessed a striking expression of social concern. An array of highly disparate groups —…

Organizations as Learning Systems

The recent decline of well-established firms and the perceived need for corporate renewal has fueled a growing interest in the topic of organizational learning.

The Learning Organization: From Vision to Reality

Building learning organizations requires more than just “re-engineering” our existing structures. It requires a whole new vision of what organizations can become and a…

What Is the Relationship Between Systems Thinking and Lean?

What is the relationship between systems thinking and lean? That’s a fascinating question, one not so easily answered, because we’re talking about two very…

Anatomy of a Reinforcing Loop

Feedback loops can be thought of as closed loops of interconnection; basically, sequences of mutual causes and effects. The links between each variable show…

TQM and Systems Thinking as Theory-Building Tools

Our brains are pattern-making systems — they organize our perceptions of the world into patterns that enable us to function effectively. For example, when…

The New Facts of Life: Connecting the Dots on Food, Health, and the Environment

A discussion of the interrelations between food, health, and the environment is extremely topical today. Rising food prices together with the price of oil…

Human Dynamics: A Foundation for the Learning Organization

In The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge posed the question, “How can a team of committed managers with individual IQs above 120 have a collective…