Are We Stuck at a Cognitive Threshold?

The complexity of issues facing us is outstripping our ability to understand and solve them. Governmental institutions spin on gerbil wheels of outmoded, linear processes and procedures, attempting to tackle issues with multiple, inter-connected parts one part at a time. This is as true in the United States Congress as it is in state legislatures and city councils. In the world of business, economic considerations (i.e., profit), trumps all other criteria in determining whether or … Read more…

The Importance of Being Seen

This is a more personal piece than usual. It came early one morning as I was thinking about my mother on her birthday. I have been fortunate throughout my life to have family and friends who see me and love me. Some are still my dear and good friends while some have passed: my mother died in March 1981; good friends Mary Curran and Jean Westcott died in 2002 and 2008 respectively. An important teacher … Read more…

Curious about Curiosity #3: Impact of Curiosity

This is the final installment in a three-part series on curiosity. Today’s entry explores the role of curiosity at work and its relationship to organizational and group performance. In the February 13 post we investigated being curious internally, i.e., self-reflection. The February 27 post explored cultivating curiosity in others.  What does curiosity have to do with the performance of your team or organization? A lot, according to Adi Ignatius, editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review. Curiosity is the … Read more…

Curious about Curiosity #2: Cultivating Curiosity

This is the second installment in a three-part series on curiosity. Today’s entry considers how to cultivate curiosity in others and in yourself about others. In the Feb. 13 post we investigated being curious internally, i.e., self-reflection. Finally, on March 13 we will explore the role of curiosity at work and its relationship to organizational and group performance. In a recent conversation with colleagues and former students, they wondered aloud about how, in difficult conversations or situations … Read more…

Curious about Curiosity #1: Self-Reflection

This is the first installment in a three-part series on curiosity. Today’s post investigates being curious internally, i.e., introspection. February 27’s entry will consider how to cultivate curiosity in others and in yourself about others. Finally, on March 13 we will explore the role of curiosity at work and its relationship to organizational and group performance. What if the old proverb about curiosity killed the cat is wrong? What if it is lack of curiosity that kills … Read more…

The Dream Of My Life…

The first poem I ever memorized was “The Fawn” by Mary Oliver. Since her recent passing, many have written about her, her work and what her words meant to them. I add my voice to that chorus here. These last several decades, I have worked as a consultant, facilitator and educator. Behind the scenes, since early childhood my life has been inspired and buoyed by literature and poetry. When I read or hear a paragraph, … Read more…

Meetings as Sacred Practice???

I imagine “sacred,” “spiritual,” or “spiritual intelligence” are words you do not associate with meetings. (See quote in the graphic above.) For my purpose here, “sacred” means being devoted to one important purpose or use that is worthy of being treated with respect and care. For example, as the purpose of a charitable organization is sacred. “Spiritual” means that it relates to or affects the human spirit or soul. But, to what does “spiritual intelligence” … Read more…

Surrendering Certainty

Life is a constant journey exploring the unknown. Despite our best attempts to hang onto certainty with plans, to-do lists, beliefs, and opinions, life remains impermanent, every changing and unpredictable. It seems to be even more so in this increasingly complex and interconnected world in which differences of all types present themselves to us every day at work, in the media, and in our communities. And, differences create disturbance. We have a choice. We can … Read more…

Four Rivers of Life in 2018

We are once again writing our closing newsletter of 2018 using the Four Rivers of Life we learned from Angeles Arrien (1940-2014) during our many years of study with her. According to Angeles, many traditional societies believe these rivers—Inspiration, Challenge, Surprise and Love—sustain and support us. They help us live the life we love or love the life we are living. River of Inspiration Working with the Global Learning and Exchange Network* and the Humboldt … Read more…

Managing Polarities Inside You

Given how polarized the political climate in the U.S. is right now, I thought it would be valuable to look at what polarities are and how we might better manage or leverage them at work and in our communities. This is the final piece in a three-part series on managing polarities.  A polarity is a state in which two ideas, opinions or beliefs are completely opposite or very different from one another. It is not … Read more…