Blog Archives

Is Leading Change Wearing You Out?

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For some, change can be exhilarating and an opportunity to learn and grow. For many others, however, it is mental, physically and spiritually exhausting.

We find ourselves obsessing over how “we” can get “them” to change or at least stop resisting the changes we want to make.

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5 Things Every Leader Should Give Up for Lent

There’s more to Lent than giving up coffee and “social media fasts.” During a discussion with a group of leaders for a leading change workshop last week, the topic of Lent came up and we spent a few minutes marveling at some of the meaningful, controversial – and crazy –

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Leaders Gather to Talk Leading Change at SHIFT Breakfast Seminar

Last week Christian leaders from churches in Toronto and the GTA, non-profit organizations and the marketplace gathered for coffee, breakfast and a seminar on leading change facilitated by Dr. Peter Dickens.

The seminar began with appreciative reflection, where participants shared in small groups what they loved most about their role.

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Leading Organizations, Episode 4: Has the Church Become Too Rigid?

In the last post of this series on Leading Organizations, we looked at the 7 factors that contribute to highly resilient organizations – all based on a complexity approach to organizational leadership.

Different sectors seem to embrace this approach at very different times. Dee Hock, the founder of VISA,

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Leading Organizations, Episode 3: 7 Signs Your Organization is Resilient

Complexity theory invites us to see our organizations as adaptive systems rather than machines we control and command.

When we understand organizations as eco-systems, or living organisms, this leads to an ethic of commitment rather than command-and-control rigidity. It also leads to the reduction of quick-fix solutions as people learn to listen much more closely to the system.

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Leading Organizations, Episode 2: Why Control is Over-Rated

Our leadership of complex organizations has to go beyond intricately detailed strategies and linear expectations of growth if we expect them to thrive. More and more, leaders are finding that understanding organizations as living organisms, rather than machines, helps them describe and navigate the realities of their world today.

Every Organization Has a Life of Its Own

Unlike machines,

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Leading Organizations, Episode 1: How the Right Metaphor Changes Everything

20th century novelist Robert Shea once described organizations as powerful “machines constructed of people.” We’re probably all familiar with that metaphor. This post is about how the machine metaphor has failed companies the world over and how a new way of understanding organizations could mean the difference between success and obscurity.

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The Way to Build Trust Across Your Organization

In a recent focus group, a participant made the comment, “Isn’t the job of senior management to drill up, not down?”

I was really struck by this.

The term drilling down is a self-proclaiming positive. It implies a deep and detailed analysis of a problem.

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Meetings, Bloody Meetings: 3 Vital Questions You Should Be Asking

This week I’m doing a series on meetings and how we can have better meetings by applying ideas from complexity science. Together we’ve been tackling one central question:

How do we approach meetings in a way that reflects the complexity with which leaders are dealing?

The following ideas are only conjecture and have not been subject to rigorous testing,

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Meetings, Bloody Meetings: Want to Lead? Do Less!

This week I’m doing a series on meetings and how we can have better meetings by applying ideas from complexity science. Together we’ve been tackling one central question:

How do we approach meetings in a way that reflects the complexity with which leaders are dealing?

The following ideas are only conjecture and have not been subject to rigorous testing,

Read more ›