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Category Archives: General

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The Ecology of Digital Transformation: Sense-Making in Silicon Valley

I have just returned from a week of “educating” in Palo Alto, where the third residency module of the 2022 De Groote EMBA Digital Transformation was taking place. Palo Alto is, of course, the epicentre of the great disruption known … Continue reading

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The Ecology of Organizing: A Management Course for the 21st Century

For the past six years or so I have been teaching what I call the “ecology of organizing” on masters-level programs at both McGill University in Montreal and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Ontario. Here is … Continue reading

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Social Renewal: The Story of the Quakers and the First Industrial Revolution

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained . . . infancy is perpetual. Those … Continue reading

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Cuttlefish Spurting Out Ink: English and the Projection of Power

The Guardian reported today that a massive leak from a whistleblower in the private bank, Credit Suisse, had exposed the hidden wealth of clients who are involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other crimes. The bank responded, … Continue reading

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Podcast “Lead Like a Gardener: An Ecological Approach to Wicked Problems

Last week I did a podcast with Toby Corballis of Wicked Problems. Toby is an agile business transformation specialist based in The Hague in the Netherlands. I had been attracted to his site by his earlier excellent interview with Keith … Continue reading

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Why Management by Objectives Fails (and so may OKR)

With the annual Drucker Forum now taking place in Vienna it’s timely to reflect on Management by Objectives (MBO), the most enduring and popular of the ideas that Peter Drucker championed. MBO was not original to Drucker. He probably owed … Continue reading

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You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!

Steven Spielberg’s 1975 movie, Jaws, tells the story of a seaside town whose shores are terrorized by a killer shark. After several fatal attacks, the town sheriff, played by Roy Scheider, sets out to hunt the monster in a dilapidated … Continue reading

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Democracy, Capitalism and Donald Trump: An Ecological Perspective Part I: Midnight Reckoning

Back in November 2016 I wrote a blog in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s election. As a Canadian I thought the Americans had had an awful choice to make but was just as surprised as many others were, when … Continue reading

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Jonathan Sacks (1948-2020): Jewish Wisdom and Our Binocular Minds

“And twofold always… May God us keep  From single vision and Newton’s sleep!” (William Blake, Double Vision) I read with great sadness of Rabbi Lord Sacks’ sudden, untimely passing on November 7. His writings have been a source of inspiration … Continue reading

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Milton Friedman’s Philosophy: Invaluable at First but Deadly Afterward

2020 marks the 50th  anniversary of Chicago economist Milton Friedman’s famous (or infamous, depending on your point-of-view) claim that the only social purpose of business is to increase profits. This doctrine proved immensely popular among corporate managers but has been … Continue reading

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