Tag Archives: ecology

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For Innovation – Think Small – Like a Mindful Mollusk!


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The story of Inky the octopus made headlines around the world this past week. In case you have been in Outer Mongolia (without the internet) Inky was a male common octopus on exhibit in New Zealand’s National Aquarium on the … Continue reading


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Pope Francis and the Environment – Transformational Leadership in Action


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A version of this post appeared earlier this year in the blog of the Drucker Society of Europe: To students of management Pope Francis is a fascinating study in leadership and organizational change. From his surprise election as an outsider, … Continue reading


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Disrupting Disruption Theory (Part II) – Ecological Transformation


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This blog is a continuation of last week’s in which I discussed Jill Lepore’s mostly off-target criticisms of HBS professor Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation. There I said that my concern with Christensen’s work was his tendency to rely … Continue reading


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Climate Change and Evidence-based Management: An Ecological Perspective [Part I]


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In the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, British science writer Matt Ridley wrote another one of his provocative essays around his theme of “rational optimism”. [In 2010 Ridley wrote a book, The Rational Optimist, which I reviewed for Strategy+Business.] … Continue reading


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Fire and Ice: All I want for Christmas is a Sump Pump!


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It’s been a horrid two weeks week weather-wise in Southern Ontario. First we had a hard freeze, making it unusually cold for this time of the year, then we had a heavy snowstorm, which dumped about 30 cm of snow … Continue reading


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Organic and Mechanical Approaches to Complex Systems


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The last week a blog I wrote for the Harvard Business Review and the Drucker Forum was published on the HBR site. It brought together a number of issues that I have been talking about in the past few months … Continue reading


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Is Storytelling a Strategy or a Competency?


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Several weeks ago a blog appeared on the Harvard Business Review site entitled “Good Companies are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers.” In it its author, Ty Montague, outlined the characteristics of a storydoing company: 1. They have a story 2. … Continue reading


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Clayton Christensen at Davos: An Ecological Perspective on Innovation


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When interviewed at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, Clayton Christensen discussed what he has called “The Capitalist Dilemma”. It goes like this: There are basically three kinds of innovation in the economy: empowering, sustaining and efficiency. Empowering (or … Continue reading


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Shareholder Value Part III: A New Narrative for Capitalism


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The ripples from Joe Nocera’s August 10 column in The New York Times, “Down With Shareholder Value” continue to radiate throughout the blogosphere. This past week I came across Miguel Padró’s Yahoo blog, “Is ‘Maximizing Shareholder Value’ No Longer the … Continue reading


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From Machines to Plants: Wandering in The Gardens of Democracy


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In The New Ecology of Leadership I draw an extended, disciplined analogy between the cycle of an ecosystem (my favourite is a fire-dependent, lodge-pole pine forest) and the trajectories that organizations follow as they go through their lives. The objective … Continue reading


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