Tag Archives: complex systems

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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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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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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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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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Austrian Economics and the Ecological Perspective

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Hunter Hastings online. Hunter is an economist by training, a member of the Mises Institute and a follower of the Austrian School of economics. We got to chatting and he … Continue reading

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When the Science is Uncertain, Turn to the Humanities

On June 17, 2020 from 1pm to 2pm. Eastern Time I will be giving a TED-style talk and hosting a discussion with i4j. The password is i4jcommunity. i4j Innovation for Jobs is a global leadership forum organized by the IIIJ Foundation, … Continue reading

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The Hammer and The Dance: The Case for Crushing the Coronavirus with Coercive Bureaucracy

Metaphors matter, especially in uncertain times, when the only way to frame a complex predicament is to use models from a familiar past.   The title of this blog borrows from Tomas Pueyo’s excellent article and the picture that accompanies it is … Continue reading

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The Engineer and The Gardener: Management Science Versus Complexity Science

    Management Science The concept of management as a science has its origins in the aftermath of World War II. During that conflict the use of analytical disciplines drawn from operations research proved enormously useful in decision-making. After the … Continue reading

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Wading Through the Swamp – the Radical Power of Ecosystems-as-Processes

The respected management scholar, Donald Schön, began his 1987 book, The Education of the Reflective Practitioneras follows: “In the varied topography of professional practice, there is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, management problems lend … Continue reading

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