Thinking in Systems by Donnella Meadows

Photo of Donella Meadows I highly recommend Donnella Meadow‘s little book, Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Chelsea Green 2008). It’s short, fun, and to the point. No math or physics required. Recommended for everyone, literally. In clear, humorous, commonplace situations, Meadows explains the use of systems analysis and how it can be applied in both large-scale and individual problem solving. She moves from simple to more complex examples ultimately explaining the complex ways that feedback loops are used to… Read More . . . “Thinking in Systems by Donnella Meadows”

The Holes in Holacracy

Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos. Photo credit: Wikipedia. An informed article by “Schumpeter” (no first name available), The Holes in Holacracy, included in the print edition as well as online. Schumpeter’s points are really about new branded methods failing.  They are gone in 10 years. (Sociocracy on which Holacracy is based has not failed in 40 years.) EVERY so often a company emerges from the herd to be lauded as the embodiment of leading-edge management thinking. Think of Toyota and its lean manufacturing… Read More . . . “The Holes in Holacracy”

Decentralized Governance of Corporate Intranets

Nielson Norman Group Logo One of the newsletters I read is AlertBox from the Nielsen Norman Group, Jakob Nielson has long been considered the expert on website usability. NN/g does extensive research for major corporations makes the information available to the public. His newsletter this morning included a piece on trends in intranet portals, which make extensive corporate information available for use by employees. In this report I came across a surprise—a section on governance! Most often such reports… Read More . . . “Decentralized Governance of Corporate Intranets”

Maximum Size for Rounds?

How large a group can effectively do rounds? The recommended maximum size for circles is 20-40 people so that would apply to the optimal maximum size for rounds as well. But rounds have been done in groups of 150 and even 400.Years ago, before I had heard of “rounds” I read the account of a round with 400 people. A mediator was working to resolve a community issue at a town hall meeting. She said… Read More . . . “Maximum Size for Rounds?”

Rounds or Discussion or Free for All?

What’s the best practice ?  Is it better to have a free for all discussion, do what we do, or have complete rounds? “Better” is in the eye of the beholder. Understanding what rounds or discussion can do is a “better” question. Rounds are excellent for establishing and reestablishing equivalence in the room. They not only give each person a chance to speak they shine a spotlight on each person so everyone is aware of… Read More . . . “Rounds or Discussion or Free for All?”

Holon and Holarchy : Arthur Koestler

The words holon and  holarchy were created by Arthur Koestler in The Ghost and the Machine, published in 1967. Koestler used holon to describe natural organisms as composed of semi-autonomous sub-wholes linked in a form of hierarchy, a holarchy,  to form a whole. Holons A biological organism is not an aggregation of simple parts but of other organs that are both independent and dependent. Biological holons are self-regulating, open systems that display both the autonomous… Read More . . . “Holon and Holarchy : Arthur Koestler”