7602 Chapters
Medium 9781576754559

Scene 4. The Challenge of Robust Systems

Oshry, Barry Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Robust System is a vibrant, challenging,
and enriching place for its members to be in;
it is a system with outstanding capacity to
survive and thrive in its environment,
to cope with dangers
and prospect among opportunities.

But there is no Robust System
so long as there are
the Dominants
and the Others.

The Dominants and the Others
In many systems—
organizational and societal—
there are two cultures:
the Dominants
and the Others.
The Others exist within the Dominant culture:
females in male-dominant cultures,
acquired companies within the acquiring company,
people of color in a white-dominant society,
human resources in a marketing-dominant company
homosexuals in a heterosexual-dominant society,
Shiites in a Sunni-dominant society,
Sunnis in a Shiite-dominant society,
Christians in a Muslim-dominant society,
Native Americans in America,
devout Muslims in a secular society,
Palestinians in Israel,
Blacks in South Africa,
French-Canadians in English-Canadian–dominant society,
Muslims in a Buddhist-dominant society,
Serbs in the Ottoman Empire,
Jews in anti-Semitic societies,
Catholic, Japanese, Chinese, and other early immigrants in
the United States.
The Other
within the Dominant.

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Medium 9781605094472

10 When Engagement Disengages: Some Words of Caution Before You Begin

Axelrod, Richard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This is the “buyer beware” chapter. When the new change management goes wrong, you are actually worse off than if you’d never started. At least one of nine threats usually causes the derailment. These threats deserve examination before you begin a change process so you can avoid getting in your own way. All ten are rooted in self-deception.

Self-deception is at the heart of the shadow, a concept from psychologist Carl Jung. As you seek to project a positive image of yourself, you may be unaware of your own shadow: the negative aspects of yourself that you would just as soon not consider.

Your shadow can be the desire to control others, to manipulate outcomes, or to win at any cost. You can suffer from the delusion that you already lead with an engagement edge. Rather than seeing yourself as needing to change, you believe others need to change. You can become trapped in the organization’s expectation that, because you are the leader, you already know how to lead with an engagement edge. You always get the executive summary or “short course”—when you may require as much education and training as others—or more.

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Medium 9781567264722

Chapter 4 – STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT: Consensus Is the Path to Success

Pratt, David Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A large state agency hired a project quality assurance (QA) analyst for a project that would revolutionize how the state’s leadership viewed and used student achievement data to improve high school graduation rates. The project’s goal was to increase student achievement through access to student data in the classroom, at the school level, and across the state. The education professionals in the agency, the state legislature, and the governor viewed the project as a priority undertaking that would impact the state’s future citizens in a very positive way.

The project sponsor called the QA analyst to join the project because it had stagnated. After more than seven months, the project charter was not yet written or approved and the stakeholders were growing increasingly impatient. The sponsor hoped the QA analyst could suggest ways for the project to regain some badly needed momentum. The state’s K–12 education leadership team viewed the situation with a jaundiced eye and demanded corrective action.

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Medium 9781576752685

Chapter 3: Why Organizational Ethics?

Phillips, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The fault of methodological hierarchies is not unlike the fault of political and social ones: they lead to a distortion of vision with a consequent misdirection of effort.


The reasons Aristotle gave for saying that politics is the culmination of ethics are today reasons for saying that business ethics is the culmination of ethics.


Organizations need an ethics of their own, distinct from both political theory and moral philosophy.a I am not the first to discern something distinctive about organizations, something that calls for a distinct moral framework.58 However, theories that have propelled organizational ethics to the point of seeing this need are ironically ill suited to address it. The full implications of taking organizations seriously have not been drawn, because the distinctions between organizations and states and between organizations and individuals have not been drawn sharply enough. To move beyond a dawning recognition of these differences, I flesh them out and indicate how they reorient organizational ethics, setting it upon its own footing.41

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Medium 9781523094905

Chapter 14: The Poop Chapter: Astonishing Things Transformed by the Shift

White, Kimberly Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


The first CNA I ever met was a young woman named Elena, who had two children and worked part-time in another facility in addition to working full-time at the facility I was visiting. She wore burgundy scrubs and had her gorgeously coiffed long black hair styled back just enough to be out of her way for work. Her English was understandable but heavily accented; she was quiet but friendly and professional. I asked her about the best part of her job, and of course she said the residents. Then I asked her, “What is the worst part?”

Now of course I know what the answer is, don’t you? The worst part has to be feces. I mean, part of a CNA’s job is to change the diapers of old people with their grown-up sized poop. That is absolutely the worst thing I can imagine doing, wiping saggy bums and cleaning up adult stools and even adult diarrhea. I can think of very few things I would hate doing more than changing stinky adult diapers, and those things all pretty much involve larger amounts of feces.

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