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  • COMPLEXITY

    Tough Guys Don’t Come Seventh

    August 13, 2017

    I was thinking about jingoism while enjoying a sparkling performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony last night.  It rather muddied the delight. Before the concert began I had been...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • COMPLEXITY

    Moses parted the Red Sea; Trump might be drowning in a swamp

    August 6, 2017

    Once upon a time, in a city of sparkling towers by the sea, there lived a property developer prone to ambitious schemes, certainty about his own rightness, overweening arrogance and a...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • COMPLEXITY

    Both Jane and Tarzan

    August 2, 2017

    This is a tale of one city, one movie, and two books.  Between the two books we find a central polarity of governing and urban planning.  Let’s call it the polarity of Jane and...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • COMPLEXITY

    Why we write—and read—books

    July 16, 2017

    There are some times when it seems that writing a book is a futile endeavor. Like when people ask me for a one page summary because they really don’t have time for books. In fact, three...

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    By Jennifer Garvey Berger

  • BELIEFS

    Doing democracy rather than having it

    July 14, 2017

    One of the maxims taught to young journalists is that all news is local.  It is also most powerful when it is personal. Liu Xiaobo died yesterday in captivity.  The...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • CHANGE

    In a deluge of data look for surprises, not confirmation

    May 28, 2017

    By Jennifer and Wendy (This was also published on the Re:work Google blog) Have you ever tried to find a clear pathway but ended up drowning in data that seem to make everything...

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    By Jennifer Garvey Berger

  • COMPLEXITY

    Dans mons regne, le deluge

    May 18, 2017

    “Après moi le deluge” is a commonly cited French expression attributed to French King Louis XV or his mistress Madame de Pompadour.  It can mean, “after I am dead, I don’t care...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • CHANGE

    Preserving a pole

    April 11, 2017

      I went to an unusual 30th birthday party earlier this month and it has made me think a lot about the distinctions we teach about between problems and polarities and how to think...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • BELIEFS

    Three hopeful ideas about change for weary travelers

    February 19, 2017

    I have a client I’ve been working with for several years now. As we began our work together, I was just finishing the last chapters of Changing on the Job as they were embracing the...

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    By Jennifer Garvey Berger

  • CHANGE

    Only Connect

    February 13, 2017

    In the tumult of the last few months, I have turned more and more often to old and orderly fiction to soothe myself (a pursuit in which I apparently have company). After meandering...

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    By Jennifer Garvey Berger

  • CHANGE

    Clinically fake

    February 11, 2017

    Is it time to get clinical about fake news? I started a blog in early December about fake news.  Since then the meaning of the phrase has been so transformed that a different story...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • CHANGE

    Small mover or shaker?

    January 29, 2017

    Donald Trump’s first seven days as US President has something to teach us about small moves. Trump spent lots of time making lots of noise about the numbers of people who loved...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • CHANGE

    Ringing in the uncertainties of 2017

    December 29, 2016

    This is the time for looking forward and back, for farewelling the old year and welcoming the new, for learning from the past and noticing our longing for the future. The second half...

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    By Jennifer Garvey Berger

  • COMPLEXITY

    Whippings, beatings, and tight couplings for the festive season

    December 22, 2016

    Here is a complexity story for the festive season.  It is about whippings, beatings and tightly coupled systems. Shock! Horror! Major US manufacturers of whipped cream have said they...

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    By Keith Johnston

  • BELIEFS

    A Resounding Tinkle

    December 21, 2016

    Well the Trump Cabinet discussions on redressing inequality should be pretty straightforward.  By one calculation the combined worth of his first 17 Cabinet-level picks is equal to the...

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    By Keith Johnston

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