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Patterns in a sunflower

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In 2006, Dorie was one of three members of her block in Oak Park, IL to organize efforts for the neighbors to participate in—to "green" their lifestyles on a daily basis. This video interviews the two other members for a close-up of what has been accomplished.


Check out this website, a local network of organizations and individuals who are involved in developing a sustainable community. Visit the site on a regular basis, for regular inspiration and invitations to get involved.



Especially for organizations attempting to optimize their global character, and organizations that are preparing for, or experiencing the after-effects of, a merger or acquisition, the issue of culture is critical. Whether talking about nationality differences, or corporate cultural differences, being able to raise awareness of differences and finding the right way to tap into strengths of the various contributors will lead to success more often and more quickly.

Here are a few books I have found to be helpful on the subject. Do you have others?

"Building Cross-Cultural Competence" by Charles Hampden-Turner & Fons Tompenaars
"Corporate Culture and Performance" by John Kotter and Heskett
"Culture & Organizations: Software of the Mind" by Geert Hofstede.
"Doing Business Internationally" by Brake, Walker & Walker
"Integrated Strategic Change: How OD Builds Competitive Advantage" by C. Worley (1996)
"International Dimension of Organizational Behavior" by Nancy Adler
"Joining Forces" by Marks and Mirvis
"Organizational Character" by William Bridges
"Organizational Culture & Leadership 2nd Ed" by Edgar Schein (1992)
"Organizational Transitions: Managing Complex Change" by R Beckhard and R Harris
"When Giants Learn to Dance" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Emerging on cliff top
Emerging from cliff-top kiva at Bandelier National Forest, New Mexico.


www.karlinsloan.com For more information about the book, “Smarter, Faster, Better” and to learn more the network of experienced and committed executive coaches and consultants bringing to life the ideas of sustainability in terms of leadership, as well as the wider dimensions.

www.thebreakthroughgroup.net   One of my business partners for many years, The Breakthrough Group has a rousing slogan – Engage, Align, Transform.  Using the power of story and the methods of theater, their approach to learning and change is very creative, and very powerful.  Not to mention fun.

http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu   Because Appreciative Inquiry is integral to my approach in every aspect of my work, I recommend the ideas and the methods explained in the Case Western website, and I celebrate the practice of AI in the real world networks and coalitions being formed to tackle very complex issues around the world.

www.cityofchicago.org/environment/GreenTech   To learn about green technology and practices for organizations wishing to reduce their footprint and/or carbon emissions and role model stewardship of natural resources.


George Lakoff:  don’t think of an elephant! (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004)
   As a linguist and cognitive scientist, Lakoff critiques the weakness of progressives to frame the issues they care about in a way that others will be able to recognize and support.  A practical and timely primer about the power of framing.

Michael Watkins:  THE FIRST 90 DAYS (HBS Press, 2003)
   For anyone coming into a new role, this book illustrates critical tasks within the first 3 months to “match strategy to the situation.”  Replete with tools, Watkins encourages accurate assessment and responsive actions to make a difference, quickly.  Very smart and very practical for new leaders at all levels.

Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, James Noel:  THE LEADERSHIP PIPELINE: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company  (Jossey-Bass, 2001)
   Even if you only have time to read the first chapter, this book puts into perspective the various rites of passage all leaders go through as they move from “managing self” to “enterprise manager.”   Skills, time applications and work values differ at each level, and this book provides an overview and detailed framework for an individual or an organization.

The Arbinger Institute: Leadership and Self-Deception (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc, 2002).
   Although the title did not attract me at first, respected colleagues at The Breakthrough Group recommended this to some of the clients we were working with together.  I read it at first as an assignment, and then again for my own further edification.  If I were to boil it down I would say the secret is in being aware of one’s own mental models, and being willing to step out of them in order to really honor the best intentions of those we have relationships with.  Good self-reflection guidance.

Bruce Mau, Jennifer Leonard, The Institute Without Boundaries:
MASSIVE CHANGE  (Phaidon Publishing, 2006)

For those of you who missed this exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, I highly recommend that your purchase the book and read it from cover to cover.

“For many of us, design is invisible. We live in a world that is so thoroughly configured by human effort that design has become second nature, ever-present, inevitable, taken for granted.  And yet, the power of design to transform and affect every aspect of daily life is gaining widespread public awareness.

Massive Change explores paradigm-shifting events, ideas, and people, investigating the capacities and ethical dilemmas of design in manufacturing, transportation, urbanism, warfare, health, living, energy, markets, materials, the image and information. We must ask ourselves: Now that we can do anything what will we do?”


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