Heart of the Art

To the Heart of Living Systems



The ethics of systems leadership

When you consult to a system who is your client? How do you know if you are doing the right thing? What constitutes doing good here and who decides? You cannot please everyone all the time. There is a difference between a reflexive action, changing the mood of a conversation through a comment or smile just because it feels to be going in an unhelpful way and a deliberate one such as considered reflection on events

Myron Rogers – Reflections on A Simpler Way

A Simpler Way–a brief meditation on organizations as living systems. The book was born from our years long deepening exploration into the implications of living systems theory for social systems. If our organisations are not machines, but alive and subject to the same dynamics as all life, what would be possible? How would we understand what we are seeing and experiencing in institutional life? What would we do if we were working with the dynamics of life, rather than against them?

Ed Catmull: Creativity Inc

The story of Pixar on the surface but really the learning journey of how a geek learned to lead one of the world’s most successfully creative businesses.

Sandel: Justice- What’s the right thing to do?

What is justice, where does it come from, who decides? If work is to be meaningful it needs to be just. Worth exploring.

Frankl: Man’s search for meaning

Viktor Frankl was an Auschwitz survivor. This harrowing tale shows how when almost everything else has been taken from you, nobody can take away your generosity- and the generous survive.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow- The Psychology of Happiness

This is the key text on what it means to be in flow, how flow is created and maintained.

Daniel Kahneman- Thinking, Fast and Slow

The work that spawned ‘Nudge’ and the study of heuristics, a way of looking at the patterns in our brains and how they can lead us into advantage and disadvantage.

Elliot Jacques-Requisite Organization

Can hierarchies serve human and organisational goals? Why not explore how the design and development of organisations can release human potential.

The Republic of Tea

Want to do a start up? Want to do it in a systemic way? Read the Tea leaves. Amazon say: The Republic of Tea” is a fly-on-the-wall’s inside view of how a groundbreaking business was started. In what Fortune Magazine… Continue Reading →

Leon Festinger-A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

Now over 60 years old, Festinger’s work still generates subtle, non-obvious predictions about persistence and change in attitudes and beliefs.

Bohm: Wholeness and the Implicate Order

Bohm’s idea of an implicate order is phenomenally deep and the product of an outstanding physicist’s brain in consort with a deep level of personal awareness. A classic that will make you think.

The Ending of Time: Where Philosophy and Physics Meet

The dialogues between J. Krishnamurti and Physicist David Bohm look at the nature of existence. The transcripts of this dialogue are written here.

Gentle bridges

The dialogues involving the Dalai Lama and scholars of buddhist thought with Jeremy Hayward, Eleanor Rosch, Francisco Varela and other Western scientists are captured in the book ‘Gentle Bridges’.

David Brooks: The Social Animal

This is the happiest story you will ever read. It s about two people who led wonderfully fulfilling, successful lives.
The odd thing was, they weren’t born geniuses. They had no extraordinary physical or mental gifts. Nobody would have picked them out at a young age and said they were destined for greatness.
How did they do it?

Jeff Conklin: Wicked Problems and Social Complexity

This book is about collective intelligence: the creativity and resourcefulness that a group or team can bring to a collaborative problem.

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