Category Archives: Leadership

September 3, 2017

Metaphors of Metamorphosis: Organizational Change isn’t Just about Forgetting the Old

(c) 2017 Amy Zalman

It is also about remembering. As both an avid vegetable gardener and someone professionally consumed with organizational transformation, I have reasons to be interested in caterpillars. In my garden, they are an object of complex judgement calls. Left to their own devices, they devastate parsley, dill, tomatoes, cabbage, but they also transform into striking moths …

August 31, 2017

Upcoming Webinar: Drive Organizational Change with a Powerful Narrative

If you are already know you’re interested in taking the Webinar, Using Strategic Narratives to Accelerate Organizational Change on September 12th from 1 – 2 PM EDT, you can accelerate right now and sign up at the Association for Strategic Planning HERE.  Don’t forget your 25% Discount for being a reader of this blog — use the code …

August 10, 2017

6 Ways Technology May Impact Workforce Diversity & Inclusion

When (former) Google employee James Damore was fired earlier this month after distributing a memo charging the company with intolerance towards ideological conservatives, it was made clear — if it wasn’t already–that that diversity and inclusion policies are based on collective narratives. Narratives are our justifying accounts for why we believe what we do, and they …

June 12, 2017

The future of international governance: 6 emerging models

What will global governance look like in the future? How are we going to organize ourselves? Westphalian  sovereignty was a terrific concept when it drew to an end a hundred years of religious war and bloodshed  in Europe.  But it is no longer a fully sustainable idea. The litany of the ways the nation-state is under …

March 28, 2017

How to Successfully Predict the Future … and Still Fail to Impact it

If you successfully identify the future consequences of contemporary actions, and no one acts on your prediction, does it matter? A senior manager developing an internal strategic foresight program recently asked me to identify some cases in which people ascertained the future outcomes of actions in the present. He wanted to know what methods they …

March 6, 2017

The Neuroscience Behind Strategic Narrative

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/92517414/

Several generations of increasingly advanced science now tell us that the insights of novelists and filmmakers have an empirical basis in our brain chemistry.  This should be a clarion call for every leader, because when our stories are dysfunctional, we are dysfunctional, both as individuals and as members of groups. The machine view of humans …

May 4, 2016

If You Want to Generate Strategies for Future Success, Start with Narratives and Metaphors

Terms like metaphor, myth, story  and narrative are not necessarily the first that come to mind when considering how to develop a future-facing national strategy.  But they should be.  This point was made in brilliant ways by the participants at the Atlantic Council’s second annual Global Strategy Forum in Washington DC earlier this week. Metaphors …

April 19, 2016

Creating an Innovative Workforce in a Large Bureaucracy: Lessons from the U.S. Air Force

Strategic Narratives for innovation

The idea that bureaucracy inhibits innovation is far from new: Political scientists in the early 1960s were already making the charge that, “There is a growing feeling that modern organizations and particularly the large, bureaucratic business and government organizations, need to increase their capacity to innovate” (Victor Thompson, Administrative Science Quarterly, June 1965). Fifty years …