Marcia Conner

Category 'wellbeing'

Where to Begin

One type of work I do with organizations on their road to more collaborative and social relationship-oriented cultures is to surface their organizing principles. These are the core beliefs, assumptions, and values that guides their behaviors and decisions. These are the bedrock rules that keep them on course. While a few organizations have thought...

about their principles before we begin this work together, most have never considered what’s behind or underneath their policies and practices. To help guide them beyond their current thinking, I take them (at least for a few minutes), outside their walls to the natural world to some of the organizing principles of the most enduring ecosystems:... [read more]

Where to Begin

Shoot An Arrow, Then Draw A Target Around It

The mere mention of a test makes hearts race and palms sweat. Err, umm, I have someplace else to be… More than any other, the word test draws gut-level memories of difficult times in school-like settings when we felt unprepared or manipulated to learn something that didn’t seem very important—and then have someone else...

evaluate us on what they believed we should know. Magnify that by 2,500, the average number of quizzes students face before they are 18 years old, another 100 or so tests in college. After all that, it might seem surprising that I’d even consider writing about the topic here. Eek! Testing has my attention right now... [read more]

Shoot An Arrow, Then Draw A Target Around It

Mutual Adjustments as Sharing Arrangements

Harlan Cleveland (1918-2008) had more insight decades ago into how to work in the distributed social world than most leaders have today. In this early draft of a chapter we wrote together for Creating a Learning Culture (Cambridge, 2004), he answered a key question. If all organizations are—slowly or rapidly—becoming systems, how will...

Harlan Cleveland (1918-2008) had more insight decades ago into how to work in the distributed social world than most leaders have today. In this early draft of a chapter we wrote together for Creating a Learning Culture (Cambridge, 2004), he answered a key question. If all organizations are—slowly or rapidly—becoming [uncentralized] systems, how will anything get done? How will we get everybody in on the act and still get some action? We will do it, I think, by minimizing, and clearly defining, what everybody must agree on—common norms and standards—and in all other matters maximizing each participant’s opportunity and incentive to use his or her common sense, imagination, and persuasive... [read more]

Mutual Adjustments as Sharing Arrangements

Meet A. Human Asset

I have a dirty little secret I need to share. I wasn’t always a Human Asset. I didn’t always think about my hiring bonus, my yearly bonus, my variable pay, my stock options, my gym membership, my personal concierge, my ergonomic workstation, my free soda and coffee, my weekly chair back massage, my flextime,...

my work-at-home time, my Facebook page, my birthday as a holiday, or the days I could bring my daughter, my son or my dog to work. Truth be told, I was a liability. It feels so much better to finally come out of the old mailroom. Here’s the story. I worked my way through college, not... [read more]

Meet A. Human Asset

What does collaboration mean to you?

Buzzword bingo has a new term: Collaboration. For some it means adding your two cents to a meeting agenda. For other it means providing a foothold and working together to climb high and see wide. If we are to collaborate with one another we ought to find–create–some common language and bases from which to...

build. Tell me what you think. What you’ve experienced. How you see it work.   Push beyond the cliches and share in the comments here or on Twitter what you think so we can grow something more. So far I’ve heard from a simple tweet I sent: “1st, listening.” “We work together and come up with... [read more]

What does collaboration mean to you?

Lisi Bansen is Dancing

Have you ever had the sense that someone you love has died and any minute you’ll be receiving a call? That was how I felt Saturday morning before receiving word that Elizabeth “Lisi” Bansen died Friday from complications associated with being hit by a car as she wheel-chaired near a busy road in St....

Louis, Missouri. Lisi was one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known. Her lightning-fast wit, her deep caring for people, her unwavering commitment to activism, and her true grace — even under challenging circumstances — changed everyone who knew her. We were roommates for a time, fellow redheads with nothing and everything in common, and... [read more]

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