systems thinking

Decisions: A Bi-Modal Spectrum of Decision Types

Decision-making is the most important “system” in your organization. Design that system carefully. In this multipart series of posts, we’ll cover the key elements of good decision-making, including decision types, roles, and methods. While these guidelines might be easy to interpret as “tips,” I’d suggest that these are critical patterns that should be ironed into […]

The Right Question

The first step in strategic decision-making is to focus on the right task. Early in my career I was lucky to have clients who taught me a lot. Here’s a recollection of one lesson. It was 1998 or so, and my firm was the agency of record for Wegmans Food Markets internet work. We were working […]

Quicken the Pace of Planning at Schools and Colleges

A Unified Planning Framework for Culture, Strategy, and Brand At many non-profit institutions, particularly educational institutions, strategic plans show a preference for addition over consolidation—for expansion over alignment. This programmatic and operational accretion drives steady increases in budgets and staffing, and concomitant growth in goals for endowments and annual philanthropic support. Higher Cost, Slower Pace = […]

Five Books for Developing Systems Thinking

See horizontal connections across operations, and learn how human factors contribute to success or failure. Systems Thinking is critical for effective strategy, communications, and creative planning. But what makes a good systems thinker? Most talented systems thinkers I know are generalists — and I have long remarked that folks who spend meaningful time in personal hobbies seem to […]