Thoughts On Thrivability

Organizational Design: Lessons from the Field (literally!)

If we see an organization as a living ecosystem, what does this mean for organizational design?  Are there different principles and practices for shaping organizational structure when we recognize it as being alive?  Can it even be designed, or does the structure have...

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Unwrapping the Gift Economy

It has become popular to declare that we need to move to a gift economy, in which we share more freely and value community more deeply, and in which our relationships are less often money-based and transactional. Clearly, this is an important and appealing...

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The Third Canoe

It was the November gathering of the Thrivability Montreal conversation series. Close to 40 of us had gathered in Kahnawake, a Mohawk territory just outside Montreal. We had the rare privilege of being invited to a local Longhouse to learn about indigenous...

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Using Improv to Save the World

When most of us think about improvisation, we think of theater.  We think of acting in a role that isn’t connected with reality.  We think of the need to be funny, even silly.  At best, it’s frivolous and fun.  At worst, it’s anxiety-producing.  (“She’s not going to...

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Organizations and the Mindful Practice of Authentic Dialogue

Last week’s Thrivability Montreal was a fantastic gathering, full of energy and important insights. We had gathered to explore the question: What if our organizations were designed  to support the mindful practice of authentic dialogue? To offer some context for our...

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On Blueberries and Becoming Indigenous

Last week, under a gentle August sun, a group of five people gathered at my cottage for two days of rich conversation. We ate every meal around a picnic table on the sandy beach, looking out over the lake and mountains.  In between us and the lake, circling the base...

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The Blessed Creation of an Organization

I should have been fiercely focused, preparing for the event I'm hosting in a few hours about how to nurture diverse contributions within a thriving organization. But... I couldn't resist a quick peek at online coverage of the royal wedding of William and Kate. Just a...

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Signs of (Organizational) Life

I talk a lot about organizations as living systems and about aiming for thrivability.  But what exactly does this mean?  How does it work?  And how do you know when your organization is “thrivable"? To explain what I’m talking about, let me share a beautiful story of...

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