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Weathering dynamic change

Change is always the boss. Take climate change for example. Despite vigorous debate about the existence of climate change, its effects are impacting people worldwide with increasing frequency and intensity. The changing weather patterns are definitely the boss. Some people call climate change unpredictable and dangerous, fearing that the world can’t change fast enough to…

Seeing past the ‘big’ ideas

So often, we assume we know how the future will unfold based on someone’s big idea. In May 1968, scientist Paul Ehrlich published a book entitled The Population Bomb. In it, he argued that the earth’s increasing population would lead to mass starvation and destroy its ecology. Ehrlich’s book became one of the most influential…

Change: thinking it through

Change is relentless. Innovations always emerge. We need to keep scanning the horizon for new ways of doing things. For example, there are great new approaches for protecting personal information. Collecting it might be good for business, but data breaches erode public trust. How can we get the best results from continuous change and innovation? Some organizations…

Don’t let change be the boss

What can we learn from the past to help us prepare for coming changes? Japan is known as one of the best-prepared countries in the world when it comes to disaster response. However, in 2011 an earthquake followed by a tsunami struck northeastern Japan that challenged its ability to cope. Over 18,000 people are listed as dead or missing as a…

It’s serious business: moving from outputs to results

When it comes to supporting the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada there is a serious disconnect between outputs and results. The Canadian government invests over $800 million per year in Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB). In spite of this funding, the program’s healthcare outputs do not have the intended results. The…

Are we blind to our biases?

Is your organization missing out on the best people or approaches because of bias? In 1980 Abbie Conant, a trombonist, auditioned for a position in the all-male Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. Conant beat out 32 male trombonists for the position as the orchestra’s first trombonist. The auditions were blinded. Each musician played behind a screen and the…

The iceberg of change

Sometimes change is simple, but often it’s like an iceberg – there is much more to it than meets the eye. The Titanic was the largest vessel in the world when she entered service in 1912. The ship’s builders and owners claimed she was unsinkable. Everyone on board – crew and passengers – also believed…

Doing the right thing, the right way

Over the past 50 years, much research has been done on the happiness of people. This research tells us that we experience happiness as a U-shaped curve. We are happiest in the first phase of our life when we are young, and then gradually become unhappier as we hit the second phase, middle age. That’s…

Embracing Artificial Intelligence

There is a meme on social media – a photo of a row of self-checkout machines and a message exhorting that you are never to use them because they kill jobs. Do self-checkouts necessarily lead to job losses or do they make room for new jobs and different services? The self-checkout is the perfect example…

Way-finders

Change is the only constant, and these days change is happening at breakneck speed. Technological innovation and Artificial Intelligence are unravelling most of our previous tried and true approaches. Almost every aspect of day-to-day life is changing—how we communicate, how we travel, where we work and how we perform our work. As innovations disrupt how…