Papers

“Innovation: A Critical Necessity”

Originally posted in our November 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. To wrap up this month’s Top of Mind, let’s turn our attention to groups and organizations. While individuals can clearly benefit from things like the flow state or learning to use effectual reasoning, how can an organization better embrace this energy too? The short answer is innovation. Now a buzzword used by all manner of marketers, salespeople, and large companies to imply forward-thinking, many companies and…

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“Strong Winds Strong Roots: What Trees Teach Us About Life”

Originally posted in our October 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. To conclude this month’s Top of Mind newsletter, we visit an ecological experiment set in a desert called the biodome. In it are, seemingly, the perfect conditions for growing fruits, vegetables, and trees, and it was a place where humans could live happily for months at a time. “When the trees grew to a certain height, they would topple over. It baffled scientists until they realized…

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“Children’s Need to Know: Curiosity in Schools”

Originally posted in our August 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. Closing out this month’s Top of Mind, we turn to a paper published in 2011 focused on the importance of curiosity in schools. While we have focused on many of the contemporary issues of education this month, it is also important to reflect on the overarching trend of modern learning. In this paper, “[Susan] Engel argues that interactions between teachers and students can foster or inhibit…

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“Return to Purpose: Learning in an Age of Collapse”

Originally posted in our March 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. In his fascinating paper from the Journal Intersections, Ahmed Afzaal writes about the dynamics of higher education leadership in the face of an unstable future. While obviously beneficial within his own academic sphere, the piece illuminates common errors within many human systems. These basic assumptions are, in essence, that we can return the world to a stable “normal” and that we do not need to question…

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“The Cycle of Distrust”

Originally posted in our January 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter. In the Edelman 2022 Trust Barometer Report, we see how globally, trust has become “the ultimate currency in the relationship that all institutions…build with their stakeholders.” Businesses lie at the intersection of public and private interests, as they hold the potential to impact the world through creating jobs, but also in myriad other ways. From climate change to the Great Resignation, businesses worldwide need to act…

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“Complexity Leadership Theory: Shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era”

Originally posted in our December 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. To close out 2021’s Top of Mind series, we thought we would highlight another system grappling with change: organizational leadership. From the largest organization to the smallest grassroots non-profit, we see a need for dynamic and adaptive leadership. Unfortunately, industrial models of schooling and working have not kept pace with the shifting markets.  Top-down, bureaucratic methods of leading have a place, but they traditionally do not…

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“Workplace Peers and Entrepreneurship”

Originally posted in our November 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. In Complexity Leadership Theory, we assume that an organization has a bureaucratic and an entrepreneurial system. But what if there isn’t a formalized system for entrepreneurship? How can leaders develop entrepreneurial skills in their teams? As suggested by a Harvard Business School working paper, one solution is to look to the previous work experience of your employees. The paper’s authors have found that who your co-workers…

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“Complexity Leadership Theory: Shifting from Human Capital to Social Capital”

Originally posted in our November 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. When we examine current Human Resource practices, we see a keen focus on competency-based, human capital initiatives. While human capital is worth developing, new research suggests we may want to emphasize another set of skills. Social capital, it seems, can have as much to do with innovation and growth in an organization as the skills of individuals. As this paper defines it, social capital is “the…

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“Entrepreneurship, Self Organization, and Eudaimonic Well-Being: A Dynamic Approach”

Originally posted in our June 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. We move onto a recent paper published by Nadav Shir and Carol D. Ryff emphasizing how entrepreneurial activity can increase our well-being. With a focus on the self-directed nature of entrepreneurship, Shir and Ryff expand on our learning from the PERMA+ Model. “[They] define self-organization in entrepreneurship as the autonomous act of organizing goals, activities, and behaviors in pursuit of a personal vision, and further as…

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