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Content about Systems theory

May 7, 2013

Members of the 353d Special Operations Maintenance Group met today with Brent Duncan to explore strategies for managing changed-associated stress to foster adaptability, resilience, growth, and wellness in dynamic environments.

January 30, 2013

OKINAWA, KADENA AFB, JANUARY 22, 2013 -- As part of the Kadena Air Base Medical Group Professional Development Series, Brent Duncan conducted a workshop on leading individual and organizational change in turbulent environments, and methods for fostering adaptability to enhance human performance and wellness in changing environments. 

 

March 31, 2012

Brent Duncan's slides and notes for "Leading successful transformation in turbulent environments", the first of two workshops presented to community leaders at the Family Readiness Center on the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

October 21, 2011

For as long as we have been around, humans have organized to survive, accomplish goals, build societies, and win battles. Even though organizations played an increasingly definitive role in human activity as history advanced, organizational theory did not emerge as a field of inquiry until the mid twentieth century. Since then a confusing array of disparate perspectives have emerged to compete for attention in a fractious field. Some of these competing views seem to prove partially valid in some situations, but most have failed to meet the demands of empirical analysis and increasingly dynamic environments (David & Marquis, 2005). Today, organizational theorists attempt to provide people with ways to understand, predict, and influence behavior in organizations (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005) by adapting flexible frameworks that can explain dynamic organizations in dynamic environments. 

July 20, 2011

Understanding leadership is no longer a matter of isolating elements, behaviors, traits, or situations. In the new science, building blocks disappear and the unseen connections among separate entities become the “fundamental ingredient of creation” 

Even with thousands of scientific studies and unlimited writings on leadership, the complexity of leadership remains a mystifying concept. Emerging thought and discoveries in psychology, neurology, quantum physics, and complexity theory are providing new perspectives that could either illuminate the nature of leadership or illuminate the reasons why leadership is such an elusive process.

June 29, 2011

Organizational development practitioners are shifting from episodic change to continuous change process to enhance adaptability in increasingly turbulent environments. Although some researchers tend to present episodic and continuous change processes as mutually exclusive, both appear to be different perspectives on the same phenomena. Episodic change processes provide a macro level perspective on planned processes leaders implement to address failings, threats, or opportunities. Continuous change provides a micro level perspective on the unplanned changed processes that naturally occur through the dynamic interaction of people, process, technology, and environment. This paper compares analyzes episodic and continuous perspectives on change, concluding that understanding the definition, theoretical foundations, and practical applications of both provides leaders with a more complete picture of change that helps them to more effectively manage adaptability in turbulent environments.

May 18, 2011

Although general system theory explains how interdependent components work together to make the system more than its subsequent parts (Bertalanffy, 1972), chaos theory explains how tiny variations in initial conditions can have major influence on unfolding events within the system (Capra, 1996; Gleick, 2008) that make prediction a risky, if not impossible process. This essay will explore the nature of chaos theory in systems to discover how the unpredictability of events can be harnessed for real-world applications.

Although general system theory explains how interdependent components work together to make the system more than its subsequent parts (Bertalanffy, 1972), chaos theory explains how tiny variations in initial conditions can have major influence on unfolding events within the system (Capra, 1996; Gleick, 2008) that make prediction a risky, if not impossible process. This essay will explore the nature of chaos theory in systems to discover how the unpredictability of events can be harnessed for real-world applications.