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The Smokey Mirror

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THREE THOUSAND YEARS AGO, THERE WAS A HUMAN just like you and me who lived near a city surrounded by mountains. The human was studying to become a medicine man, to learn the knowledge of his ancestors, but he didn’tcompletely agree with everything he was learning. In his heart, he felt there must be something […]

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Expanding Your Range

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WHEN I BEGAN to write and speak about data indicating that athletes who go on to become elite are usually not early specializers, the reactions (particularly from parents) reliably fell into two categories: (1) Simple disbelief, can’t be true; and (2) “So, in one sentence, what is the advice?” What one sentence of advice can […]

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Condition and Trends in Systems and Services, Trade-offs for Human Well-being, and Implications for the Future

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This chapter draws on previous chapters to present a portrait of the major changes in the condition of ecosystems, the services they provide, the drivers of change, and the prospects for sustainability. It is organized around major questions and issues rather than around services and systems per se. The time frame for considering these issues […]

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Cognitive Aspects of Conflict

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The first element of individual conflict competence deals with the cognitive aspects of conflict, including improving current attitudes about conflict, appreciating the value of managing conflict effectively, and understanding how you currently respond to conflict. This chapter explores ways of improving cognitive skills in these areas. CONFLICT ATTITUDES In our programs and presentations, we often […]

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IT CAN BE DONE

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Now for the really bad news. Even though candor is vital to winning, it is hard and time-consuming to instill in any group, not matter what size. “ Hard because you are fighting human nature and entrenched organizational behaviors, and time-consuming, as in years and years. At GE, it took us close to a decade […]

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SELF MANAGEMENT

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The concentration of power at the top, separating colleagues into the powerful and the powerless, brings with it problems that have plagued organizations for as long as we can remember. Power in organizations is seen as a scarce commodity worth fighting for. This situation invariably brings out the shadowy side of human nature: personal ambition, […]

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Is Progress Real?

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Against this panorama of nations, morals, and religions rising and falling, the idea of progress finds itself in dubious shape. Is it only the vain and traditional boast of each “modern” generation? Since we have admitted no substantial change in man’s nature during historic times, all technological advances will have to be written off as […]

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To Die For The People

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In the latter decades of the eighteenth century, three great revolutions took place. In America, a colony achieved independence. In Britain, the industrial revolution turned an empire into a world market system based on the capitalist mode of production. In France, oppressed classes rose and destroyed an oppressor class. The currents generated by these revolutions […]

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Understanding Marxism 7

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“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” – Karl Marx In the closing parts of this essay, we look at Marx’s and Marxists’ suggestions of solutions for the problems of capitalism’s inadequacies. Marx himself said and wrote little about the future beyond capitalism. He didn’t […]

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Understanding Marxism 6

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“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as a tragedy, the second time as a farce.” – Karl Marx Another remarkable quality of Marx’s and many Marxists’ analyses, besides specific insights drawn from their surplus-focused analysis, is their attention to […]