On July 18, Marriott announced it would stop using plastic straws across its properties over the next year, becoming the latest company to do so in recent weeks. While these types of policies can have unintended negative consequences, as Chicago learned from a past attempt to ban plastic bags, they also serve to surface deeper issues that can lead to more effective future interventions.
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Filtering by Tag: Systems Thinking
I suspect collusion. The paper napkins I’ve been receiving at several lunch establishments I frequent have gotten noticeably thinner. I blame my dry cleaners. They have directly benefitted from this backward trend, as my business with them has increased. With this, my pants are wearing out more quickly. So maybe those manufacturers are in this as well?
Thoughtful, Committed Citizens
The group was smaller than expected. Working in a nascent field can have more challenges than rewards. I persist because the pursuit is fulfilling and important, but it can be lonely. Named A Better How, last week’s gathering convened a handful of like-minded practitioners to forge, even if for only two days, a community of practice. Sometimes you have to create your own professional development opportunities, as well as blaze ahead with fewer participants than hoped. Sometimes you need to just start, no matter how modestly, push the stasis aside and try to generate a modicum of momentum.
Part 2: Innovation Imperatives
Last November I distributed the first installment in this series. Creating meaningful innovation and change requires a multitude of factors, many of which are often overlooked.
I was skeptical. An “escape room” experience struck me as a trendy fad. Cajoled by family members, I submitted to the 90 minute exercise over the holidays, and was pleasantly surprised. “Locked" into a room decorated with a plethora of appropriately themed curiosities, our family team had to discover, and then solve within the prescribed timeframe, a series of puzzles with no instructions, in order to earn “release."
If you have ever partnered with Foresight, you know that one of the first steps we take on a project is to create a “systems map” (or diagram) to better understand and make explicit the key elements, root causes, feedback loops, and forces that shape the system we are working on. But what does a systems map even mean?Read More
In these tumultuous times, it is hard not to wonder how we will ever recover. Well, when a dear friend recently reached out for my recommendations on self care, I shared something that helps me sleep at night: the panarchy theory. But what does panarchy even mean?Read More
One key characteristic of a complex system—be it a forest ecosystem, city, or an organization—is that it demonstrates “emergence." Think of city; it is far more than the sum of its parts (buildings + people + streets). Out of a city emerges culture, innovation, and economic growth. But what does emergence even mean?Read More
8 Years: Part I
It started simply: a weekly “selfie.” Eight years ago this month, the first Forecast “essay” emerged. I didn’t realize at the time what an essential element of my professional life writing them would become, nor how difficult drafting a single paragraph could be. Photographic selfies generally annoy me in the way they emphasize subject over context. Look at me! The background is usually merely backdrop, a status symbol, depending on what it is, intended to elevate the prominence of the portrait. Not that I’m above this type of self-promotion.
My foot still hurts. Hope for a quick solution has faded. But I am learning to listen better, and figure out the combination of approaches that appear to be making a positive difference, including acupuncture and altering my exercise regime. Still, I wish I could just take a pill. Easy. I’m often struck by the desire for a single answer to multifaceted challenges, and the difficulty of learning to resist it.