Discourse (Rhetoric) at work

Having referred to message, narrative, and political frames in my last post, the theme of good and bad communication (rhetoric) beckoned for this reflection. Institutional Rhetoric How we characterise our nonprofit organisation and our relationship to it is evident in the language we use in our internal communications, and our representation of the entity to… Continue reading Discourse (Rhetoric) at work

Frames, Framing Effects, & Reframing

‘Frames’ appear in many forms in our lives every day. We use the noun ‘frame’ to describe hard things like wood or steel wall constructions, and soft things like data and concept structures. Amongst other meanings, we use the verb ‘(to) frame’ to mean choosing our words carefully, and planning or organising ideas and methods.… Continue reading Frames, Framing Effects, & Reframing

Sensemaking Schemas, Frames, & Mental Models

A better understanding of the dynamics of sensemaking interactions between directors in the board room, between directors and managers, and between managers and staff, is likely to improve your nonprofit’s governance and organisational effectiveness. Schemas everywhere Insights regarding ‘schemas’ (sometimes called ‘frames’) from the fields of Psychology and Sociology can help us in this undertaking.… Continue reading Sensemaking Schemas, Frames, & Mental Models

Differentiation and Integration in your Deliberations

Differentiation (analysis) and integration (synthesis) are the two main thinking modes we use in all situations where deliberation is involved. Non-profit leaders who wish to improve their deliberative processes may benefit from reflection on how effectively they are using both modes. Whether we are differentiating facts from fiction, signal from noise, salient from irrelevant, logical… Continue reading Differentiation and Integration in your Deliberations

The argument ‘rabbit hole’: debate, discussion, or dialogue

This particular excursion down the rabbit hole started aimlessly enough, browsing a table of new releases on the way out the door of the (increasingly rare) bookstore. Good arguments Bo Seo’s new book Good Arguments: What the art of debating can teach us about listening better and disagreeing well caught my eye. Perhaps my high… Continue reading The argument ‘rabbit hole’: debate, discussion, or dialogue

Interdependency, Mutual Dependency, and Co-dependency in your NFP

While the terms interdependency, mutual dependency, and co-dependency sound similar, it is important to distinguish between them if a healthy culture is to be nurtured in your non-profit. Beware co-dependency A co-dependent relationship has been described as a shared psychological condition (meaning pathology) in which ‘one party needs the other party, who in turn, needs… Continue reading Interdependency, Mutual Dependency, and Co-dependency in your NFP

Foolosophy in the boardroom

Archetype lenses In systems thinking, we often use mental models, of which the archetype is one variety, to provide us with a lens that helps to simplify the ‘story’ of what’s happening in our work and social environment. Archetypes come in many shapes and sizes. At the macro level, system archetypes decompose the elements and… Continue reading Foolosophy in the boardroom

“Am I thinking what you’re thinking?” – Perspective taking Vs perspective sharing

The conversational query “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” may have become a cliche, but rephrased (as in the heading above), it may help us to think a little more deeply about how we try to understand each other. We have been urged not to judge another until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes.… Continue reading “Am I thinking what you’re thinking?” – Perspective taking Vs perspective sharing

Integrity – greater than the sum of its aspects

Integrity – Part 1 Integrity can be thought of as a ‘cluster’ concept, which, when taking into account all its subtle variations, is greater than the sum of its aspects. It is not so much a ‘slippery’ concept as one which reveals its many facets through the words it is paired with. Some common pairings… Continue reading Integrity – greater than the sum of its aspects

With ‘respect’ …

Organisational Culture – Part 7 Respect is a value espoused by many non-profit organisations – as one would expect. I suggested reflection on how respect is expressed within your organisation in a recent blog post, partly because it is so often at the core of workplace conflicts. Under different circumstances and at different times, we… Continue reading With ‘respect’ …