A Collaborative-Systemic Strategy Addressing the Dynamics of Poverty in Guatemala: Converting Seeming Impossibilities into Strategic Probabilities

Past-cast Series — Seeing relevance in earlier publications Ritchie-Dunham, James L. 2008. A Collaborative-Systemic Strategy Addressing the Dynamics of Poverty in Guatemala: Converting Seeming Impossibilities into Strategic Probabilities. In Alleviating Poverty through Business Strategy, edited by C. Wankel. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. There is a growing realization that business development is the most effective weapon in fighting […]

A Learning History of the CARE-LAC – Institute for Strategic Clarity Guatemala Poverty Project

Past-cast Series — Seeing relevance in earlier publications Waddell, Steve. 2005.  A Learning History of the CARE-LAC – Institute for Strategic Clarity Guatemala Poverty Project. White Paper on Collaborative Holistic Inquiry Project in Guatemala, Amherst, MA: Institute for Strategic Clarity, March. This is a learning document rather than an evaluation, although if used well it should […]

How to SCALE 1.0 — Strategic Clarity to Accelerate Large-system Evolution

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.  The challenge is always there.  Our experience tells us that our current reality is not working.  It is not achieving the outcomes our deeper values tell us it should.  While we know that, in some way or another, we have agreed to the system that we have today, it is hard to see […]

A Common Object-ive Is Not a Deeper Shared Purpose — How to Know the Difference

A common object-ive is completely subject-ive. My colleagues and I find that most people who tell us that, in their group, they have a common objective they are all working towards are actually working at cross purposes, at best.  What most people call a common object-ive is completely subjective–they are actually working on their own subjective […]

Differentiating and Integrating the “We” — What We Share and Why We Work Together

People show up, in support of each other, to achieve together what they cannot achieve alone.  This happens every day, everywhere. Sometimes, to take on really audacious issues, we need other people.  In many cases like this, someone often says, “They won’t come talk with us.”  Agreeing, someone else says, “Even if they do show up, […]

Mapping the Next Frontier — the Social Topography of Human Agreements

The great unknown.  Hundreds of years of expeditions, crossing the perilous oceans and mountains, often for years at a time, in extreme conditions to consciously map the geological topography of the planet.  What do other places look like?  What’s at the bottom of the ocean, south of Africa, at the South Pole, in the middle of […]

Is Your Strategic Framework Useful?: CRISP Criteria

As originally defined, the CRISP model[1] establishes criteria that a strategic process must meet to provide the intended “strategists” with the clarity they require to make efficient, effective decisions in a complex, self-organizing system.  While the criteria are easiest to remember as CRISP, their logical order is purposeful, comprehensive, integrative, rigorous, and simple. Purposeful. Why […]

3 Interwoven Realities — Being, Doing, Having — Where Do YOU Start? — Recommended Reading

Fromm, Erich, To Have or To Be?. 2013, New York: Bloomsbury.   [You can see Fromm’s book online here.] “Poverty is when your dreams shift from who you are to what you have.” — Mayan leader in Guatemala.  (from our work with CARE to re-define poverty in Guatemala, click here) In the thriving success of capitalism, a growing community of thinkers and doers question […]

Some Things Are Impossible – Until They’re Not: Solving “Intractable” Business & Social Problems

Past-cast Series — Seeing relevance in earlier publications Spann, R. Scott. 2007. Impossible, White Paper on Collaborative Holistic Inquiry Project in Guatemala, San Francisco: Innate Strategies, May. Some things seem impossible. For us in our work, it especially seemed impossible to get a variety of stakeholders – all with different perspectives, different goals, different constituencies, different measures […]

Shifting the Fundamental Dynamics of Poverty

Past-cast Series — Seeing relevance in earlier publications Spann, R. Scott and James L. Ritchie-Dunham. 2008. Shifting the Fundamental Dynamics of Poverty, The Systems Thinker, 19(7), 6-10.  Reprinted as 2012. The Promise of Systems Thinking for Shifting Fundamental Dynamics, Reflections: The SoL Journal, 11(4), 11-17. People in Guatemala – smart people – were working harder, hiring brighter people, raising […]