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Life Sustaining Organizations: A Design Guide

Life Sustaining Organizations: A Design Guide

by Michael Sales Ed.D., Anika Ellison Savage


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Life-sustaining organizations aren't machines - they are living systems. They make life-positive choices that support vitality, innovation and responsible action, inside and outside the organization. Each life-sustaining organization arrives at its own distinct mix of five interrelated competencies: Attracting and retaining creative people who move the organization forward Embracing the whole system at the individual, organizational and global levels Expressing design integrity in every aspect of organizational life Allowing elegant solutions to emerge in complex situations Maintaining a results orientation These competencies enable the organization, its people and the natural environment to survive and thrive. This design guide is intended for anyone who care about the well-being of an organization. The organization might be a public sector agency, a foundation, a corporation, an institution, a small business, a municipality or a virtual community in education, healthcare, manufacturing, professional services or emerging technology. This is a hands-on guide for making your organization more life-sustaining. Part 1 takes the reader step-by-step through the strategic leadership process of Structural Dynamics: Exploring Facts - Grasp the interconnections of critical and uncertain events to reveal a structure of forces shaping your future. Discovering Options - Live and strategize in starkly different but equally plausible future worlds where robust and contingent strategies become apparent. Embodying Action - Individuals, teams, groups and units contribute to the success of the organization as a whole. Sustaining Results - Monitor signposts, indicators and warnings to be able to respond quickly and effectively as the future unfolds. Part 2 details a composite case taken from our experience working with organizations to become more life affirming. Michael Sales and Anika Savage are the principals of Art of the Future. Create the future you want in an uncertain world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781453633083
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/05/2011
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Anika Savage and Michael Sales founded Art of the Future five years ago to support organizational vitality. Too many organizations are gray and boring; too few feel an intimate connection to the natural environment. Art of the Future is dedicated to vibrant organizations that celebrate their people and seek harmony with nature.

Anika is an architect, corporate strategist and consultant with wide-ranging experience in technology, telecommunications and finance. She has served as a corporate architect and corporate strategist at Digital Equipment Corporation, Director of Real Estate Strategy for FleetBoston Financial and systems thinking and scenario planning consultant for AT&T's investigation of the impact of technology on the work environment. Michael is a leadership trainer and strategy consultant who has worked across a wide variety of economic sectors with organizations such as Rohm and Haas, Partners Health Care, the U.S. Department of State, the Seagram Company, the International Association for Product Development, M.I.T., Mercer, Microsoft, the City of Newton MA, and the Northern Forest Dialog Project.

Anika holds degrees in architecture from Pratt Institute and the University of California at Berkeley, with advanced studies at the University of Florence and has an MBA from Babson College. Michael received his doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. He has a Masters in Broadcast Communication Arts from California State College at San Francisco and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School. Michael and Anika have published numerous articles on organizational dynamics and workplace strategy.

Life Sustaining Organizations represents the culmination of their individual and joint study of organizations over the course of thirty years. It provides step-by-step guidance in the use of Structural Dynamics by Anticipatory Leaders. Structural Dynamics is a rigorous process that integrates systems thinking and scenario planning to discover and act upon robust strategies that empower organizations to shape their future confidence. Anticipatory Leadership is a set of competencies needed to create an environment in which everyone in the workforce can function creatively and productively, even in the face of disruptive, turbulent conditions.

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