Pulling Threads from Small Arcs: Reflections on Complexity, Living Systems and LeadershipJuly 25, 2017 4 Comments
“The difficulty we face is that the ecology of the biosphere is at odds with the ecology of our institutions.”
– Nora Bateson
In the past couple of posts, I have referenced Nora Bateson’s book Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing Through Other Patterns, a collection of essays, poetry, personal stories and excerpts of talks focused on systems theory and complexity thinking. I just finished the book and have underlined and tweeted a number of provocative lines that resonated and gave me pause (in a good way). Here are a few gems from the book that I continue to contemplate in different contexts:
“The problem with problem-solving is the idea that a solution is an endpoint.”
“Systems theory is struggling inside a system that doesn’t actually accommodate it.”
“We cannot know the systems, but we can know more. We cannot perfect the systems, but we can do better.”
“What does it mean to be healthy in an unhealthy system?”
“No living thing exists in just one context.”
Wonderful quotes…I’m inspired to pick the book!
I love this collection of thought-provoking quotes, thank you for sharing them. I recently watched Nora Bateson’s beautiful documentary ‘An Ecology of Mind’ https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bateson/116642860. It really challenges the ways we have been educated to think. Thank you for the link to the book, I am hugely looking forward to curling up with it, reflecting on concepts which resonate / challenge, and sharing the thinking with others.
Thanks for your comment, Lorna. And I hope you enjoy the book. IMHO, it is worth savoring and coming back to for ongoing reflection.
Beautiful strands from Nora’s book. Thank you! Each strand offers a new reframing, and possibly for each of us separately and together, a new possibility to steward a more fit world.