Change has begun. It is ours to build. That is the spirit behind the KOAN concept: if we can stay in the discomfort of uncertainty and not-knowing long enough, and with enough curiosity, breakthroughs will find us.
Jennifer recently experienced systemic failure up close when she and her family were evacuated just ahead of the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in more than a century in Lahaina, Hawaii. As the tragedy unfolded, Jennifer witnessed the terrifying and tragic results of rigid, non-adaptive systems — and deepened her belief in the importance of the principles of the KOAN method. Here, she shares an account of their experience and ways to support the real and immediate needs of Maui residents.
In a dynamic world, when both the challenges and their potential solutions shift and change much faster than any good policy manual can keep up with, it’s much more effective to have a clear direction and guidelines that allow people who are close to the work to make smart choices in the face of dynamic conditions.
Today more than ever, breakthrough leadership is required to unleash the creativity and innovation to solve our most pressing problems. Inspired by decades of experience studying organizations and how they operate, the KOAN method’s guiding principles — Be (K)ind, Be (O)pen, Be (A)daptive, Build a (N)etwork — draw from both ancient wisdom and cutting-edge research to evaluate and evolve how leaders can create the conditions that enable people to move beyond divisions and discover breakthrough solutions.
During this Mental Health Awareness Month, perhaps the most important thing we can do is understand the prevalence of mental illness. The last few years have been stressful for all of us. For those living with anxiety or depression, or who have experienced extreme isolation, the impacts of the pandemic are more pronounced. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness; for 1 in 20 Americans, that experience is severe.
Growing up, I moved around a lot, including several stints living overseas. I was the new kid in school almost every year (sometimes twice in a single year) between third and ninth grades. I’ve often said that this experience taught me early that the world was much bigger than me and that there was no “right way” to do most of the things that humans care most about.
Are you looking for back-to-school activities that can get your kids and students engaged all year long? The best-selling book, Carbon Almanac: It’s Not Too Late, released a version of the book for kids called Generation Carbon: It’s Time to Start. This book is not just perfect for kids; parents and educators will also enjoy reading and sharing this easy to digest book about the role we all play in climate change. Better yet, the book is designed to be ready BY kids TO the grown-ups in their lives!