Index to Blog Posts

Dear Blog Followers:

If you are relatively new to my blog, this index shows the currently-posted professional and personal blogs for your reference.

Every now and then someone says “Why don’t you make a book of your blogs?”    Since I’m not currently inclined to do that, perhaps you could consider this list the "table of contents" of that hypothetical book.

Thank you for reading; let me know if you want to be taken off the list at any time, and please send any feedback that you think might guide my future posts.

Best regards,
Marisa Guerin, Ph.D.

marisaguerin1@gmail.com 

 

Blog Posts - Professional Topics

Posts related to consultation practice, leadership skills, and organization dynamics.

Contents as of 12-11--2019

Hidden Motives for Strategic Plans

Nov. 7, 2019 -- Strategic planning often carries the weight of unspoken concerns about the organization or the leadership. There can be more to the initial statement “We need a strategic plan” than meets the eye.

4 min read

 

Is That Issue Too Hot to Handle?

Sept 6, 2019 -- In society, we learn from our cultural surroundings how to handle controversial topics. But in the workplace, leaders must have a toolkit for enabling their teams to take on tough issues that may feel too hot to handle -- or maybe not hot enough.

6 min read

 

What's Your Connection?

Feb 16, 2019 -- Whether it's designing just the right way to have people introduce themselves in a working group, or facilitating an exercise to reveal the depth of network connection your Board has, this post emphasizes the importance of making good use of the resource represented by the people in the room.

6 min read

 

Joy and Pain - Good Bosses, Mentors, and Leaders

Jan 2, 2019 -- Mentoring is a tremendous gift and important to pass along when one is seasoned. The leader-follower bond is more complex and carries the potential for disappointment and betrayal. Whether that is tolerable or not may depend on the larger mission that holds - or fails to hold - the leader and follower together.

6 min read

 

The Leader's "Invisible Mummer's Costume"

Nov 24, 2018 -- Assuming a role of power or influence in an organization changes the perceptions and reactions of others, even if the leader is unaware of or reluctant to recognize this inevitable effect; best to know the difference between self and "costume".

5 min read 

Leaders Work at the Boundary

Oct 24, 2018 -- Organizational boundaries both separate and connect -- and the work of leaders is to define, calibrate, and integrate across the boundaries for which they are responsible.

7 min read 

 

SWOT is More Potent Than You Think

Oct 4, 2018 -- The common strategic planning tool known as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is often under-powered. This post addresses the most effective use of SWOT for competitive analysis.

5 min read 

What's Your "Role Biography?"

Sept 9, 2018 -- A role biography is the narrative that emerges when we examine how our past experiences of "work roles" in family, schooling, and career have unconsciously shaped our present ways of interacting as leaders and members of systems. It is an invaluable tool for team development and organizational role analysis.

5 min read 

Making Communal Decisions

July 31, 2018 -- When groups that value unity have to make decisions that are complex and emotional, they have various options for how to proceed. This post outlines the benefits and limitations of the most common methods of group decision making.

6 min read 

Aggressive, Wimpy, or Assertive?

July 11, 2018 -- It turns out to be very difficult to over-correct if you are working on being less accommodating or less domineering in conflict resolution situations. Either effort will land you right in the effective middle: firm assertiveness that is open to and respectful of the other.

5 min read

Surviving Your Career: How to Run with the Bulls

July 2, 2018 --  Running with the bulls is a good metaphor for the "extreme jobs" phase of ones' career.  The wisdom of the natives of Pamplona offers a lesson in how to survive.

3 min read

The Value in 'Plain Vanilla' Methods

May 23, 2018 --  Many group process techniques have brand names and specialized methodologies. But they can be seductive - used to deflect, not engage, with the real work.  Use them when they're suitable, but be just as willing to use "plain vanilla" processes that facilitate challenging work without distraction.

7 min read

Primary Task: The "North Star" of Teamwork

May 4, 2018 --  "Team-building" is a meaningful activity for nonprofit and business organizations that value collaboration. Tapping a common anchor point -- a shared purpose to which all are committed -- sets a more reliable and  fair framework for team-building than starting with personal relationships.

4 min read

The Shape of a Deliberation

April 20, 2018 --  Complex decisions require a process of deliberation that has predictable phases - first expanding knowledge and options, then converging to action.

5 min read

Paradox: "Negative Capability" is a Very Good Thing

April 3, 2018 --  Negative Capability, a term first coined by the poet Keats, is the capacity to NOT react, to tolerate ambiguity, to bear anxiety without impulsively acting to disperse the tension. It's a key form of emotional intelligence for leaders.

3 min read

What Is “Good Enough” Authority?

March 25, 2018 --  “Authorization” is the dynamic of enacted authority. "Good-enough" authorization has three elements: formal role authority, respected authority, and inner authority. Each can be compromised; leaders serve best when all three are present.

5 min read

Resisting the Tyranny of Inclusion in Organizations

March 5, 2018 --  It is possible to take inclusion and participation in decision making too far; a well-balanced organization appreciates the diversity of gifts and respects the different levels of responsibility and authority in a group. The posting explores the drivers of the tyranny of inclusion and the alternatives.

5 min read

Strategic Planning -- in Turbulent Environments

February 7, 2018 --  Strategic planning methods are not cast in stone - contemporary organizations in dynamic and conflicted environments may need some classical analysis, but they are likely to need creative futuring methods also.

3 min read

Understanding the Dynamics of Religious Leadership

February 5, 2018 --  Religious organization leaders often lack exposure to the helpful perspectives from human systems - especially the impact of structures, unconscious dynamics, and professional disciplines related to planning and change. This post describes a seminar that effectively addresses this gap.

4 min read

The Conversation Managers Avoid

January 29, 2018 --  There is no escaping the obligation to give performance feedback.

In this brief post, I’d like to suggest the power of personal values like courage, compassion, truth and respect as lifelines to managing this responsibility with integrity.

3 min read

When Consultants Get Seduced

January 16, 2018 -- Maintaining correct boundaries between the client and the consultant is a necessary and helpful discipline. This posting identifies how that can be distorted, and why it matters.

3 min read

Blog Posts - Personal Reflections

Posts about my activities, reading, and interests.

Contents as of 12-11-2019

Annual Holiday Baking

December 11, 2019

2 min read

Did Anybody SEE That?!?

October 21, 2019 

3 min read

Bypassing the PowerPoint Mind

September 16, 2019 

6 min read

 

Love is Hidden in the Ordinary

May 1, 2019 

3 min read

Pruning the Jubilee Tree

March 25, 2019 

3 min read

Thoughts about Mystical Experience

March 19, 2019 

7 min read

 

Wrestling with the Smartphone

March 2, 2019 

6 min read

 

Holiday Cookie Baking

December 17, 2018 

3 min read

 

The Mark of Maturity: Autonomy or Relatedness?

December 14, 2018 

4 min read

Sopa de Nevera

November 5, 2018 

3 min read

It MAKES a Village

October 15, 2018 

4 min read

 

Politics, Power, Gender...and Compassion

September 29, 2018 

5 min read

Books, and the Search for Perspective

August 28, 2018 

7 min read

My Discovery: Loneliness ≠ Alone

August 8, 2018 

3 min read

 

The White Gaze and Unconscious Privilege

July 19, 2018 

6 min read

The Sheltering Embrace of Community

July 1, 2018

2 min rea

 

I Guess Every Day Can't Be Saturday

May 29, 2018

4 min read

 

The Edge of Time

May 15, 2018

4 min read

 

Our Hands Speak

April 26, 2018

3 min read

 

What's the Opposite of a Romantic?

April 9, 2018

4 min read

 

Matzo Meditation

March 25, 2018

2 min read

 

Irish Brown Bread and the Alchemy of Time

March 15, 2018

3 min read

 

Every 50 years? Mourning and Activism

February 26, 2018

5 min read

 

Doctors Who Write Books

February 12, 2018

3 min read

 

"I choose to inhabit my days"

February 7, 2018

1 min read

 

Let's Listen for "The Second Music"

January 19, 2018

2 min read

 

From Office to Hearth...This Woman's Retirement

January 19, 2018

3 min read

 

These times call for resilience

January 16, 2018

1 min read

 

What I'm Reading on the Kindle

January 11, 2018

2 min read