Category Archives: Conflict

The Reason for Evil

Gwen Adshead begins her recent book, The Dev­il You Know: Sto­ries of Human Cru­el­ty and Com­pas­sion, with an epi­graph from Carl Jung: “The rea­son for evil in the world is that peo­ple are not able to tell their sto­ries.” As a foren­sic psy­chol­o­gist and psy­chother­a­pist she’s heard some unimag­in­able ones — from decades of listening […]

The Mutiny Against Our Conditioning

As adults we come up against facets of our­selves that we wish to change. Uncon­scious big­otry, for exam­ple, or cer­tain aspects of intro­ver­sion or exces­sive guilt, impa­tience or ego­cen­tric­i­ty — our weak­ness­es and the results of our “over-strengths.” Tak­ing on these chal­lenges sounds good and promis­es a desir­able trans­for­ma­tion but in real­i­ty also por­tends the […]

On Organizational Anger

There is a form of orga­ni­za­tion­al anger that all lead­ers need to under­stand. It is not the hos­tile out­burst of an aggriev­ed staff mem­ber, though this may be a symp­tom just as a shoot­er in a pub­lic place can be a symp­tom of a broad­er social despair. It is not the same as deal­ing with […]

Don’t try to change your organization; change the underlying forces that make it what it is

In the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry, Charles Lyell, a Scot­tish geol­o­gist, pro­fessed the rad­i­cal view that the same forces that shaped the Earth in the past were still oper­at­ing in the present moment. His the­o­ry chal­lenged the more palat­able the­o­ry at the time that geo­log­i­cal epochs end­ed in major, cat­a­stroph­ic events, such as species being wiped out […]