Rumblings from a long dormant volcano provoke a crisis in the village of Smoldering Pines. Desperate to escape the flow of molten lava, the inhabitants meet to create a plan—and are soon at each other’s throats! But led by Milo, a group of neighbors discover a new way of talking and listening that taps fresh sources of creativity and unleashes the magic of collective thinking. While everyone knows how to engage in conversation, few of us practice the kind of meaningful dialogue that is crucial to leveraging an organization’s best thinking. Listening to the Volcano offers an engaging introduction to conversation as a disciplined workplace practice for sparking generative thinking, improving decision-making, and creating effective action. The fable features hilarious (and thought-provoking) plot lines and character illustrations and concludes with a group discussion guide to help you apply the ideas from the story to issues you face in your own organization.
Rebecca began her career as a strategy consultant at Monitor Company, honed her skills as a systems thinking facilitator at GKA Inc, worked as VP of Affordable Housing Acquisitions for Boston Financial, and built her own Systems Thinking consultancy through which she was a key contributor to the ReThink Health Initiative, Climate Interactive’s Agritopia, and Dialogos’ work for the US Forestry Service. She has spent more than 25 years supporting corporate and philanthropic clients including Vistaprint, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, AT&T, Ford, Smithkline Beecham, Shell, Amoco, and USDA. Her expertise is using collaborative causal mapping and System Dynamics simulation models to help multi-sector collaboratives think together better. Rebecca trained in Systems Dynamics in Jay Forrester’s Pre-College Education Project and John Sterman’s class while pursuing a BS in Civil Engineering and an MBA from MIT. She has served on the Society Policy Council and been a guest lecturer at MIT, Wharton, Dartmouth, and Brown. When not working as a systems thinking evangelist, Rebecca loves to travel the world. Pre-covid travels included Mexico, Chile, Morocco, Brazil, Uganda and Iceland to spend time with school children, whale sharks, camels, street art, gorillas and waterfalls. When stuck at home, she enjoys gardening, swimming, dancing, and renovating properties.