1041 Chapters
Medium 9781626563018

Chapter 10 Present Value for Organizations and Communities

Neuwirth, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


In chapter 8, we touched on not just how individuals use Present Value but also how organizations do so. In fact, managers at many companies—particularly if they have an MBA—would say that almost all important decisions a company makes utilize Present Value, only they call it the “discounted cash flow method.”39 It’s true that, superficially, the mechanics of the discounted cash flow method and Present Value thinking are quite similar, but in fact there are some subtle—but very important—differences. For one thing, the discounted cash flow method generally focuses on just the “high likelihood” scenarios, while in Present Value thinking we try to imagine all the possibilities, recognizing that low likelihood/high impact possibilities can be very important. Nassim Taleb calls these possibilities “Black Swan” events and suggests that such “impossible to predict” scenarios are the ones that ultimately change our lives in the most important ways.40 While I agree with Taleb that these scenarios are impossible to predict, I don’t think they are impossible to imagine. That is why step 2 is so critical to Present Value thinking, a step that is usually given little attention in discounted cash flow analysis.

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Medium 9781523094073

20. Small Talk and Cell Phones, Like Oil and Water

Fleming, Carol Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Sometimes you encounter a passing stranger in a certain place at a certain time, when conditions conspire to make it right for you to have a deeply personal talk unlike anything you could have with friends or family or even therapists. This is a person who gives you generous attention and whom you’ll never see again. You are the proverbial ships passing in the night, and this anonymity creates the freedom to just let your tongue and mind become unfettered. You find yourself experiencing unexpected feelings. You discover truths about yourself that you never even considered. You say things you’ve never said to anyone else before because you have the freedom to “language out” the subterranean fragments of your mind, to put thoughts and emotions into words for the first time, to come to know yourself in a whole new way.

What is more, you hear something from this stranger that no one else has ever told you, freed as you both are from the past and the future of this relationship. And you leave this conversation changed—clearer and calmer. “Where did that come from?” you wonder.

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Medium 9781523094189

5 Team

Whitman, Gordon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

After college, I lived in a shared house with three other people. One of them was a slug. He didn’t clean up, shop, or do any of the other work necessary for four people to live together. For a while, the rest of us tried to compensate. But eventually, we fell into a small-group death spiral. We retreated to our rooms and waited for the lease to end. I know people who’ve had the opposite experience, who are still best friends with their old housemates. Why do some teams soar, while others crash and burn? And what makes it possible to consistently build social justice teams that bring out the best in their members and are able to drive change in the world?

Having people whom you trust to walk with is indispensable to a life of social justice. All the important changes we make in the world are made alongside other people. Yet finding (or building) a good team of people to conspire with is never easy. The challenge of forming teams—and holding them together—is what organizers spend the most time wrestling with. And it’s the Achilles’ heel of an American social justice movement in which most so-called members have never met one another—let alone participated in the kind of face-to-face organizing that’s been the lifeblood of every social movement in history.

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Medium 9781622500291

Social Security

Saddleback Educational Publishing Saddleback Educational Publishing PDF



date ____________________________


A. Read the following paragraph about our country’s Social Security system.

Then use context clues from the passage and circle the meaning of each boldfaced word. Use a dictionary if you need more help.

Social Security is a government program that protects people against poverty due to old age, disability, or the death of the family’s breadwinner. It is compulsory for every wage earner to pay a portion of his or her earnings into the Social Security system. These contributors are then insured. When they retire or are unable to work, they can receive

Social Security benefits. Survivors of these workers will also receive aid from the Social Security system.


Social Security: a. a government program that gives people jobs b. a government insurance system in which payments are made to those retired or unable to work c. a privately owned insurance company that sells unemployment insurance

2. poverty: the condition of a. not having enough money to live on b. being very old c. being very wealthy

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Medium 9781576757567

11. A Little Peace of the Heart

Barasch, Marc Ian Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in
sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

—Psalm 46: 8–10

WHEN I WAS IN THE THIRD GRADE, MY YOUNGER SISTER broke my favorite toy. I yelled at her, she screamed back, and then, to my surprise, she launched herself at me in a fury, scratching me hard on the arm. My reaction was blind, unthinking; I raked my own nails down her forearm, making furrows that, to my shock, began to ooze blood. I was punished, but nothing cut so deeply as the guilt I’d felt at her pain.

I’ve wondered from time to time what happened in this primitive, instinctual tit for tat, a variant of any playground fight. Some kid pinches you, and you pinch them back: There, now you know how it feels! The word revenge doesn’t quite cover it; in an odd way, it’s more like enforced empathy, a need to make others feel, firsthand and in rough proportion, the suffering they caused us.

It’s not such a leap from the dynamics of schoolyard rivalry to the logic of clan warfare: Here’s what it felt like when you dishonored my family, terrified my child, killed my brother. Carried to its extreme, it is the twisted reasoning of warfare itself: This is what it is like to have your church destroyed, your crops burned, your city ruined. See how you like it.

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