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46 The PCB Magazine • May 2017 Models such as Conscious Capitalism and Servant Leadership take us part of the way there. But again, systems thinking is missing in these models. Peter Senge, the brilliant MIT professor, says that systems thinking is, with- out a doubt, the most important skillset that a leader must possess. It appears and practi- cal application confirms the Four New Agree- ments for Leaders is, indeed, a reliable road- map to creating the systems-literate conscious leaders our businesses must have to be maxi- mally successful. Dan: What do you think are the biggest challenges that companies face today? David: Leaders and managers stuck in old ways of thinking and systems/processes that have not changed fast enough to keep up with a rap- idly changing business environment. Dan: How can you help these companies overcome these challenges? David: I can teach leaders, managers, and their people to be systems thinkers. I can show peo- ple how to use now simple tools to quickly and sustainably optimize their systems. Remember, a leader who is a systems thinker and imple- ments a sustainable systems optimization strat- egy will produce ever-higher quality products and services at an even lower cost. That's the name of the business game today. Note that the old model cannot compete with the new lead- ership model. Higher quality at less cost will al- ways win over the long term. Dan: What do you see in the future? Where would you like your company to be in five years? David: If I could wave my magic wand, there would be thousands of people teaching these concepts and tools around the world and in ev- ery business school. I'm now finishing a man- uscript that describes the systematic nature of not only the physical world (business), but also of the inner world we call thinking. It turns out principles used for systems optimization in the physical world are equally effective in the in- ner world. Dan: David, once again thanks for doing this. Be- fore we wrap this up, do you have any last com- ments? David: I have been teaching this work for 27 years. It may sound optimistic, but I feel that this work may be an idea whose time has come. If so, we will see the emergence of better busi- nesses and more conscious, systems-literate leaders who will take us to heights not experi- enced before. PCB If you want to learn more about how you can be a better leader and make your company bet- ter, you can go to David's website and check it out for yourself; it could be the best thing you do this year. The Conference Board Leading Economic In- dex (LEI) for the U.S. in- creased 0.4% in March to 126.7 (2010 = 100), fol- lowing a 0.5% increase in February, and a 0.6% in- crease in January. "The March increase and upward trend in the U.S. LEI point to continued economic growth in 2017, with perhaps an acceleration later in the year if consumer spending and investment pick up," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of Business Cycles and Growth Re- search at The Conference Board. "The gains among the leading indicators were very widespread, with new orders in manufacturing and the interest rate spread more than offsetting declines in the labor market components in March." The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2% in March to 114.9 (2010 = 100), following a 0.2% increase in February, and no change in January. The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. Rose in March DAVID DIBBLE ON THE HIRING PROCESS: GETTING THE MOST FROM SYSTEMS EXCELLENCE

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