Dennis Deery


A Model for Change

August 20, 2018
CommunityDevelopment OrganizationalDevelopment Professional

Change is constant – we all deal with it, we all complain about it. We all do it. In a 2008 study titled “The Enterprise of the Future”, IBM surveyed over 1,000 CEOs around the world. 83% of those surveyed said they expect their organization to undergo substantial change. But only 61% of those executives believe they have managed change successfully in the past.  Why the disconnect? If change is so constant, why are we so bad at it?

Take a Systems View

July 20, 2018
CommunityDevelopment OrganizationalDevelopment Professional

Do you ever have trouble getting your living room temperature just right? It gets cold outside, so you bump the heat up. Whoops, too much, now you’re too hot. Down with the thermostat. Wait, now it’s freezing, turn up the heat! Cycle after cycle, until finally you get it dialed in just right. Now you can fire up the TV and binge-watch your favorite show. Congratulations, you understand systems thinking – that’s it in a nutshell.

Exploring Ukraine

February 11, 2016

Photography Travel
Ukraine? In winter? I think I spent two months explaining to everyone who heard about it just why I was going to Ukraine on vacation over the holidays. But I had a good reason. My wife Kathleen is stationed there as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer. Peace Corps Response recruits experienced professionals with specific technical skills to provide short term (6mos – 1 year) support to a community in need. Kathleen left for Ukraine in early September last year and is completing a nine month project at the Ternopil Regional Center on Education and Rehabilitation, a school for children with disabilities.

Smear the "Other"

December 9, 2015

Had a flashback to grade school today. I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade. We were on the playground for recess. We started to play a game. I don’t remember us giving it a name. Maybe my memory fails me, maybe I’m just blocking it. If we did give it a name, that name was surely “Smear the Queer”. You know the game - you were a kid once. The leaders of the gang would call out someone’s name, and the mob would chase them, and of course the mob would catch them, because a mob does.

First Graders go to the Fire Department

December 15, 2013

When I was growing up, my Dad was the chief of our local volunteer fire department. In 1st grade, we made a visit to the fire department, and then as grade school classes do, followed up with hand-written thank you notes. My folks saved the collection that my class donated, and recently gifted them to me. I took a little time this weekend and scanned the whole works. Sadly, I must admit, my handwriting has possibly gotten worse since 1st grade.

Review: The Circle

November 18, 2013

The Circle by Dave Eggers My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( This is really a great and timely book. I think it demonstrates the best of fiction, science fiction especially, in that it posits a believable scenario that asks us to think about the world we live in from a different viewpoint. While we see millions of people adopting social media tools fairly rapidly, I think very few average users give much thought to what happens when a great amount of data is aggregated.

Links for 11/07/2013

November 6, 2013


Links for 11/06/2013

November 5, 2013


Review: All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

September 23, 2013

All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( This was a phenomenal telling of the story of the financial crisis. It's not a short read, but as the authors point out, it wasn't a simple crisis. There are a lot of players and a LOT of arcane jargon. But McLean and Nocera do a great job of explaining things, and they keep the story interesting.

Farewell to a Friend

September 8, 2013

The Belmont High class of ‘86 lost its first classmate this week, one of our best. Curt Novinski was visiting friends over Labor Day weekend when he began to feel ill. A visit to the hospital led to emergency brain surgery for a brain bleed, and he never recovered from surgery. As is the case with death at our age, it was unexpected, sudden, and leaves all of us stunned and saddened.

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

August 4, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( Another great read from one of my favorite authors. It's been several years since Neil Gaiman has written an adult novel. This one, clearly prompted by a trip home for his own father's funeral, is the story of a Gaiman-esque young man visiting his childhood home. The visit prompts reminiscence of a fantastical experience he had with the family living at the end of his lane when he was a boy.

Review: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

July 2, 2013

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( This book is a must-read for, well, everyone. Brown has done some incredibly thorough research to help us all understand some very difficult issues - shame and vulnerability. Tough topics. But she presents her ideas in a very readable form, with a lot of great first-hand stories to illustrate what she's discussing.

Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert

February 14, 2013

Prairie Silence: A Memoir by Melanie Hoffert My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really loved this book! Author Melanie Hoffert grew up in a small town in North Dakota. She realized at an early age that she was gay, but kept this fact hidden from her family and community for many years. Like so many rural kids, once she grew up she left her community for the big city, in this case the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

Buh-bye Instagram!

December 20, 2012

I just exported all my Instagram photos and deleted my account. I urge you to do the same. You can use to export your pics. Facebook has shown repeatedly that they will keep pushing the boundaries of acceptable behavior to attempt to secure a profit. Instagram (now owned by FB) thankfully backed off their stupidity this week, but more will come. I’ll keep using FB because many people I know are here (go to Google+ please!

Letters to a Young Madman by Paul Gruchow

October 28, 2012

Letters to a Young Madman: A Memoir by Paul Gruchow My rating: 5 of 5 stars Paul Gruchow is one of my all-time favorite authors. I had the chance to meet him a couple of times, and in particular recall one incredibly stormy evening listening to him read and speak at UW-Stout here in Menomonie. He had such an incredible gift for language, and for seeing the natural world. I first experienced his work in The Necessity of Empty Places, which I read, appropriately enough on a wonderful vacation to Glacier and Grand Teton National Parks.

Visiting Tom by Michael Perry

September 8, 2012

Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace by Michael Perry My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve been a huge Michael Perry fan since his first hit, Population 485. He’s back once again with stories of small town life. In this book (his best since Pop 485), he writes about his neighbor Tom. This book really struck a chord with me because Tom reminds me of my dad, and many of the other characters I met when I was a kid hanging out with my dad.

Oneida Nation Social Media Day

June 7, 2012
Professsional Technology SocialMedia
Marketing Technology
Today I’m in Green Bay, Wisconsin speaking with folks from the Oneida Nation about social media analytics. You can find the resources for my talk here.

The Emotional Life of Your Brain - Book Review

May 16, 2012

The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them by Richard J. Davidson My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is absolutely fascinating. Author Davidson is the founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at UW-Madison. He’s gotten a lot of attention with his work doing brain scans on Tibetan monks while they meditate.

Holland, Michigan

May 15, 2012

A few weeks ago we had the chance to spend a couple of days along Lake Michigan in Saugatuck and Holland. The tulips were in bloom in Holland and they were just amazing! Click here for slideshow

Bully - The Movie

May 14, 2012

National/International Politics
GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Bully is a documentary that tells the story of 5 kids who are victims of bullying. The kids range in age from 11 to 17. Viewers never get a chance to meet two of the kids, who committed suicide as a result of their victimization. This is a powerfully produced movie. It has been the subject of some controversy due to the producers’ struggle with the Motion Picture Association of America over the final rating of the movie.