Dr. Karen Higgins has a B.S. in Mathematics, M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA and PhD in Executive Management. She has extensive experience in executive leadership and in leading research and engineering teams. Throughout her 32-year career with the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division at China Lake and Pt. Mugu, California she held technical, functional, project and executive management positions for efforts that integrate state-of-the-art and commonly-used weapons systems onto some of the newest jet fighter aircraft. As a member of the Senior Executive Service, she was one of the most senior civilians within the U.S. Department of Defense. In her Executive Director and Director for Research and Engineering roles, she had responsibility for a $1B budget and over 5,000 employees. She has received the highest civilian awards for her services to the Navy and the Department of Defense.
As President of ÉLAN Leadership Concepts, Dr. Higgins serves as a leadership consultant for government and industry. She is an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University, where she teaches Project Management, Systems Thinking, and Morality & Leadership. She enjoys her grandchildren, practices yoga, does research, and writes. Her recent book, Financial Whirlpools (2013), analyzes the financial crisis of 2008-2009 using a systems perspective. Her second book, Economic Growth and Sustainability (in print, 2014), investigates the relationship among Economy, Environment and Society also using a systems perspective.
On a personal note, she enjoys ballroom dancing and "loves, loves, loves" the LA Clippers!
Affiliations: Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA (Adjunct Professor) ÉLAN Leadership Concepts, Ridgecrest, CA, USA (President) Effective Edge, Austin TX, USA (Performance Catalyst)
Personal website: systems-sense.com
Expertise Executive leadership, project management, systems thinking, sustainability, ethics, interpersonal communication, culture shaping
How do economists reconcile their expertise with their failures to predict and manage the 2008 financial crisis? This book goes a long way toward an answer by using systems theory to reveal the complex interdependence of factors and forces behind the crisis. In her fully integrated view of the economy, how it works, and how the economic crisis burst, Karen Higgins combines human psychology, cultural values, and belief formation with descriptions of the ways banks and markets succeed and fail. In each chapter she introduces themes from financial crisis literature and brings a systems-theory treatment of them. Her methodology and visual presentations both develop the tools of systems theory and apply these tools to the financial crisis. Not just another volume about the crisis, this book challenges the status quo through its unique multidisciplinary approach.
1. LINES OR CIRCLES: The Basics of Systems Thinking
2. AS THE GEARS TURN: Policies, Practices, Markets, and Risk
PART II YIN: HUMAN BEHAVIORS
3. WHERE CAN I BUY ONE? Humans and the economy
4. WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY? Values, beliefs, and behaviors
5. VISIONS OF GRANDEUR: Expectations and behaviors
6. A CRISIS OF HUMAN PROPORTIONS: Ethics and behaviors
7. SELF SPEAKS LOUDLY AND CARRIES A BIG STICK: Sources of unethical behavior
PART III YANG: ECONOMIC MECHANICS
8. WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN: The Housing Bubble
9. ON TOP OF DEBT MOUNTAIN: High Risk Loans and Credit
10. THE RISK TIGER POUNCES: Financial Market, Risk, and Securitization
PART IV YIN AND YANG: INTEGRATION
11. HUMAN ROOTS ARE DEEP: Yin meets Yang