Posts by Jeff Barnum

Leadership’s Next Jump: Meta-Creativity

Woman in Infinity Room, an art installation by Yayoi Kusama, at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.   When’s the last time you or your team struggled with “people problems?” Disagreement, ego, culture of fear, meanness, power-over… This morning, maybe?   Now think of a huge, messy challenge you care about: climate change, racism, political…

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Inner and Outer

  We are so used to thinking of “inner” as “subjective” that we forget that everything humans make begins as an inner picture. The inner life of the human being is the inner aspect of the world — not only when we appreciate nature, but even when we determine what is real and what is not. We…

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Paying Hell for Creativity: Why “Failure” is Actually Good

“When you’re down, when you’ve been kicked down in the street and then kicked a few more times until you’re bleeding and your teeth are out, then you only have up to go. You get reborn again, and expectations aren’t so great because they’ve taken you away. It’s beautiful to be down there. It’s so…

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Training for Social Labs on Chicago’s South Side

In 2016, we helped Roller Strategies train the team leading the Grove 3547 project.  Grove 3547 is a “social lab,” a multi-year effort designed to enroll, train, and support young leaders and entrepreneurs in the Bronzeville area of Chicago, located approximately between 35th and 47th Avenues on the South Side. In support of this effort,…

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Supporting Democracy Scenarios in South America

In 2014 we mediated a conversation between two facilitators who were experiencing intense pressure during a year long scenario project with top leaders to envision the future of democracy in South America.  The team had reached a possible breaking point; relations were precarious and the team members were unsure if they could continue to work…

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Collective Prosperity in Colombia

We were invited to help leaders from all across Colombia decide whether they could work together to create “collective prosperity” across the national economy. Some of our participants had been on opposite sides of ideological battles and in some cases the opposing sides of the civil war — so tensions were extremely high.   We had one…

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Helping Society Embrace People with Intellectual Disabilities in Canada

When’s the last time you saw someone with intellectual disabilities in a public place?  And what was your first reaction?  Many people view these folks with fear or even revulsion.  Which is a shame, because they add a rare power of love, meaning, and richness to their families and communities. We’ve been supporting a handful…

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Training Executives in the Outback

We designed and led, in partnership with Reos Australia, an offsite training in leadership presence for Executive Directors at Telstra, Australia’s largest telecom. One of the central aims of the program was to explore the inner journey of becoming a leader.  We were fortunate to travel into the Outback, where we had the amazing privilege…

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Platforms and Presence in the Netherlands

While many organizations in the Netherlands embrace social innovation, leadership transformation, and responsible business practices, their efforts seem inadequate relative to the scale and urgency of the country’s economic, social, and environmental challenges. Two stories from Holland come to mind.  The first is from PLUK, a platform designed to support leaders from a variety of…

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