Being the Lighthouse

  Most people talk about creativity in business is about innovation for financial gain or marketshare. I want to talk about becoming a creative person in service to others. Using our creative gifts primarily to grow rich is a sin against some sort of cosmic law; I am sure. They have another purpose, another destination.…

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Why We Need Creative Consciousness

I was recently struck by a friend’s article in which she offered a sort of “taxonomy” of change, innovation, and human capability. I’m paraphrasing her: If you want change and innovation, you need teamwork and collaboration, which is based on authentic connection between people, which in turn requires self-awareness, which requires, underneath it all, ongoing…

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Fighting the Dragons of Our Time — Can We Win?

Today’s true leaders are fighting the dragons of our time — mental health, social justice, climate change, among many others — but as a complexity consultant and teacher, I often ask: can we win? YES, screams the optimist in me. But… really? Because a sober look at any one of these challenges shows the needle…

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How to Become a Creative Force in a Dark Time

  “How do we believe in the way we live if it doesn’t seem to be working? Here’s a theory: Maybe we could stop pretending that we know how to fix it. I know for me, that might bring some peace of mind.” — Ian Brown, feature writer at the UK’s Globe and Mail If…

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Why Plans Fail

We’ve worked on a lot of projects, businesses, alliances, and change efforts of many shapes and sizes over the past 20 years. And we’ve seen one consistent thorn in the side of even the smartest leaders — something that thwarts, compromises, or destroys change work no matter how much energy, passion, smarts, resources, and sheer…

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Creating Healthy Society with Dialogue

One of the biggest lessons we learned in 2018 is about the importance of the “space between us”: the relational space where we find each other, make peace, challenge together the codes that shape our behavior, and shape our shared realities together. Both of our major projects this year have focused on “unlocking the space…

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Creative Process Demonstration: The Sun Wins Through

This video demonstrates three of the key principles in creative work: constant metamorphosis, the hunt and the form emerges at the end. The video begins with a pencil sketch and a small oil sketch, then shows the progressive stages on one large canvas. This canvas went through continuous metamorphosis between 2010 and 2018. The pictures seem…

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Why I Left My Dream Job

Between 2007 and 2014, I apprenticed to a man who helped South Africa transition out of apartheid, Colombia find the road to peace, and an alliance of North and South American countries change the war on drugs. He works in the background, well out of the public eye, facilitating high stakes dialogues. As his apprentice,…

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What is “Social Creativity?”

“I need to be able to read the room and know exactly what they should do next. I need to be able to depart from the plan with 100% confidence and intuit accurately where to go.”  That’s a super smart social entrepreneur with ten successful years behind her, telling us about her challenges when facilitating…

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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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