Wow, what a mess we’re in! If you live in the USA, you may be wondering how we’ll EVER survive the chaos and dysfunction that defines our political arena right now. The dysfunction goes deep. As Einstein said, you can’t solve a problem with the same consciousness that created the problem. And clearly, we need…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

  If you’re an aspiring leader (at any age — we’re 47 and 48 as of this writing), you’re going to do stupid stuff from time to time. You’ll make mistakes and you’ll go down seemingly deadend paths for years on end. Really. Don’t sweat it. That path is going somewhere great. Truly fantastic, never-ending…

Read More

“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…

Read More

I went to at least three different universities and conservatories in different places around the world to study music, and have had continuous music teachers in both violin and classical singing since I was about eight (roughly 40 years ago). At all those music schools, the main focus was on learning the craft and technique…

Read More

“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…

Read More

  Every creative person has to make decisions about their source. When we were young artists, we had to choose our sources. Many artists we loved — but whose sources weren’t our sources. For example, Jeff loved Basquiat and Bacon, but didn’t want to instill his life and work with Bacon’s horror or Basquiat’s frantic…

Read More

Getting to Maybe is a “social innovation residency” named after the book of the same title by Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, and Michael Patton.  The programs occur in summer at the beautiful Banff Centre, in and among pristine lakes and snowy mountains. Westley invited us to teach participants about creativity, and given the setting, we…

Read More

The problem of police violence against young African-Americans is one of the most visible, best known social issues today, thanks in part to Black Lives Matter.  We helped the Numi Foundation establish a unique approach to addressing violence in Oakland, California (USA), in the ACTION project. ACTION stands for A Creative Transformation In Our Neighborhoods.…

Read More