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Is the impact you crave right under your nose?

You pour your heart and soul into your work. But does it feel like you’re not seeing the impact you're looking for? What if the answer doesn't lie in adding more, but seeing what you already have in a whole new light?

You won't find meaningful change in processes and tools. The magic of innovation lives in people - in you and your teams. Our research-backed approach is about helping you create the conditions to unleash your teams’ collective creativity for tangible, enduring impact.

Casual team shot - landscape

changing how leaders lead change

For decades, driven by our belief in people’s innate creativity, we've helped Fortune 100 teams solve big challenges. Create new products. Reshape organizations. Change how leaders lead change.

Now we're raising our game to achieve greater impact – more meaningful, more important impact. Supporting nonprofit teams solving their challenges to be more creative and effective.

We help people, teams and leaders be more creative and effective. Creative people who shape their lives. Creative teams that see differently and solve brilliantly. Creative leaders who create the conditions for change.

Our mission? Reveal the collective creativity that lives in you and your teams. Create enduring impact to make a better world.

what we've learned

focus less on process

Organizations have a strong bias for standardization and process. It's been that way since the early 20th century invention of 'scientific management' rooted in efficiency, tangibility, and the pursuit of predictability. While process has its place, our over-reliance on it leads us to ignore and under-develop the innate creativity living in our people and teams.

rely more on people

The magic of innovation lives in people. Over decades, we’ve practiced deeply human practices that have helped for-profit and nonprofit teams see differently and solve brilliantly. Focused on bringing out the very best in people and teams, these practices can help leaders create the conditions for innovation and reveal teams collective intelligence.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

the practices we use

Nine human-centered, research-backed practices develop the competencies of Curiosity, Creativity, and Collaboration. The practices have been shown to effectively address specific challenges that teams commonly face in innovation and change efforts. They work because they draw upon people's innate gifts. Gifts that simply need to be re-awakened.

Slow Down to Go Fast
Slow Down to Go Fast

“When creativity is under the gun, it usually ends up getting killed.” —Teresa Amabile

the challenge

We often fall prey to the mistaken belief that working faster increases creativity and productivity. It is an illusion reinforced by cultures that prioritize speed and quick wins.

the approach

Slow down peoples minds to improves their receptivity to new ideas. Enable deep understanding through reflection, and use well-timed incubation to help teams subtly process information and uncover better insights. Since cognitively diverse teams solve problems faster, facilitate inclusion to help them go fast when the time is right.

the evidence

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “What” and “Why” of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4). Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. Macmillan. Dijksterhuis, A. & Nordgren, L.F. (2006). A theory of unconscious thought. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2). Reynolds, A. & Lewis, D. (2017). Teams Solve Problems Faster When They’re More Cognitively Diverse. Harvard Business Review.

Fall in Love
Fall in Love

"Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” —Mohsin Hamid

the challenge

Too often, we engage in 'self-oriented' empathy that draws on personal and 'tribal' biases. We often fall in love with preconceived solutions, hindering our discovery.

the approach

Facilitate experiences that build teams ‘other-oriented’ empathy that leaves personal preferences behind to understand others’ stories, feelings, and needs. Expand thinking to help teams fall in love with the opportunity and resist the ‘Einstellung Effect’ that blinds us to better solutions due to our bias for prior solutions.

the evidence

Make the Invisible Visible
Make the Invisible Visible

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate” — Carl Jung

the challenge

Hidden dynamics can enable or disable our best efforts. To bring a fuller picture of the challenge to light, we must illuminate those concealed dynamics.

the approach

Facilitate teams to explore and tell stories about the invisible cultural dynamics that shape team dynamics and members’ behavior. Explore the underlying and unspoken assumptions that shape the challenge and potential solutions. Help teams visualize the interconnectedness of the broader ecosystem to understand its profound, and often unintended, consequences.

the evidence

Jump into Ambiguity
Jump into Ambiguity

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” —Joseph Campbell

the challenge

Exploring unfamiliar territories can help teams discover new insights and possibilities. By nature, though, people naturally demonstrate a strong bias for certainty and an aversion to ambiguity.

the approach

Encourage teams to embrace ambiguity and explore new possibilities by fostering psychological safety and encouraging nudges. When we create the conditions and jump into ambiguity, our brains are forced to break away from habitual thought patterns, which promotes divergent thinking and the ability to generate fresh solutions.

the evidence

See with New Eyes
See with New Eyes

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” —Marcel Proust

the challenge

Creativity requires us to see what has been unseen. But our ‘educated incapacity’ can get us stuck in familiar, myopic points of view that prevent us from seeing broader possibilities.

the approach

Form cognitively diverse, multifunctional teams. Their diverse thinking is critical for exploring a wide range of possibilities and solutions, and enables innovation due to the intersection of disciplines and ideas. Create the conditions for teams to shift out of their 'educated incapacity' by crafting experiences that encourage a beginner’s mind.

the evidence

Nurture Self-Discovery
Nurture Self-Discovery

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” —Xunzi

the challenge

Teams that lack true insight usually feel little ownership for ideas. This cripples their ability to explore and discover new possibilities and territories.

the approach

Facilitate honest conversations about teams’ strengths and weaknesses to help them self-regulate and persist through difficulties. Enable learning and sense-making with cycles of experience, reflection, and experimentation. Give teams greater control of their learning path to enable greater persistence and building of problem-solving skills.

the evidence

Set Initial Conditions
Set Initial Conditions

"When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another.” —Edward Lorenz

the challenge

From evolutionary biology to complex dynamic systems, it is clear that the initial conditions profoundly influence outcomes.

the approach

Creating the conditions for teams to self-manage is responsible for most of their effectiveness. Coach leader-sponsors to express their belief in the team and clarify the teams latitude in problem solving. Build a cognitively diverse team and nurture inclusion, psychological safety, and clarify the explicit and implicit rules of their work. Carefully prepare flexible work spaces that nurture ‘psychological ownership’ and encourage risk-taking, reflection, generative conversations.

the evidence

Hear all Voices
Hear all Voices

"Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard.” —Liz Fosslien

the challenge

Diverse teams solve problems better but are often dominated by loud voices. Quiet or divergent voices are often not included, robbing a team of its collective intelligence.

the approach

Teams members feel valued and are more creative when psychological safety and inclusion are nurtured. Ensure that all voices are heard to nurture the teams collective intelligence. ‘Change the geometry’ to amplify participation by shifting sub-group sizes based on tasks and group energy. Purposeful rituals can create shared mental models and norms of how teams works together, including hearing all voices. Use story and metaphor to elicit insights and balance quiet and loud voices.

the evidence

Share Stories
Share Stories

"There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.” —Jimmy Neil Smith

the challenge

Teams often get stuck in old ways of thinking that lack meaning and emotion. They need more nuanced ways of exploring and explaining the world.

the approach

We are literally wired to learn from stories so use storytelling early and often to bring depth and richness. Sharing stories causes neural coupling and emotional stories, in particular, trigger the release of neurotransmitters that build trust, empathy, and compassion. Personal stories enable team bonding and builds teams’ understand of complex concepts in meaningful and personal ways.

the evidence

Photo by Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

our learning journeys

We offer three offerings. Each is based on the same core principles but focused on a specific audience and their specific needs.  

catalyze creativity

to develop daily practices

‘Plant seeds’ to inspire people practice new behaviors that unleash individual and collective creativity.

TBD (no/low cost)

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Explore a single practice to build awareness. Dialogue with others to energize and share experiences.

This journey provides:
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A week-long exploration of a specific practice
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2 hour orientation and exploration of a creative practice
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2 hour reconnect to synthesize learning and insights
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One year access to the online community platform
After this journey you will:
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Explain a creative practice and its impact to others
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Bring new awareness to reveal insights
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Illuminate challenges by asking better questions

shift thinking

with immersive team experiences

‘Accelerate the growth’ of teams and ideas to discover insights and deliver holistic solutions.

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Deepen discovery and solving. Deepen relationships. Discover insights. Solve holistically.

This journey provides:
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Immersive solving journey for 9 to 12 team members.
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2-10 week solving journey based on your challenge
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Synthesis of creative practices, strategy, and displayed thinking
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One year access to the online community platform
After this journey you will:
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Be able to see your team challenge through to execution
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Work in new ways that tap into the teams' collective intelligence
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Confidently apply your creative skills to other challenges

create the conditions

to become integrative leaders

‘Cultivate the soil’ to create the conditions for innovation. In teams and organizations.

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Apply practices to unleash the creativity of your organization. Build capability via coaching and learning.

This journey provides:
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Custom engagement to meet your organization's needs
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2 to 6 month engagement periods based on needs
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Option of working individually or in a small cohort
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One year access to the online community platform
After this journey you will:
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Create the conditions for creativity in your organization
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Discern where teams are in their innovation journey
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Ask the right questions at the right time to enable teams

have questions

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