Our Responsibility To ‘AWE’

This short video gives me that spinal shiver we humans get when ‘awe’ is present. When’s the last time you’ve felt it? What moves you? What draws on your desire to be in life? Who are you not to stand up to what is your own momentum into amazing, incredible, awesome!

We have a ‘responsibility to AWE’.

 

Collaborative Design: Methods for Developing Social Innovation and Social Capital


How does one go about building social innovation and creating social capital?

Creating more grounded transformative work is done by formulating a collective research process that builds shared capacity. If done well, an emerging social system moves itself (self adaptive) into momentous collaborative action. 

CREATING SOCIAL INNOVATION – RESEARCH STAGES

Asking powerful questions within dynamic interactive feedback loops is key to establishing a foundation for the collective to stand on. Some general advice about how to do social research is as follows:

  1. Inquiry: Starting everyone of my questions with ‘open ended’ question words including the 6 ‘W’s: WHY is it this way, WHAT is it exactly, (w)HOW does it work, WHO is involved, WHEN is it enacted, WHERE does it reside or show up. In this way, your research will expand from isolated assumptions into broader understandings and improve data outcomes.
  2. Clustering: The next step is reducing the content you have found by clustering or mapping common synergistic principles or concepts into groupings.This can often be found by creating keyword maps and phrase streams that appear and link across your data.
  3. Synthesizing: The last stage is integrating your results into something meaningful and valued. This happens by testing some of your new gathered insights “with others”. In other words ‘meaningfulness’ is key to a social movement and thereby social action, and this can only occur through interaction and feedback.

These are my 3 stages for developing new insight and interpretation for social innovation. They are based in the understanding of collaborative learning and design.

Next you will need to put your research to the test; not just proving whether it is true or not, but also (and even more important), using your synthesized research to enable social action – a community of practice.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING – TURNING INFORMATION INTO SOCIAL ACTION

A more challenging but (in my view) more fun part of development, is enabling your research into a ‘social performance’ process for creating social capital and social innovation. This is done through 3 phases as follows (note ‘phases’ are different than ‘stages’):

  1. Enabling a Group Intention
  2. Building a Value Network
  3. Experiencing a Community of Practice

Here is the related article that describes these phases, called Social Innovation: a 3-Phase Transformation Process.

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ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING ARTICLES:


The Game Is Up … Preserving Our Soul

Yes, the game is up. And most of us know it, but can not speak to it. So how do we know what to do? What will others do to us if we tell them that we are lost? I will let poet master David Whyte express this point. Listen deeply into the poem and allow personal time for the silence he speaks of to breathe into you. Sit with the mythic images that appear and the voices that speak from stories like this. For it is there we will find our next answers to social innovation issues, as they will not be found where we ‘think’.

Resiliency through Social Innovation – Design for Engagement and Humanization

I wonder why so many design initiatives are so data and information constrained.

What about actual human behavior and how to apply its chaotic nature into rational logistics? Where we need to go to move beyond rational design? How do our relations integrate into information from a design perspective?

Imagine how the concept of ‘resiliency’ ties into an understanding of sustainability through the ‘supply chain’. Imagine reforming our concept of ‘supply’ to eliminate the ‘chain’ but still keep the connection. What, for example, would a fractal supply network look like? A design ecology without the bondage of chains – what would it look like?

How might we build a prototype or model of resiliency based on fractally-scaled micro-feedback loops that don’t break the supply chain in times of crisis, but rather undo links that leave them desiring to be reconnected – they intelligently seek new supply nodes to hook up with. I can foresee this approach would redefine ‘resilience’ to align with ‘opened-intelligent-capacity’. I wonder what the code would look like?

These quick simple video animations and article bring some meaning to three points that I feel are crucial in healthy ‘whole-system’ design, and brings the term ‘social innovation’ to a brighter light: 

1- Irrational response mechanisms in the body – how can we apply them in design?

Inline image 1
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2- Human centered design – rather than data/information centered design

 

Inline image 2

3- Humanizing problems through evolved engagement – design solutions MUST include better ways to increase engagement, even more so than improve the information

Inline image 3

 

Click here for more articles on Social Innovation.

 

How to Facilitate Powerful Generative Team Meetings – Onsite or Online

Improve Group Trainings and Team Design Sessions with Discovery Colabs

The Art of Collaborative Design: Learn how to facilitate more powerful, generative meetings using this collaborative design process.

Discovery Colabs can be either physical or virtual and have nearly the same top level process configuration. However, the online tools used for a physical onsite session are quite different than those used in a virtual online session, which are described in a different presentation. Contact me for more information. 

What is a Discovery Colab?

CoLab-inKNOWvateA Colab is a facilitated group experience specifically designed to create the necessary conditions for intensively creative and productive activity. It can be either physical, virtual, or both.

As implied in the name, Collab-oration refers to a group working together as a unified whole, rich in diversity, celebrating the variation in points of view, experiences, personality types, expertise and work styles.

The Lab-oratory component of Colab refers to an environment where participants can make discoveries and be highly creative. Underlying the entire design of the experience is the intention of creating a community of individuals who will work together as a coordinated whole for achieving a mutually created vision/goal.

The mechanics of a Colab involve a series of facilitated work sessions – all carefully crafted to build one upon the other and to foster intensely productive and creative insights, solutions, plans, etc. The outcome of each work session and, ultimately the outcome of the entire multi-day event, are a direct result of desired outcomes pre-specified by principals and stakeholders.

Benefits from Running Discovery Colabs

  • You will greatly improve and accelerate the quality of your strategic, tactical, and operational aspects of business planning.
  • You will generate a shared company vision rather than one that comes from only executive direction. This will allow you to more easily reach measurable goals because they are founded on common values that the entire team or company has selected.
  • You will broaden your understanding of how to build and innovate within your organization in a more sustainable fashion.
  • You will create a better understanding of what a triple bottom line business looks like, how it operates, and how to profit from it in many ways.
  • A (w)holistic design of your organization will emerge that identifies all of its elements and shape it into a systemic, integrated, architectural whole.

The Primary Ingredients in a Discovery Colab

Below is a general definition of the future ‘scope of work’ that will be included within the actual proposal, to be presented at a later date.

Creating Your Own Colab, Retreat, or Collaborative Meeting – The Basic Steps

  1. Interview core team or primary decision-makers
  2. Establish first level needs and desired outcomes with core team
  3. Create list of stakeholders who will be present, along with commitment levels
  4. Design the Colab™ based on stakeholder list and desired outcomes
  5. Perform the Colab™ itself
  6. Develop a continuum of activities that build on your meeting outcomes.

What Happens Before The Colab?

Critical information that needs to come from the core team:

  • Determine stakeholders, their commitments to the organization and level of participation
  • Create and distribute a survey, used to assess stakeholder relationships and needs
  • Complete an online values assessment (optional)

How much development time does a Colab require?

A typical Colab is structured into three parts – Pre, During, and Post. The ‘Pre’ period is a time for gathering information. The ‘During’ period is the actual Colab event itself. The ‘Post’ period is the time when outcomes turn into delivered activities and is crucial for a Colab’s success. It is often where focus fades and breakdown occurs. The facilitator’s job is just as important during this time. As a rule of thumb, each actual Colab event day requires about two to four man-hour days of development time.

The CoLab Group Experience

The word “Colab” represents two vital aspects of a facilitated group experience:

  1. Laboratory: A place to make discoveries, to uncover important truths, together with those who are your community.
  2. Collaboration: Working together as a unified whole – rich in diversity – celebrating variation in points of view and creativity – all coordinated for achieving a mutually created vision or goal. You will need to:
    • Choose or create a “workspace experience” where things will get done.
    • Facilitate a series of experiences (or work sessions) crafted to build one upon the other that will allow for creative insights, clear plans, and productive solutions to emerge.
    • Recognize that the outcome of each work session, and ultimately the entire multi-day event, is a direct result of pre-specified expectations that you determine collaboratively with company principals and stakeholders.
  3. whatiscolab2.JPGKnowledge capture: We document key information during the Colab event using various content mapping methods to capture the essence of insights and activities that emerge during your CoLab event. These materials will be made available online as an essential resource for post Colab developments (otherwise known as the “Continuum”).

What might a one to three day Colab look like?

  1. Day One (From Passion to Envisioning) – Determine WHY are you are doing this?
    1. Create stakeholder values alignment
    2. Establish a values synthesis to help shape a common vision
    3. Craft an integrated mission with the vision
    4. Use storytelling to develop a company ‘value proposition’

    Outcomes: Core values and vision shared by the organization and stakeholder community

  2. Day Two (From Vision to Goals) – Determine WHAT you want to achieve?
    1. Expand your understanding of Six Point Architecture ™ for purpose of broadening group’s perspective
    2. Go through a second iteration of the first day’s value proposition in light of the Six Point Architecture

    Outcomes: Develop the organization’s highest level goals and how it will be organized

  3. Day Three (From Goals to Actionable Strategy) – Determine HOW you are going to do it?
    1. Develop critical strategic paths
    2. Isolate responsible parties for each discrete project. Determine who does what, when, where, how?

    Outcomes: Timeline of milestones, critical steps, resources needed, and responsible people

Virtual (or online) Portion of a CoLab

Document key information during the Colab event using various content mapping methods to capture the essence of insights and activities that emerge during your Colab event. Make these materials available online as an essential resource for post Colab developments and continuation.

Ensure that the agreements, ideas, discussions, wisdom, knowledge, learning, skills and memories, etc, are preserved in a format that allows for continued development and evolution. The outcomes of the event need to be a web-based synthesis, put into a storybook form, that shows the generation of the Colab including: graphic imagery, all white board notes, group creations, vision and strategic outcomes, and videos and audios of key Colab sessions. Graphic recordings of meeting minutes with real-time graphic representations of discussions, ideas, agreements.

How To Design The Colab Process

  1. Assist in the development of creating a core team. With the core team, interview key stakeholders to determine your desires, requirements, and anticipated outcomes. We can provide you with guidance on how to develop a process that accelerates you toward the achievement of needed action and desired outcomes.
  2. Review your company’s existing documents/content (vision, strategies, stakeholder lists, etc.) looking for specific actions that you’d like to achieve and then incorporate them into the Colab experience so that those projects/actions can be moved forward and even completed. For example, if you need a feasibility study done, make that one of the activities that the collective group creates; right down to the responsible people, milestones, and resources that are needed.
  3. Here are a few essential aspects for consideration while you are crafting your Colab into a customized experience:
    1. Colab logistics
      1. Dates and number of days
      2. Stakeholder enrollment; number of participants what days
      3. Venue: location, overnight needs, pre-event room access, meeting times,bathrooms, parking, catering, handicap access, music, sound, room configuration,chairs, tables, whiteboards (existing, ours), etc.
      4. Anticipated budget required (Colab plus venue, number of days)
      5. Commitment dates
    2. Colab investment objectives
      1. How will you justify cost?
      2. What is the desired return on your investment?
      3. What are the key performance metrics or milestones?
    3. CoLab design principles
      1. Common ground and values
      2. Company identity through storytelling
      3. Triple bottom line perspectives
      4. Harvesting information that informs decision-making
      5. Developing a self sustaining company learning system
      6. Look for innovation via integration of the whole-system

After the Colab … Follow Through!

It is suggested that you get commitment from your group for its ongoing success by setting up customized quarterly reviews, secondary sessions, online collaboration tools, extended organizational and business modeling, coaching, and/or outside council. We will help you design a program that works.

Discovery CoLab Deliverables

whatiscolab1.JPGTo ensure that the agreements, ideas, discussions, wisdom, knowledge, learnings, skills and memories, etc, are preserved in a format that allows for continued development and evolution. Make your event outcomes web-based with the primary objective of synthesizing your work. Going through a synthesis process is where you gain huge results.

Put your outcomes into a storybook form that shows the generation of the CoLab™ including: graphic imagery, all white boards notes, group creations, vision and strategic outcomes; videos and audios of key CoLab™ sessions. Graphic recordings of meeting “minutes” with real-time graphic representations of discussions, ideas, agreements.

What kind of follow up?

Be committed to your ongoing success by providing regular reviews, secondary sessions, online collaboration tools, extended organizational and business modeling, coaching, and council as needed for your team members.

I can teach you how to run your own ‘Discovery Colab’ meetings by having me facilitate your next collaborative design session or team meeting.  

Contact Vic by email for more information.

Remember DiscoveryColabs.com

 

Social Innovation … What is it really?


Social Innovation is the next wave that pushes whole system design to new heights. It goes beyond sustainability by allowing technology, humanity, and environment to synchronously converge within an ecological world society that is more conscious, and more aware of our creative collective impact. It defines how our creations can better fit into a greater whole, thereby sustaining and evolving planetary systems (including ourselves), rather than unraveling and destroying it. 

Social Innovation Review out of Stanford is writing some interesting perspectives on this critical subject. This article, called “Social Innovation From the Inside Out” holds some keys to understanding its potential, which is far beyond how it used today.

  • “… When it comes to innovation, social-purpose organizations face particularly daunting challenges. Social innovation isn’t just about providing new products and new services; it’s about changing the underlying beliefs and relationships that structure the world.”

More on the Role of Social Innovation and it’s Collective Impact from Vic’s blog:

Collaborative Design: Methods for Developing Social Innovation and Social Capital

 

 

The Art of Authentic Leadership

How To Become An Authentic Leader

By Vic Desotelle

Authentic Leadership is for those who
choose to ‘BE change’ as the way to ‘SEE change’

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Authenticity as Prerequisite for Leadership

Today’s growing global problems can not be solved using the same methods that created them in the first place. Thus, we must evolve our approaches toward innovation, including a new eye on leadership. This article addresses leadership from a very different perspective. How do we bring in new forms of technologies, build conscious business paradigms, support social issues, and formulate economies that create well being in our communities?

To create a better world for our children and our children’s children, we need to apply leadership in a new way. ‘Authentic Leadership’ addresses this need. Specifically, it reshapes our way of thinking and collaborating. It helps us to make more choices available to more people, and to make better decisions by using evolved forms of collaboration and individual empowerment. This kind of leadership is what is needed to help us build a sustainable vibrant world society.

Authenticity is the difference between leading and leadership

There is a difference between practicing formulated exercises to create personal change, and experiencing deep transformational change through self awareness. This is done by first empowering yourself as a leader based on your interests, capabilities, and passions, to realize your own unique authentic identity.

Once this is achieved, a shift in personal understanding of leadership will occur. With this shift, comes an evolution in the way you are able to help others realize their own power and their own sense of leadership. Thus, you become a catalyst for change rather than a director of change.

The primary role of an Authentic Leader is to follow change from behind, not direct it from from the front.

That’s right: I said ‘follow’. By following team members and watching for ways to enhance their own ‘yellow brick road’, you inject power into both the individual’s and the group’s journey – one individual at a time, including yourself.

Change carries greater purpose than satisfying our own self imposed ideals that others want to follow. This is not empowering and does not lead others toward their own authority. Realizing this is a big step toward becoming an authentic leader. To do this, the way leadership is viewed has to change:

Rather than placing your leadership in front of others and ‘leading the charge’, you instead follow and keep a watchful eye for the opportunities to ‘catalyze desired change’. This enables change – not through your direction, but by facilitating and empowering those who reveal guiding insights with a passion to act.

Choosing ‘director’ leadership or ‘follower’ leadership says much about how we will affect change.

Director-leadership reinforces old ways and helps to stabilize existing cultural norms, whereas follower-leadership establishes new pathways for culture systems to emerge. Both have their role in evolving a society. However, ‘follower’ lead approach focuses on creating the new by recognizing when old principles, rules, and behaviors don’t work anymore. Unlike ‘director’ leadership, ‘follower’ leadership allows effort to be on creating the new without putting energy on breaking down old norms that no longer serve us.

This actually is the only way real change happens, since killing off the people and systems that serve the old way does not in fact kill off the behavior of that old way. When you look at history, our revolutions, which arise to address needed change, have not really been effective. The same patterns have tended to repeat themselves over and over. To create real change, we must attend to the emerging new, not put energy into eliminating the old.

The ‘Bulls-Eye’ – An Old Metaphor for Leading and Succeeding

Have you seen how the target is so often used as a business metaphor? I do like this metaphor of the arrow hitting the bulls-eye, but for a different reason than you may think. What if, for the authentic leader, it is no longer appropriate to aim for the center of the target? What if your best shot is actually when the arrow lands in the furthest outer ring?

For the authentic leader, viewing situations from a target’s periphery is more powerful than from its center. The edge is a place where you have to be more a part of the interactions with others. You are not at the center of the world for all to adore. The new leader has moved passed his own “me center” needs that satisfy personal ego. Instead respect is gained by risking at the edge. Risking being seen in in the vulnerability of one’s humanity as a person that makes mistakes and is flawed like we all are. The periphery of the target is not as safe as the center. It’s at this periphery, and not the center, where an authentic leader’s true power is realized.

In Leadership Ecology, you want to target the OUTER ring, not the center bulls-eye.

From the outer ring you have a very different perspective on leadership. By placing yourself in the outer ring, you are in the best position to move others into the center, not you. Aiming for this part of the target also challenges your own awareness, and thereby your authenticity as a person. And this is so important as a leader, because people can feel your truth. It is not as hidden as you may think. Most can tell when you are not really coming from your authentic self.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall …

Each of us sees ourselves best by reflecting off of others. In fact, I propose that it’s the ONLY way we can see our true authentic selves. That is, your ability to be truly who you are will become evident once you surround yourself with others who can empathize with your life path and compassionately share with you how they see you. This mirroring concept is core to good a leader’s ability to facilitate others along their path.

It is the authentic leader’s responsibility to be a reflection of you. It must be done in a nonjudgmental way, while at the same time being boldly-truthful – a mirror of ‘you’.

A mirrored message can not be recognized by you until someone actually reflects it back to you, and taking in reflected (mirrored) messages can be difficult. Often, what another says about you triggers the ego’s protection mechanisms. But allow them anyway. Permitting these reflections will help you see through your own forest of day-to-day trials. As you serve others in this way your own leadership qualities and abilities improve and becomes more meaningful. As a mirror, you generate and acknowledge your own insights with others. This process actually becomes a spiritual journey as you enter into your own personal labyrinth toward becoming more aware.

Creating an Ecology of Leadership

When we come to realize our own authentic identity, we move to a place of compassion and empathy for others. Rather than being in the front office, where too often isolated decisions are made, instead your influence radiates out in an attempt to partner with others. You no longer are a director overseeing subordinates, but instead see value in empowering others, helping to shape an empowered network of interactions. A ‘Leadership Ecology’ begins to form.

Evolving an ‘Ecology of Leadership’ is not done by placing yourself at the center of attention, or at the front of the room with everyone’s eyes pointed at you. Rather, it is done by positioning yourself to easily focus on others in the group, not them being focused on you. As we’ve discussed in the bulls-eye model, this comes from a place of guiding from the periphery, rather than directing from the center or the front office.

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.

Authentic Leadership is Collaborative?

Once you get comfortable with this new perspective, your actions and your direction of others, will come from a different place – an empathic place, which is the first step in empowering others to their own leadership. This is what ‘authentic leadership’ is all about. It’s this kind of leadership that empowers others into their own leadership. It marks the beginning your organization moving toward new forms of collaboration that create unexpected, even disruptive innovation that is built on a foundation of group empowerment – a collaborative leadership.

Each One’s Uniqueness Revealed

Each one of us is unique, and too often our one-of-a-kind identities do not reveal themselves through traditional coaching or mentoring methods. Leadership consulting and coaching process formulas only work to a point. How do we address that part of our personality that is not just about creating goals, strategies, and tasks to perform more efficiently? Our business-oriented activities too often cloak who we really are – our inner personal truths.

Our inner truths and beliefs are the real drivers behind all choices we make in our external life.

Once you reveal and own your inner truth, your true identity is revealed. Now the whole world will look different. Your choices and actions change as well. In your full authentic self, you become a more balanced self-realized leader of others. And it starts with the others reflections so that you can see inside yourself and then emanate true power; true leadership.

Entering the Labyrinth of Authentic Leadership

Entering the labyrinth of authentic leadership can rarely be done without having others involved in your awakening process. It also can not be done by merely understanding the concept. To really grok its value, and to see authentic transformation, this kind of work must be experienced in the day to day trials of your life. You must actually walk through the labyrinth of your own making, not just think about it. This often starts with a coach or mentor – someone who can support you as you move toward the root of personal insight. Insights that will include valuable tools for using on the job. Such as, becoming more clear about situational problems, the ability to recognize employee character behaviors, understanding resulting decisions that they make, and how to help each other evolve into the creation of collaborative solutions.

Realizing our authentic self is the true power source of all good leaders … Once obtained, they give it away freely.

You will also become skilled at both offering and receiving acknowledgment – from a place that goes beyond selfish ego. These are all unique and personal experiences to you and you alone. As you to awaken to a more authentic self, a personal transformational change will emerge from within you that affects not just you, but those around you as well.

A New Understanding of Leadership – Listen Up!

We are moving into a new understanding leadership and management that are no longer only about reaching targeted goals and objectives. Sure these are important, but they are less significant than the need for ‘authentic leadership’.

To understand what it means to be a leader today, we must be retaught and move away from traditional methods. You will not find absolute formulas or rigid processes for building on prescribed objectives.

Although sometimes useful, authentic practices tend to stay away from prescribed rational formulas and instead rely on a blending of your own and others intuitive instincts. The greatest challenge is learning to use your instinctual senses to listen deeply into yourself, as well as into others. Do not make your primary motive for listening to direct what you hear another say and direct them toward action. No. Instead listening is done guide through reflection, helping another to see their own aha’s. This is ‘empowerment’, which is the primary measure for how well authentic leaders are applying themselves.

Reevaluating Your Expectations

This is the first step toward becoming an evolved leader – an authentic leader, is to reevaluate your expectations. What are your true objectives and plans, based on your hidden personal motives? This can not be done alone. But done in a safe, nonjudgmental container, groups can work and learn together how to realize a deeper sense of self. By supporting each other, we reveal things that bring profound insight to who you are and how you perceive the world. Beyond that, your ability to support your team, family, or organization becomes more trusting and more meaningful. This is true leadership. Expectations in your role as leader have changed. Now you are moving toward an ‘authentic leadership’.

Imagine Leading and Being Lead in an Authentic Way

What would it mean for your team’s productivity and success if you acted as their mentor or coach, rather than as their manager or director? What if you shifted your ‘I’m in charge’ thinking, to enabling their charge?

What would happen if you shift your motivation from being an ‘authoritative director’ to being an ‘authentic leader’?

Start aiming at the outer ring of the target instead of the center, and watch what happens.

Written By Vic Desotelle VicDesotelle.com EMAIL VIC

A Six-Point Architecture For Mapping Next-Generation Innovation

A deeper Learning conversation has emerged that we believe will help designers of companies, technologies, and communities, to develop new forms of offerings that are more appropriate for a conscious global culture. These conversations are the result of a new framework for organizing ourselves, where our activities now relate to what we call a Regenerative Commerce system. One that provides a balance of Equitable, Ecological, and Economical products and services to our global communities – otherwise known as the triple bottom line. Just as sustainability is defined in many different ways, these so-called 3E’s are also described and used in many different ways:

Six Point Architecture: Mapping Next-Generation Innovation
Six Point Architecture: Mapping Next-Generation Innovation

Ecology for example, is often used as another word for ‘environment’ when actually the word means interdependency of systems. It’s really an activity; a verb or adjective and not a noun. Even the related word “environment” is seen as a thing separate from the human condition rather than intimately apart of who we are. Its definition actually means: The complex of social and cultural conditions affecting the “nature” of individuals and their communities, both human and non-human.

Similarly, Equity is often categorized with the idea of justice and human rights. This may be true, but when the word is studied a bit further, it actually relates to our notion of ‘choices’. The word equity means the ability for a community to offer diverse choices to its stakeholders and community members. It depends on those members having the know-how and ability to accept the responsibility of making healthier choices from a broader framework of understanding and questioning. Choices that can sustain, not only the individuals doing the choosing, but also enhance the well-being of the greater community.

The fourth ‘E’ is Economy, which is also often used as a same-as replacement for the word money. However, it actually has nothing to do with money directly. The dictionary’s definition says it means ‘management of home or place’, where that place can be a colony, a forest, a company, a city, a nation, a planet, etc. Most important: It is NOT another word for finance or money!

TripleBottomLineIconNext is Values, which is the inter-relationship between these 3E’s. This is what makes up a measurable system for exchanging money. Money is merely the symbol for the actions of exchange that occur between people as a result of seeing the whole system’s inter-dependencies (ecology), system relationships (equity), and system management (economy). I like to use a dollar sign with three lines to help identify the difference between a single unsustainable system and a triple bottom line, which represents a regenerative commerce system that can sustain the evolution of the emerging global society.

Finally comes Decision-Making, which is really an outcome that occurs when the above five points are considered interdependently. Decisions are the choices that we make, and they occur every moment of our day. In organizations, I propose that there is a problem with the decision-making process because of an overly hierarchical structure (See concentrix management for a better system to make decisions.) Way too often, decisions end up getting made at the top of this management pyramid without folks really having a full encompassing perspective (i.e. multiple view points). Not only is there not enough requests for stakeholder insights, but the decision-making model that is used is too limiting to be able to take in an extended set of data. This data is what eventually ends up becoming a product or service that moves into the global social-environmental-economic system. For example, if we were using something like a six-point decision-making process as described here, do you think the tail pipe on an automobile would have gotten past the drawing board?

More on ‘decision-making’ later. Keep watch at Discovery Fuel’s sustainable innovation blog via RSS feed.

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Extended Definitions

* Learning: A way of practice that “pre-forms” required changes in performance, resonant feedback loops from one to the other
* Values: Expression of the essence of an organization; the DNA core underlying all activities and behavior, transparently effects all resulting missions, goals, strategies, and provisions, links from ‘mythology’ (inner) to “value proposition”(outer)
* Economy: Management of place (not management of ‘money’)
* Ecology: Inter-relationships of place (does not mean ‘environment’)
* Equity: Choices made available within a place (does not mean ‘equality’) Place’: is relative to your conversation and focus. It can be an organization, a home, a city, a region, a nation, a planet
* Economic Vitality-System Management: Defining and managing our regional economic structure so that balanced, healthier, wealthier communities can be realized within an emerging global market and society.
* Ecological Stewardship-System Dependencies: Recognizing our interdependence on all life systems. Generating greater respect and care for our environments, their use, and our relationship with Earth’­s life systems.
* Social Equity-System Relationships: Realizing the benefit of different status and capabilities. Understanding how individual diversity and collective community coexists. Empowering people to responsibility through leadership that creates choices for individuals that allow for healthy, more whole communities to emerge.
* Equitability: The development of a learning community of professionals committed to global transmutation – where development of a diverse set of choices (which inherently generate interest-based responsibilities) is seen as an essential ingredient for the larger system’s survival and vitality (i.e., chaordic innovation).
* Economical: Development of a micro-system of participants choosing to manage themselves and their organization with a broader comprehension of its participation within a larger organism – planetary, cosmic.
* Ecological: Design processes that flow with Nature’s (universal) emergent tendencies; where cyclic feed-forward and feed-back looping occurs in ways that create integration and inter-reliance on every other sub-system within a greater whole.

Changing Normal: Wisdom-based Societies in the Making

 

Click Here To Join The Changing Normal Meetup Group.

WHAT IS CHANGING NORMAL?

Rappoport addresses the idea of what NORMAL is in his articles. He speaks to each individual having the ability to create realities, and how our essential creative nature for doing this is being suppressed. [Caution: His writings are not for minds whose belief systems are easily threatened!]

WHAT IS A CULTURAL MYTHOLOGY?

The work of “Changing Normal” is founded on the dream of a new mythology arising. One that is globally aware, and speaks to the magnificence of our individual and collective manifesting potential. 

Each person’s true Identity can get suppressed by an unconsciously arising shared belief system. This is when myth takes on negative connotations. However, once an individual awakens to the myth-making method, each holds the power to become creators of grand new worlds. This can not be done until one’s ego is transformed to align with both personal and shared realities. 

A cultural mythology arises when individual messages inform group thought (mind), expressed through metaphorical (emotion), and transferred through a collectively connected medium (body). This is how our shared reality is created, controlled, and sustained. 

WHOLE SYSTEM COMMUNITIES THROUGH MYTHIC DESIGN

Culture change happens as a conscious co-creative emergent process. Below I describe my vision for an online community that I am creating called ‘Changing Normal’. A collaborative process for designing and developing a more livable and sustainable future using an open flexible framework called ‘community domains’ (see slides below), providing a comprehensive approach for building real-life communities designed with the whole system in mind. Participants will be invited to use the changing normal environment to share their talents, unique creativity, and passion with others. The long term goal is to transfer each person’s creativity into real-life formations and healthier more sustainable communities worldwide. 

Linking Cultural Misfits with Changing Normal

Additional considerations under way to discuss how the (so-called) crazed “Cultural Misfit” plays a role in transforming an insane world that is requesting healing and transformation. 

YOUTUBE VIDEOS Uploaded on Apr 10, 2009
 
CN 040909 Part One
CN 040909 Part Two
CN 040909 Part Three

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TOOLS & FRAMEWORKS FOR CHANGING NORMAL

Click once on the moving pages below to stop pages from changing. Click links on pages to access more details.

Click once on the moving pages above to stop pages from changing. Click links on pages to access more details. 

social innovation, collaborative design, design ecology

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Recycling is a Joke without a Bigger Plan in Mind

Recycling – how effective is it really?

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There so many efforts, articles, and statistics that address both sides of the recycling equation, such as this article on recycling and the water bottle industry.
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To my point however, the nonlinear increase in production of things like plastic bottles, far excedes the ability to recycle them, due to lack of creating economic constraints to buy the recycled stuff back.
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Additionally, most recycled plastics do not get returned to the front end of the industries for its re-use, such as water bottles as they describe in the article.
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My mission is to get people and cities and nations thinking beyond end-of-use recycling to FULL CYCLE, or cradle to cradle, integrated design solutions relating to the making and use of a product. This is the ONLY way we are going to get ourselves out of the mess we’ve made.
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This effort means designing ‘whole-system’ solutions that include efforts which enforce companies who make a product to bring it back into their product-making processes. Be it a bottle or a cell phone, etc, all products are to be returned to the factory where they were made for incorporation back into new product production streams.
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closedloopmetabolicsystem
Until then, I stand that recycling can never catch up to production, and is a false promise in our attempt to ‘save the environment’, let alone ourselves. Especially within a world where the population growth, and thereby ever increasing product demand, have gone non-linear.
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* See my metabolic closed-loop system diagram to stimulate your ideas on how to create a (w)holistic recycling system. This is the model that needs to become the standard for sustainable corporate product design and development.
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More from my blog on this subject.

 

Social Innovation: A Three Phase Transformation Process

I often like to dabble in the abstract. There, I am taken to transitory state that help me feel closer to the Creative Source. For example: below consists of two intertwined trinity models, of which I like to play with when considering the architecture of ‘whole systems’. These models help us to both ‘look at’ and ‘participate in’ (w)holistically oriented organizations and communities: “structure-pattern-process” and “principle-practice-policy“.

Note the principle of ‘three’ shows up in my work a lot, because I believe it helps us to expand our consciousness, while at the same time providing a simple framework to contain the complex nature of creativity and innovation. You will see more discussions relating to these concepts from me over time. Let me know what comes up for you when you read through it. For now, soak your mind on this draft concept and see what comes up for you …

Transformation (deep innovation) occurs through a three phase evolution:

I’ve been thinking about the potential for progressing toward a global mind: My experiences with group emergence have noted that a majority of efforts collapse before the desire is sustained and self-propelled; a progression toward the vision that initiated the group in the first place. I propose the reason for this is that there is only a one or two level strategic plan in place made up of immediate context without the anticipation of collective content; a synthesis from which the incredible happens.

What if we instead provide a guiding framework that allows group migration into deeper forms of connection with each other? Eventually this connection moves into behavioral forms of change and action. I believe this can be done using a 3-phase framework for processing together; thereby allowing a group to consciously see itself go through deep transformation. This would mean for each phase of processing together, there is a SYNTHESIS of its content – a summarizing of what has been done. This would occur as a part of all three phases; thereby generating a thread of synthesis that allows for FRACTAL integration.

These three phases are as follows, which can be noted in the 8-gate group alignment map diagram:

Click To View Map

1- Establishing Group Intention:
This phase’s nature is chaotic. It is expressed by conversations of desire and passion which drive an unfolding *PROCESS*. A focus on creating +PRINCIPLES+ based on diverse values, which opens of new level of awareness; thereby setting the stage for a loosening of existing physical *structure* and allowing change to occur. Vibrational activity is dissonant (unconscious) and non-geometric.

2- Building a Value Network:
This phase’s nature moves from chaotic to chaordic. It is expressed by individuals linking and clustering around collective ideas – a virtual *STRUCTURE* emerges. A focus on creating +PRACTICES+ sets the stage for individual changes in behavior and an early forming of group identity to occur. Vibrational activity is recognizable (awakening consciousness) but not stable.

3- Experiencing a Community of Practice:
This phase’s nature moves from chaordic into order. It is expressed by the emergence of community (collective) identity PATTERNS to be realized and an acceptance of participatory-oriented activities are in place. A focus on creating +POLICY+ is empasized; thereby a change of governance occurs.

Go here for more on the relationships between Principle, Practice, and Policy. Also review my other blog articles for more information how we can build the next generation society based on understanding the principles of social innovation, sustainable innovation, leadership ecology, global mythology, and collaborative design.

Vic Desotelle

MarCom as a Bridging Agent to Healthy Companies and Society?

WHAT IS MARCOM AND HOW IS IT CHANGING?

OLD DEFINITION: (wikipedia)

Marcom is targeted interaction with customers and prospects using one or more media, such as direct mail, newspapers and magazines, television, radio, billboards, telemarketing, and the Internet. A marketing communications campaign may use a single approach, but more frequently combines several.

NEW DEFINITION: (vic’s)

Marcom is a complex set of interactions that uses a variety of mediums to share a message, which attracts interest and builds awareness through meaningful interactions and conversations.

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PARADIGM SHIFT:

* The basis for MarCom today is connection and meaning, not presentation and message.
* To establish market presence, MarCom must learn to be present with its market.
* This can be done by shifting its perspectives …

FROM capturing an audience TO unfolding community engagement

FROM presenting elevator pitches TO building a story to tell

FROM one directional advertising TO interactive conversations

FROM posting social media content TO finding meaningful social context

FROM creating brand recognition TO aligning with revealed identification

FROM developing targeted markets TO delivering personalized value

FROM structured communications TO fluid shared knowledge

FROM mono-static presentations TO multidimensional dynamic information

FROM isolated media teams TO integrated communities of practice

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CHANGING THE MARCOM MINDSET

MarCom experts today are no longer just those who are savvy in marketing techniques and communication infrastructures. They must also be aligned with how to enable meaning and metaphor from message, as well. This can not be done in the traditional way. Instead, they must be liaisons between people, not just ideas, as well as artists of the message that is based on a collective morphing of insights that emerge through shared conversation.

A MarCom agent must now also be able to connect deeply into the engagements of company and customer, where open inquiry and questions, not surveys and assessments, are primary tools for becoming informed of both customer need and company capability. Through ongoing engagements, meaningfulness emerges, creating the link between business opportunity and customer selection and satisfaction.

As a result, I believe that the old advertising agency, which is still afixed in our minds when thinking about ‘Marketing and Communications’ (MarCom), is evolving into a vehicle for healthy transformation and change beyond self representation. Thus making room for a world-wide awakening within corporate, company, and organizational, business systems.

Kinda cool right? What do you think?

 

Building a Sustainable Enterprise: Considerations for Effective Application

Sustainable Innovation Through Whole System Design

My experience has taught me that the design and application of sustainability requires a ‘whole-systems’ approach. It requires ability for team members to work while recognizing multi-system interdependency’s called a ‘Design Ecology’. For example, although energy is a critical touch-point for effective implementation of sustainability, the impact on other aspects of enterprise becomes systemic and dynamic. This means that, when a new energy solution is applied, its impact goes beyond technical and economic. It also creates a slow, dramatic change in culture within the enterprise. This includes infrastructure, employee environments, work processes, alteration of products and services, and so on. Thus, plans to implement a green energy solution are built into a design ecology; one that also considers time lag influences across all realms of the enterprise – the whole system.

To ensure operations are as sustainable as possible, the implementation of innovative technologies and green business practices are to be linked to the core values of the company. The sustainability team becomes facilitators of these values as they move through the organization and become guiding principles. These then eventually become the organization’s value proposition, the key statement that interfaces the company with its customers and suppliers.

Conceiving a Sustainable Learning Organization

To continue on the energy example, the selected energy solution’s impact on the supply chain and stakeholders is not trivial. To ensure long-term efficacy of a chosen sustainable innovation throughout the organization, all product teams and associated vendors need to be educated and interacted with in ways that positively affect, not just company operations, but the vendor’s operations and commerce as well. In other words, long term the project goes beyond company influence to create a ‘regenerative commerce’ self-sustaining system that is based on shifts in awareness, attention, and commitment. It is important to note that, in order to sustain the movement, it is crucial that your enterprise sets the right tone in the early years (i.e. now), because that tone generates an identity pattern, which continues to ring ongoing throughout the expanding movement. These tones have arisen through humanity’s time on this planet. Tones that positively affect the human situation, as well as other life on this planet, have only been effective when people are committed to acting as a learning community, rather than as members of a corporate or educational institution as it is defined and implemented today. The differences are dramatic, and knowing these differences will make or break the success of sustainability at large.

A model called ‘‘ (see diagram) can be used as a baseline for analyzing, selecting, implementing, and monitoring sustainable applications and their efficacy in terms of technical performance, company implementation, supply chain impact, planetary health, and social well-being. This simple map has broad implications and can be incorporated into the overall sustainability plan by riding its feedback loops, which are the legs that build knowledge capacity into the whole of the system.

Formulating Dynamic Feedback – Sustainability Reporting

The sustainability plan’s objectives can be created by back-casting visionary solutions based on desired (rather than anticipated) outcomes. This description becomes the front end to a larger strategic plan, which today is a method known as sustainability reporting, which becomes the guiding vehicle for monitoring and sharing sustainability directives and applications within and outside of the enterprise. Otherwise known as a sustainability report, this document is not static, but rather becomes a dynamic tool that guides all aspects of a comprehensive sustainability solution. Furthermore, the report acts as a relationship-building vehicle that shapes the connections, which make up the design ecology.

Incorporating Meaning through Collaborative Design

To do this, a sustainability report is not created by any one individual, or even by the sustainability team on its own. Instead it is created using a ‘collaborative design’ process that brings together numerous stakeholders who are directly and indirectly impacted by the company sustainability strategy. The collaboration gets staff and stakeholders involved in the innovation process, thereby creating ownership and thus increasing sustainability over time. This collaborative process helps to devise new ways to determine and incorporate sustainable innovations and may include unexpected outcomes, such as new products and services that help staff, suppliers, and users to be more sustainable, as well as improve the company’s bottom line.

Furthermore, the team will need to work closely with (and across) all other enterprise divisions, including marketing, engineering, procurement, and executive management. This is the way to building strong, compelling cases that are values-based and come from the company as a whole community. High impact programs that align stakeholders with your overall business strategies will increase the potential for sustainability solutions to ‘sustain’ themselves.

Sustained Success through Phased Implementation

A phased plan for implementation for all solutions should be used that includes comparative proto-typing, sequential benchmarking, and business/technology incubation techniques, so that best-of-breed solutions are brought in and effectively and appropriately moved into real applications. This, I have found, is an outcome of the collaborative design process, where technical design is only one part of an overall plan that considers these other factors. Other outcomes of this collaboration process are a blend of visionary principles that guide the actions of the company, as well as a tangible strategy that can be implemented world-wide across company divisions, market sectors, supplier networks, and consumer communities that are affected by the enterprise’s influence. The key here is to design in broad participation so that learning becomes meaning, meaning becomes desire, and desire becomes the juice that sustains the movement, even when challenges arise.

Increasing Value to Sustainability Teams

My extensive experience with designing and facilitating stakeholder-based collaborative design processes like these is a key value-add that I will bring to the team. As a member of your Sustainability Team, I can be relied on to be responsible for collaboratively defining, evaluating, advocating, and implementing triple-bottom-line solutions that integrate environmental, social, and economic impacts across the enterprise, it’s supply chain, users, and the world at large. My ability to work cross-functionally allows me to interconnect my efforts on renewable energy projects, while also developing sustainable business solutions that can be scaled from internal applications to outside the company beyond its reach. Plus my background in technology positions me to comprehend and design solutions that require an understanding of design process that incorporates my extensive analytical and problem solving skills. Experiences that encompass my sustainability background include the development of organizational strategies and frameworks that are based in sustainability and sustainable innovation, and working with both startup and traditional sustainable-oriented organizations including clean energy companies. All of which will help me to identify innovative, clean, efficient technologies that can be deployed within company operations.

Fractal Scaling Social Innovation – Alignment with Fractal Brain Studies

The Fractal Nature of Nature

There has been talk within my Facebook ‘Social Innovation’ groups to figure out a way to scale it for growth. I proposed that we can not apply the same methods to social innovation as we have for all our other forms of innovation, as that would backlash and bring down the potential breakthroughs that SI are beginning to tap into.

The idea of ‘fractal scaling’ popped out of my brain and I’ve decided to pursue a study of its potential for us to transform our thinking and actions around social innovation. Sometimes doors open when you put a stake in the ground: Last night I finally watched a presentation that I’ve been wanting to get to forever called “2012 & the Fractal Brain Theory” where neuroscience thinker, Wai H. Tsang presents a revolutionary Fractal Theory of Brain, Mind & Consciousness that could fundamentally alter the course of human(e) progress. This is holy grail stuff.

In the video, Wai correlates new research on the brain that shows how its complexity emerges from fundamental simplicity and links it to fractal math, then eloquently takes the whole subject into a journey of spiritual awareness! Excellent. These are the kinds of people out there that I want to hang with, as his synthesis speaks of a new paradigm that is founded in ancient truths … fractal.

Moving Back into the Sacred

From this work, I believe that we will find the scaling of anything (everything?) may end up correlating with Fractal Brain Theory. If we are to innovate ourselves out of the destructive box we’re in, we will have to paradoxically enter deep into ourselves – only to find that we ‘are’ the Universe.

Sound familiar? God is within us? All is one? And all that sort? Now our technology has reached a point in its fronteer that suggest undeniable connections between spirituality and science. A sort of bounded ball of inter-twine.

The outcome is revering our creation of technology as a Sacred Act. What would our world be like from this frame of mind? How wonderful. From this work, I propose that a model of ‘fractal’ scaling for social innovation may be just what the doctor ordered, and will emerge a few of us addressing what is being presented in Wai’s video below.

It seems that complexity truly is the offspring of simplicity. And from simplicity, breeds complexity. The fractal cycle of matter, and ‘what’ matters, in this world. The future of innovation and our social wellbeing will be founded upon this universal condition.

2012 & the Fractal Brain Theory from Paradigm Shift Productions Ltd on Vimeo

The Dirty Little Secret About Sustainability

With all the growing commitment to green, is sustainability actually happening?  

quick_draw_rattle_shake_by_blackrhinoranger-d6qkqhlAs an advocate for sustainability for many years, I sincerely want to know what you think. My goal here is to rattle things up a bit. To shake and stir us sustainability advocates into sharing what I believe is a silent voice regarding its future. 

On our way to where? …

Consider the statistics in the video presentation and then please share with me – Are we on our way toward sustainability? Maybe the survey statistics are not correct – that 2/3’s of all CEO surveyed don’t see today’s sustainability efforts as solving the growing problems we face.

He mentions incremental vs transformational change …

So far, it seems we are spending most our time with ‘incremental’ rather than ‘transformational’. These are very different animals; are they not? Why would one work and the other fail?

Social and environmental systems should be showing more signs of improvement … 

Yet the crisis in both cases is still getting worse.  Are we at a place along this journey where we need to reconsider that SUSTAINABILITY MAY NOT BE ON THE RIGHT PATH? 

Maybe it’s time we touch on truths that we do not wish to address … 

Uncomfortable as it may be, are we denying what is really happening and avoiding looking at the bigger picture? How can we bring these statistics to the front of the room and talk about fears we have about our ongoing efforts? How do we step up to a deeper level of responsibility regarding our direction?

From my view, it’s time we shake out the dirty little secret about sustainability (as stated in the video) and rattle things up a bit as a collective.

Please share your thoughts … 

What do you have to say about what is said in the video? Might you be in agreement with my own conclusion, that sustainability is failing? Or not? If no, tell me why. If yes, what do we need to do to turn things around?