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. 


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.


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.



Silence is a cancer that grows – from enslaved thinking.

No more silence.

Use your voices and speak up for what is right; for yourself, and for the people.

What do you have to say?!

Allow no logic, no mindfulness, no model, NO CHAINED THINKING …

Let nothing get in the way of speaking up now!

What do you know? What do you feel?

What is deep in you screaming to get out?

What do you have to say?!

There can be no deep impact, no change, without your voice.

Speak it now. Allow someone to hear you.

Speak it now!

Collaboration "IS" the New Government

Imagine a new way of thinking regarding what government is … 

Rather than government being the provider of fixes, it instead becomes a convener of stakeholders, thereby allowing ‘we the people’ to generate our own solutions, which is how a real democracy should be. This shifts our system from a STATIC governMENT institution into a DYNAMIC ‘governANCE’ system. We go from rigid structure to flowing process. The governing body becomes a manager (or governor) of the ecology of interactions that happen by the people. Collaboration then, becomes the vehicle that acts as the governor, as it enables the flow of action and change. In this way, collaboration and governance become synonymous. 

Watch this youtube on collaboration as government …

We no longer have to wait for government to get on board to see a change we want. Instead the governing body builds an infrastructure that allows connection and decision-making to happen. Decisions are no longer made by government. Instead they are made by us (we the people) and government merely create the tools and processes (many now will be via the internet) that allow everyone to have more access to both the learning and decision-making process. This becomes a healthier form of control.

The relationship between Principle, Practice, and Policy

principle practice policy
Click for relationship to sustainability

Rather than government directing and making the decisions, it instead becomes an enabler or ‘governor’, as it was meant to be, by acting as policy makers, but with a different understanding of the meaning of ‘policy’. Government monitors rather than polices collaboration outcomes that publicly occur through induced design. Government evolves along with the society by being inter-twined within the overall feedback system. They become watchers of the difference between consciously derived guiding principles and the actually applied experiences and practices that occur within a community of practice.

The diagram shows a model of how the interaction between PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES, and POLICIES can help to build a healthy collaboration system. It suggests that an over-focus on any one of these three can not sustain the system, as it must have flow and movement in balance or the system gets clogged or breaks down. Each of the 3 P’s must act interdependently with the other two.

The policy box represents a more evolved government, or in other words, the convener of a dialog between principle, which is generated out of desire, need, vision, and design possibility. Policy is the way to keep healthy FEEDBACK going between the Principle and Practice boxes, in the same way a governing valve acts on a physical pipe – too much or too little puts the system into instability. There has to be balanced flow of energy, materials, ideas, etc. Note that the people inside government (policy) do not make decisions, which is incorrectly being done today. Rather they merely adjust the flow of information and choices that are being made. They do not alter the information or choice-making themselves. Rather, they create and maintain the channels to be ‘flow’ happens in a balanced way. This is a truer term for the term ‘policing’, which comes from policy, and allows for collaboration processes to INFORM the system as a collective. This is a self-generating behavior and occurs via the interactions between the engagement of the people involved within each of the principle, practice, and policy domains.

See THIS LINK for more on Principle Practice Policy configuration.

So, YES … Collaboration “IS” the New Government.

My considerations here are meant to be a starting point for an expanded dialog for considering how to evolve our present republic system into a truer form of democracy, or something beyond that can hold life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness FOR ALL, not just for a few.


The Ecology of Leadership: A Twist on the Idea of Professionalism

In our attempt to be ‘professional’, it seems that our society has become afraid of our own human-ness. Have we lost our sense of how to be with each other in the messiness of our humanity?

I was reading my LinkedIn Groups this morning and came across Mike Smith’s ‘Life Back West’ thoughts on people, teams, organizations, effectiveness and success (thanks Mike!). Now, it may seem that I jump around here a bit, so buckle your seat belt and see if you can stay with me on this …

So, after reading his short blurb on leadership that caught my eye, I went to Mike’s blog planning to oppose what I anticipated would be a description of an old belief system that suggests, if we are professional, our feelings are to be suppressed in the workplace.

Instead, Mike described how his young son has inspired his professional nature to include expression, compassion, and emotion. Having a young boy myself, I can totally relate to how he and I allow each other space for emotional expression. But then, why is it that we are not allowed too much expression at work without being sited as a problem?

leading revelation through chaosIt seems that our society has become afraid of our own human-ness. Have we lost our sense of how to be with each other in the messiness of our humanity? For me, today’s sorely needed emerging leaders can not be likened anymore to the stoic guy on a horse riding off into the sunset after he single-handedly saves the town from Godzilla. Why? Because this guy (usually someone we all aspire to be) rarely shows the kind of emotion that allows for each of us to change ourselves – a collective transformation. Rather, the so-called hero tends to be about eliminating a problem by taking out the people that go with it. This doesn’t work anymore.

What if instead, we began to choose our leaders (at least in part) based on how well they have learned to express their emotions, and how well they exemplify ways to share the messiness of their own humanity, while also being able to hold space for others to do the same?

I propose that we dare ourselves to allow more messiness in the workplace by helping to teach and “lead” groups through spells of negative emotion, rather than try to find ways to avoid or expel it. No more heroes of elimination. The key here is teaching groups or teams to hold space for their peers during their time of need, rather than expect the so-called leader to do it alone. This is known as collective leadership, or an ecology of leadership. And I believe that, using this approach, gold can be found within the mines (minds?) of our organizations, which will generate amazing new forms of innovation. Why? Because the form and function of all innovation is the result of the expression of  the group (or company) who created it. Seems we may have forgotten the fact that companies are made of people, from which products and services are an outcome; and not the other way around?

Daniel Goleman’s talk on TED points to this evolved form of leadership that I speak of here.

It starts with what he calls a ‘human moment’, which are the times when we are paying full attention to the person(s) we are with. He suggests that there is zero correlation between intelligence and the awareness of another (this is known as compassion). Yet we hire our leaders and managers almost completely based on their level of intelligence and rarely rate them based on their ability to express themselves, to show compassion, or their ability hold a group through troubling periods. Why is that?

Also interesting is that he correlates the rapid growth of information to compassion, and it makes sense! Creating this new synergy of perspectives begins to define what I like to call an ‘ecology of leadership’ – a new process of thought and relationship-building. It is an evolved form of collaboration where, as we become more present to the relationships in our lives, it actually helps to form a unified ‘whole’ world that works better, while also increasing personal identity and  individual value at the same time. How cool is that?!

Now, this is a bit of a paradox because our increasing access to information often pulls us away from being present with each other. But we have to remember that both are happening at the same time. What I am trying to suggest is that an ecology of leadership, along with increased awareness of our relationships, is changing the meaning of ‘professionalism’. It is morphing into something completely different than we know it today. In ecological terms, this means that even the concept of “the leader” has lived out it’s time, and we now need to consider what a collective leadership can look like. This evolutionary process will empower each of us, rather than just a mere few of us, and can then be carried into any group dynamics to help generate a deeper form of authenticity, purpose, and meaning within ourselves and our companies.

If your mind is spinning a bit, it suggests that the well goes deep here. I plan to write more about this in my blogging. But for now, let us all reconsider what it means to be a “professional”, and discuss together what kind of “leadership” we want and need in this new, interconnected world of ours.

[ See related content on Authentic Leadership]

Learn more about the author, Vic Desotelle 

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


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’


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

Changing Normal: Wisdom-based Societies in the Making


Click Here To Join The Changing Normal Meetup Group.


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!]


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. 


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



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



Sustainable Innovation Is Impossible Under Today’s Monetary System

Knowledge is power. Truth in Knowledge is Transformative. 

I’m sure I am irritating some of you with my remarks that social capitalism and sustainable business can NOT happen under the existing monetary model, which is now globally applied. I find it interesting that no one has either supported nor refuted this point here.

However, I implore you to consider this as a an extremely important point regarding transformation and real sustainable change. If we wish to create and insert socially responsible innovations into today’s global society, then we ‘must’ also redesign the money system, along with all of our other green, clean, and socially sound cool ideas.

Because money is what ties all of it together and allows for the exchange of those innovations to happen. Since the present monetary system being used for these exchanges is not itself sustainable (even mathematically it is not), then there is no way that any person, organization, or company can insert their genius products or processes into our world without the money system tainting their performance. You may see isolated successes, but if we look closely, we have all seen how 9 out of 10 of even successful inventive endeavors decay over the short or mid term. None of them sustain their power long term. Why? It’s the money.

So, to build a new economy, the money system used must be new as well. It must be invented just like all the other innovations and applied. To do this, we do not have to destroy the existing one. If fact any attempt to do so would cause war and killing like never before seen. No, let’s not go there. Instead a new money system must be built in parallel with the existing world’s money system(s). Then and only then can the amazing creativity and innovations that I see crossing this colorful ‘bridge’ group can actually have a chance of sustainably changing the world for the better.

The first step is to reeducate ourselves on how money actually works, because 99 out of 100 of us have no idea how it works, and in fact believe that it works differently than it really does. This is so dangerous. Knowledge is power right? But ‘truth’ in knowledge is transformative. Watch these two video series below on money and educate yourself on how money really works. They have a U.S. reference, but the money model used here is global, and in fact started in Europe.

After you watch the videos (note it may take a few watches to grock it), I ask: Which of you out there are open to a dialog on the following point:

All higher purpose missions that are inherent in Social Capitalism, Social Innovation, Sustainable Business, Green Technology, and Social Entrepreneurship can not be reached unless the fruit of their labors are exchanged within a new form of money system.  Vic

The History of Money

The Money Masters


Why the Social Innovation Movement is Bound to Fail: It’s The Money Stupid!

For social entrepreneurship to truly take hold, a redesign of the world’s money systems has to be a part of any complete social innovation plan.


We all go around wondering why such bad things happen. Why are so many out of work? Why I can’t make ends meet at the end of the month? How come green technologies rarely seem to reach the marketplace? Why do people do such bad things to other people and the planet? Why is it taking so long for sustainability to get implemented? How come corporations are so manipulative? Why is our government made up of people that none of us trust anymore? … WHY?

Sure there’s those of us doing good things out there. But the overall decay of our ecological and social systems are getting worse, not better. We have to face up to this and recognize that you are not some kind of rambling ‘chicken little’ suggesting that ‘the sky is falling’ to say so. … No this is real. Personally, I may be cynical, but I’m an optimist at heart. And over the years, I have also become a realist, willing to look at what is happening under the covers.


What if there were a source to our world’s major problems and we had the power to change it? Would you do something about it? What if homelessness and all our other major global problems, like pollution and war, were solvable within just a couple of years? What if paradise was actually at our door step? What if it were so palpable that you could almost taste this future? Would you act knowing that you could help and truly make a difference?


Many of these questions fall under the trendy movement called ‘Social Innovation‘ or ‘Social Entrepreneurship‘, among others, which are exciting new realms of positive change that is happening all over the planet. Yet, in order to create this wonderful world, we have to first wake up to an unspoken truth. The bad guys are winning, and they are doing so using a weapon that you and I personally use every single day. Do you know what it is? This weapon is the reason that you and I have little or no power, and are feeling more and more disempowered every day.

It also means however, because it’s in my hands, that I am the person who can help to replace the power back to the people. This is so for each of us …  for you, and you, and you. And unless we come to terms with this unspoken truth and deal with it, many of our social movements – from the Occupy Movement to the use of clean energy technologies, will eventually fail for all but the elite. I believe one third of the world is headed for this ‘elite’ status. The other two thirds will be enslaved to serve those elites without enough to have a happy life themselves; constantly struggling and being over-worked just to make enough for basic survival. Don’t believe it? Look out your window with different eyes. It’s already happening.


Watch the below videos and learn about the weapon each of us wields every day. Drop your denial hats at the door and stay open to what you are about to see. And rather than make vicious remarks in an attempt to deny what you hear, instead begin to ask questions and inquire with each other about what your beliefs are about money and how those beliefs are holding us back from a better world for all, not just a few. Consider what your future role could be in creating a real live sequel to these films.


Now that you know the secret, what are you going to do about it? Anything? I look forward to this important dialog toward change.

The Money Masters Series

The Secret of Oz (sequel)

Money as Debt Series 

Comprehending Money’s Value and Amounts

David Graeber, DEBT: The First 5,000 Years

America From Freedom To Fascism

The producer was murdered after he made this film

Ethos: A powerful new political documentary


97% Owned – Economic Truth documentary

Enough is Enough

All Wars are Bankers’ Wars


Review these other money articles:

The Global 1%: Exposing the Transnational Ruling Class

Our Money or Our Lives? More on the scenes behind the failed system

Let’s build on this video list:
Please add your money videos below under ‘add a comment’.

Our Future and the Mistake We Continue to Make

the mistake we continue to make is about how we learn and make Decisions

Taking action on our future is less about ‘what‘ we know and ‘who‘ is in the room, than it is about ‘how‘ we come together to learn. We’ve had this wrong for a long long time.

Look at the photo below. This is a “climate action” conference. Observe how people in the room are positioned. Notice how one person is actively presenting to a large audience of folks, who are passively listening. The geometry of how they are all lined in rows and focusing on one person is actually how you place people if brain-washing is your goal. I know that seems a bit strong, but it’s actually true when you think about it: One person’s idea being obsorbed by many, with very little or no ability to interact with what they are hearing.

My point is this: The process and configuration that we presently use to learn in groups is the MISTAKE that will continue to drive inappropriate choices and unhealthy decisions about our future.

Instead, conferences, meetings, and gatherings, need to advantage of the collective mind that’s in the room by developing a vibrant, dynamic, life-generating, learning-exchange marketplace. In this learning exchange marketplace, a collaborative design process is used to shape an environment from which relationship-building and information-exchange is enhanced to a very high level. In this marketplace, information is traded and moved toward meaning, using a parallel collaboration process that allows for better choices to be created and thereby better decisions to be made. This process is called a CoLab.

Note the chaotic nature of healthy interaction in this picture


A Colab taps into both a community’s collective emotional state, as well as its co-intelligent capacity, to bring out a diverse head/heart knowledge from people that rarely gets accessed in traditional group sessions. A Colab moves individual agendas into group-mind learning and reasoning by combining story-telling and metaphor-making as a key part of the collaboration process, thereby allowing for the intuitive brain to incorporate what the rational brain can not.

Furthermore, a Colab will transform a stuffy-room full of authoritative egos into a dance-hall of fun-loving folks who are sharing a diversity of ideas, morphing them into a consensus of choices, and turning them into an intelligent, strategic plan that can be rationally assessed and moved toward solution-based action. All this is done in a fraction of the time of traditional approaches (as seen in the picture), with an increased density of content being shared, received, and absorbed more easily by the majority (rather than the minority) of folks in the room. The result of a Colab process is that – rather than folks feeling frustrated, adversarial, and dreading the work ahead, I have found that more people leave feeling charged, accomplished, participants that are ready to act. Now THIS is how to move ourselves into a future that works!

For more on Collaborative Design, see how to create your own Colab.


This is the article that triggered me to write this post …

—— Begin Forwarded Message

Investors Representing $13 Trillion Call for Climate Action Now

NEW YORK, New York, January 14, 2010 (ENS) – The world’s largest investors today issued a statement calling on the United States and other governments to “act now to catalyze development of a low-carbon economy and to attract the vast amount of private capital necessary for such a transformation.”

The U.S., European and Australian investor groups, who together represent $13 trillion in assets, called for “a price on carbon emissions” and “well-designed carbon markets” to provide “a cost-effective way of achieving emissions reductions.”

Investors urge governments to address the risks of climate change. (Photo courtesy Ceres )
The statement was announced at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk, a meeting of 450 global investors at the United Nations that includes U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, billionaire investor George Soros and former Vice President Al Gore.

The investors said while some progress towards a global agreement limiting greenhouse gas emissions was made at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009, “we cannot wait for a global treaty.”

“Policymakers made only incremental progress in Copenhagen, leaving a great deal of work to be done to address the risks that climate change presents to the global economy and to investments,” they said. Anne Stausboll (Photo courtesy CalPERS )

“U.S. leadership is critical in this regard, including U.S. Senate action to limit and put a price on carbon emissions,” Stausboll said.

“What investors need most from national and state legislatures are transparency, longevity and certainty,” said Kevin Parker, global head of Deutsche Asset Management and member of Deutsche Bank’s Group Executive Committee.

“Until the U.S. Congress passes climate regulation, America will be at a competitive disadvantage in the development of renewable energy and other climate change industries,” he said.

The Investor Statement on Catalyzing Investment in a Low-Carbon Economy was endorsed by four groups representing more than 190 investors – the Investor Network on Climate Risk, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, IIGCC, the Investor Group on Climate Change, and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

“Given that Copenhagen was a missed opportunity to create one fully functional international carbon market, it is more important than ever that individual governments implement regional and domestic policy change to stimulate the creation of a low carbon economy,” said Peter Dunsombe, chairman of the IIGCC, a network of European investors.

“Time is of the essence and world leaders from both developed and developing countries need to act now to compensate for the lack of progress at an international level,” he said.

In their statement, the investors observed that the costs of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are “both affordable and significantly lower than the costs of inaction,” but said developing a global low-carbon economy will require “substantially increased levels of investment from the private sector.”

The UNFCCC Secretariat estimates that more than $200 billion in total additional investment capital for mitigation is required each year by 2030 just to return greenhouse gases to their current levels by then.

The International Energy Agency estimates that additional investment of $10.5 trillion is needed globally in just the energy sector from 2010-2030 to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at around 450 parts per million, the investors noted.

Mindy Lubber (Photo courtesy Ceres )
“This equates to roughly 0.1% of the total value of world financial assets and approximately 0.23% of the total value of debt and equity securities, so this is certainly an achievable level of investment – and one that would yield returns in terms of energy savings, energy security, reduced capital expenditures for pollution control, and avoided climate damages,” they said. “But it is also well above current investment levels.”

“As powerful as these investors are, they can’t underwrite a clean energy transformation at the critical scale needed without clear rules only government can provide,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a U.S. coalition of investors and environmental groups, and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk.

“Government policy can make clean energy cost-competitive by leveling the playing field with fossil fuels,” Lubber said. “Only government policy provides the long-term certainty that can turbo-charge private investment in clean energy, address the climate change threat and protect our planet.”

Click here to download the Investor Statement on Catalyzing Investment in a Low-Carbon Economy.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2010. All rights reserved.

—— End of Forwarded Message

Using Fractal Mapping To Build Organizational Inductive Performance

The below map sketches out an applicable model for deepening the capacity, value, and intelligence of an organization’s performance.

It’s impact suggests that non-productivity, or inductive activities are aspects of a company’s behavior that should be nurtured rather than exterminated. Similar to the model for energy, which has both electric and magnetic characteristics, so too should we look at our organizations and acknowledge that people and activities that do not directly impact the production line, are still critically important to the company’s health and thereby its sell-able products and services.

If production correlates to electricity, then induction correlates to magnetism, which are self defining from one to the other. Those that carry the keys to the magnetic state of the organization are found in areas such as a company’s EHS (Environmental Health and Safety) group. The characteristics of these groups tend toward relational, which is opposite of the productivity side of the house, which is informational. Hand in hand informing (I) and relating (R) bring together the electro-magnetic charge of the organization. If done in the correct formula, the combined IR literally brings a company to life.

Today however, many organizations have lost their life or ‘soul’, because I and R are so far out of balance. Growth is often misinterpreted as a company being full of life-giving attributes. Only to find out that, when you speak to the individuals in the organization, it is a wasteland of dismayed people. For a company to run as a whole system, and to actively induce rather than only promote innovation, it must bring its vital charging abilities back in line with its producing capabilities.

Since I have now decreed that my blog postings are to be works in progress, I hope you will pardon my chicken scratch in my sketch below. Hand-to-pen is still the best way for me to initiate insight and move it toward an innovative potential.

By incorporating the below map, a company becomes apart of an “Ecology of Design”, which I have written about in this blog. Now we can begin to build a true commerce ecosystem, done by enabling the other half of the manifest equation, as described above. For more information on how to bring this map to life through real application, see my works on “Colabs” and “Concentrix Management”.

EHS Fractal Relational Map












Occupy Movement’s Underlying Purpose

Occupy’s presence is felt to this day. Seeds that were planted years ago have been germinating, and now breaking ground.


The reason no one could get their arms around the Occupy movement is because it was of principle, not of policy, and not yet a way of practice. Principle is highly intentional and not always tangible in its early stages. When principle moves into action, it looks like an early practicing community.

If we look at systems that are fixed inherently within human(e) discourse, there are those that act in PRACTICE (communities), others by defining POLICY and rules (government), and others guided by PRINCIPLE (emergent organizing structures like the Occupy Movement).

*Principle groups are a bit futuristic, presenting what needs to happen (intentional vision, where we are headed).
*Policy is of the past, it keeps culture in place based on what has happened (lessons learned; where we come from).
*Practice is the activity that we monitor between the two – A feedback that signals when it’s time to realign our principles with practice.

Government will try to rule over principle making groups, attempting to rein them back into the order it oversees. This is it’s job and purpose. However, when the policy making part of this system goes rogue, and thinks it leads over principle, and no longer recognizes its purpose to regulate between principle and practice, it then fails to serve its purpose. At this time, it signals the overall system that it’s time to change our governing body.

The outcome of Occupy is what the signaled us to this occurring. Flagging a time for not just realignment, but systemic change. Including a replacement of the existing governing body.

Watch presentation by Chris Hedges in Seattle Town Hall Meeting about his encouragement on generating the first peaceful revolution as the only way out of humanity’s predicament.

Read recent article called “Occupy Just Won“, which triggered my thoughts herein my post.

Read more on a framework for comprehending applied change.

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?

The Notion of Right and Wrong … is Wrong

The primary principle of innovation is this. It is being able to consider and change our ‘notions’; our so-called facts of our experiences; our factual claims; into something new that goes beyond our own individual reality. The statement of this work is at the foundation of collaboration and discovery. He speaks of science and the evolution of values. Excellent.

Watch this video …

For Those Who Stand in the Arena of Change

May 2014 be the year when the men and women of ‘the arena’ (see below) come together to share our triumphs and struggles, and to celebrate the making of a world that works for all. I wish a to extend to each of you who stand in this very special place, a joyful and transformative New Year.


THE MAN IN THE ARENA by Theodore Roosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


Ethics To Innovation Workshops

Preparing Your Enterprise for an Emerging Global Ethic

Email Vic To Learn More About Onsite and Online Workshops at Your Company

ethicstoinnovationFrom Ethics To Innovation

I have been been training businesses and educational institutions using a unique approach to ethics management. Our ‘Right vs Right’ workshop has been taught at UC Santa Cruz’s Leadership and Management Programs. By incorporating our workshop managers gain a deeper understanding of ethics’ role in their workplace. They also gain essential leadership tools for creating and sustaining a healthy company.

Organizational Ethics – A Conceptual Overview

Today’s troubling business climate requires that organizations have a thorough understanding of ethics so that appropriate decisions can be made when dilemmas arise. But ethics management consists of more than knowing what to do once a problem arises. Appropriate ethical action can only be applied when company managers are committed to leading from an ethical rightness based on values, not just the law. A broader education on ethics can help to reduce legal action by teaching managers how to make clear decisions early in the process.

Click pic for more on principle practice policy


These ethical concepts for company managers to comprehend:

  1. Know why doing the right thing is important as a principle.
  2. Know how to incorporate ethics as part of a daily decision-making practice.
  3. Know what the legal responsibilities of corporate and government policy.

Knowing the ‘why, ‘how’, and ‘what’ of ethics allows managers to:

  • Intuitively respond to principle needs of involved stakeholders [the why].
  • Rationally apply legal policy-correctness to ethical circumstances [the what].
  • Exercise ethics as part of making quality day-to-day decisions, such as hiring employees, or determining the appropriateness of new technologies [the how].

Join our ethical business community at Entrepreneurs for a Better World.

definingmomentsrightvsrightethicsRight vs Right – Ethics for Managers

Based on the book ‘Defining Moments‘ by Joseph Badaracco

Workshop 1


Ever find yourself choosing between corporate and personal values? What process do you employ to approach ethical problems? This interactive workshop will explore ethical decision-making through the views of Joseph Badaracco’s book “Defining Moments”. Multiple perspectives from great thinkers including Aristotle, Machiavelli, and William James will be considered. Participants will learn to make ethical decisions by asking a series of ‘right-versus-right’ (rather than right vs wrong) questions aimed at clarifying ethical dilemmas and making better strategic decisions.

This workshop will help you determine what can be done when ethical activity is in question.

Managers will learn how to:

  • Explore what can be done when confronted with an ethical dilemma.
  • Determine how to make ethical decisions using a non-judgmental, collaborative process.
  • View ethical decision-making from multiple perspectives.

This ‘Right vs Right’ workshop will help your organization be more successful by helping its people make better day-to-day. Whether you are part of a large or small organization, the success of your business now requires that decisions be made based on a larger perspective.

The ‘Right vs. Right’ concept for decision-making will help to:

  1. REVEAL basic values and ethical beliefs held by managers that may be keeping your organization from realizing its optimal place within the global market.
  2. STRENGTHEN managers commitments to the organization and to doing the right thing.
  3. SHAPE their personal character to better match the needs of company stakeholders. As the character of management shifts, so will the character of your organization.

‘Right vs. Right’ practices will help to define a more strategic enterprise that is aligned with today’s global society.


ethicalonionThe Ethical Onion

Ethics are based in personal and collective values, which are buried at the center of the organization.

Outer Skin: Ethical Policy of the Organization relating to Customer and Supply Chain Relations
Inner Layers
: Manager Awareness of Values and Applied Practices
At the Core
: Underlying Cultural Belief Systems & Mythical Assumptions.

conversationcafeCorporate Ethics – A Company Conversation

Workshop 2


I also offer facilitated cafe conversations and other collaborative design solutions relating to ethics through DiscoveryColabs.com. Shift your company’s orientation from ‘passively listening to a presentation’ to ‘actively engaging in a conversation. An organization’s commitment to ethics provides value beyond simply getting employees to do the right thing. By engaging in ethical conversations, a company actually opens doors to new forms of innovation at all levels of the enterprise – from hiring quality staff, to producing better products and services.

The conversation will be focused on three primary influences upon organizational ethics: principles, practices, and policies. We will discuss personal understandings of these terms, how they relate to ethical activity within companies, and how both corporate and individual values play a role in building a balanced ethical practice within enterprise and its implications on innovation.

Ask me for a copy of  my ethics conversation slides and conversation table cards.

Review more of my articles on the link between values, ethics, and leadership.

+ + +

Email Vic To Learn More About
Onsite and Online Workshops at Your Company

Is There an Ecological Unconscious?

I find that this subject is one of the more revealing issues of our time. A place that requires us to reshape our understanding and meaning of ‘environment’. Read this great article on the link between our human psyche and the Earth.


ecologicalunconsciousBy DANIEL B. SMITH
Published: January 27, 2010

The terms in which ecopsychology pursues this admittedly ambitious goal are steeped in the field’s countercultural beginnings. Ecopsychology emerged in the early 1960s, just as the modern environmental movement was gathering strength, when a group of Boston-area graduate students gathered to discuss what they saw as the isolation and malaise infecting modern life. It had another brief period of efflorescence, particularly on the West Coast and among practitioners of alternative therapies, in the early ’90s, when Theodore Roszak, a professor of history (he coined the word “counterculture”) published a manifesto, “The Voice of the Earth,” in which he criticized modern psychology for neglecting the primal bond between man and nature. “Mainstream Western psychology has limited the definition of mental health to the interpersonal context of an urban-industrial society,” he later wrote. “All that lies beyond the citified psyche has seemed of no human relevance — or perhaps too frightening to think about.” Ecopsychology’s eclectic following, which includes therapists, researchers, ecologists and activists, still reflects these earlier foundations. So does its rhetoric. Practitioners are as apt, if not more apt, to cite Native American folk tales as they are empirical data to make their points.

Yet even as it remains committed to its origins, ecopsychology has begun in recent years to enter mainstream academic circles. more …

Our Truths Are Based On Internal Beliefs That Are Too Often Wrong

Here’ an important message to our leaders and decision makers:

Assume that your truths and beliefs are an Illusion.


Consider how our brain works …
Watch what happens to your belief system as you stare at this image.

1-Follow the moving pink dot: What do you see?
2-Look at the middle black cross. Now what do you see?
3-Now star for a few seconds at the black cross. What happens?

This should be proof enough that we don’t always see what we think we see.

If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, the dots will remain only one color, pink. However if you stare at the black ” +” in the centre, the moving dot turns to green. Now, concentrate on the black ” + ” in the centre of the picture. After a short period, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see only a single green dot rotating. It’s amazing how our brain works. There really is no green dot , and the pink ones really don’t disappear.


Social Innovation in Action: Vic Applies for the Bucky Fuller Design Challenge Award

InGENuity Vision And Guiding PrinciplesBuckyFuller Design Science Challenge:

How to shift innovation’s intent from creating intellectual widgets to forming intelligent societies.

I want to share that last week I applied for the Bucky Fuller Challenge Award. Hoping you will wish the inGENuity team and me lots of luck. Learn more at links to the story below. Vic 🙂

Going Beyond the Idea of ‘Conscious Capitalism’

Conscious-CapitalismThe following are my comments to an associate who went to the ‘Conscious Capitalism’ conference.

I anticipated when I reviewed Gil’s notes from the ‘Conscious Capitalism’ Conference, that I would be brought into a state of aggravation. Expecting that the language would point to the same old talk about doing good business, while actually covering up that its not doing ‘good’. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised! I’m so relieved, and quite jazzed, about seeing signs of real change, captured within key phrases that were noted. A shift in the integrity of mind and heart about business and the model of capitalism.

His notes suggest to me that, just maybe, we are finally around the knee of the wake up curve, where many of the speakers seemed to be recognizing the need for a different kind of change in business, that so far has merely been rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

monsterteethWithin the language of his notes, there are signals of a readiness to alter our formula for what business is, how we do it, and why … what it’s real purpose is. While moving away from concepts that have merely cloaked more of the same destructive activity that continues to occur.

I will also be so bold (dare I say?) that I was relieved not to see the word used that has represented a mission we have all adored as our savior for so many years – ‘sustainability’. LOL! Suggesting to me we have to go beyond what it represents in order to achieve it.

Finally, to also see that people were questioning even the conference theme itself (as in the last note) by stating: “Does the phrase ‘conscious capitalism’ further instill the corporation with misplaced personhood?” This is where I hope to see a powerful generative conversation to emerge. Because behind its teeth are answers we’ve been seeking.

A Practical Theory On Leadership & Collaboration – ‘The Shirtless Dancing Guy’

I got this video off of Charles Lemos’ site and was referred to it by Ben Roberts’ Facebook conversation. Derek Sivers gave this presentation at the TED Conference this week and got a standing ovation. It’s pretty brilliant in its takeaway. The video below is a healthy perspective on the collective’s role in leadership, especially the ‘first follower’. Watch how this natural form of taking the lead seeds the beginning of collaboration.

Here’s the transcript, with bold notes made by Charles. Thanks to Charles and Derik. 

If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons:

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow. Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural. Notice he’s calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.

The 2nd follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd and a crowd is news.

A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers, because new followers emulate followers – not the leader.

Now here come 2 more, then 3 more. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point! Now we’ve got a movement!

As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join now. They won’t be ridiculed, they won’t stand out, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry. Over the next minute you’ll see the rest who prefer to be part of the crowd, because eventually they’d be ridiculed for not joining.

And ladies and gentlemen that is how a movement is made! Let’s recap what we learned:

If you are a version of the shirtless dancing guy, all alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals, making everything clearly about the movement, not you.

Be public. Be easy to follow!

But the biggest lesson here – did you catch it?

Leadership is over-glorified.

Yes it started with the shirtless guy, and he’ll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:

It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader.

There is no movement without the first follower.

We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.

Be a follower, join a movement. That’s how change happens.

Communication: Differentiating Debate, Discussion, & Dialogue

debatediscussiondialogueI have been asked to clarify the difference between ‘debates‘, ‘discussions‘, and ‘dialogues‘ (note wikipedia incorrectly clumps discussion into the same definition as ‘debate’). Below is a first attempt at trying to evolve our understanding of these three primary communication processes. I ask for your feedback, and also for your own insights on this matter.

The intent here is to help organizational change processes be more conscious and more effective by becoming aware that how we communicate with each other strongly effects meeting outcomes, as well as how well thsoe outcomes sustain the desired changes.

In short, this is all about how we make conscious decisions that influence positive change. debatediscussiondialogue2

Our world is in dire need of evolved decision-making techniques that can provide us with a better way for sharing and choosing solutions that are healthier for ourselves and the planet. Effective communication is the glue that allows for real, sustained change to happen. Note that communication colors all levels of organizational development, including its methods of leadership, its ability to learn, team work and collaboration, and the sustainability of innovation itself.

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debatediscussiondialogue3DEBATE = Language is manipulated with the intent to cripple other viewpoints (argumentative). Change is hard to come by with this approach. However, it is useful for keeping an existing systems in place. Energy comes from the lizard mechanisms in the brain, which attempt to protect and defend. The person with the most power over another is seen as the best leader. This process is not good for creating change except at conscious predetermined places in the process where challenge generates a different thought process that can bring clarity and assurance on choices that have been made.

debatediscussiondialogue4DISCUSSION = Questioning each other comes from a predisposed positioning (having an agenda). Change is possible but usually can not be sustained due to the process being based on a questioning process that makes each feel someone has to win. Others often loose their identity to consensus. It’s based on a sudo-democracy process whereby everyone unconsciously assumes that there is a best answer, thus only one viewpoint is ultimately chosen. Occasionally discussion moves into dialog, but usually it moves into debate.

debatediscussiondialogue5DIALOG = Collaborative inquiry with an openness to possibilities beyond each others own beliefs and views. Communication about communication happens allowing the creation of a safe environment; a place where the unexpected and insight can happen more freely. Everyone’s viewpoint is allowed whether or not others agree with it. All work to wear the shoes of the one speaking and seek to integrate diversity rather than extract the best answer. It stands for the power of the question is valued more than answers. The challenge for creating change is that too often dialog does not move toward decision-making and action. 

debatediscussiondialogue6TRILOG = Ideally, all three forms of conversation are useful if used in tandem with each other. Dialog is to be used during the early envisioning stages. Discussion during the goals and strategy-making stages, but only at the point when decisions have to be determined. Debate is useful to challenge a new system against an old one. It must be used very consciously however, because otherwise power over can destroy all previous efforts. Dialog should again be used to close a group’s process because it brings us back to our humanity and to what’s most important, which are the relationships. They are as important (or more) than the outcomes generated by the group, for it is what becomes the foundation for sustaining the determined change.

debatediscussiondialogue7About Room Geometry = One final point to make here is this: Be aware of the geometry of the room in which people gather. If shared views are the choice, be sure to stage the room with multiple small circles in mind. If one person’s opinion is to be impressed upon the group, then line up the chairs in straight lines without breaking up the group. I for one almost always choose to use circular geometries because it seems to appease the need for all to feel like they are participants rather than merely receivers of information. A room’s geometry needs to be considered at all levels of a community’s decision-making hierarchy including company meetings, town hall meetings, city council meetings, board rooms, and living room gatherings.

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To bring in more of a trilog approach (with an emphasis on ‘dialogue), use this collaborative design tool during your next meeting: Create a ‘Learning Exchange Markeplace’. For more information, contact Vic Desotelle.




Fukushima Radiation and the End of Life as We Know It

OMG … What have we done to ourselves and our children’s future?!

Most of us think the nightmare of Fukushima’s nuclear power towers is over, but it has only just begun. Do not feed your family Pacific Ocean fish, ever again.

The blindness of our so-called intelligent experts, and the complacency of us as citizens, has now placed humanity in an accelerated breakdown of the planet’s life system. And it is continuing to get worse. Only this time it is affecting not just the environment, but us as well – Human Beings DIRECTLY. Scientists are warning the greatest risk to humanity, right now today, is coming from Fukushima’s fuel pools

Even with the Fukushima nightmare happening, are you aware of how many more nuclear plants are being readied for development right now? Why, after a series of major incidents over the years, do we still continue to allow nuclear energy? Feel the fear of our foolishness – Feel it to your core. Because the upwelling of that fear may be the only thing that can enable us to act out against the horror of nuclear energy. With tears in my eyes I ask you to read more on the data being gathered. Here is a list of 28 signs that prove the U.S. West Coast is getting radiated.

Watch the videos below. You have every right to feel terrified as you watch. Let that fear help us to act on what we can today, not tomorrow. Although it may already be too late for us and for many generations to come, please take the initiative to act. Find ways to STOP putting any more radiation into our world. 


The Link Between Ethics and Innovation

Ethics to Innovation Article

By Vic Desotelle and Michael Kaufman

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Ethics/Innovation Relationship
  • What are Ethics?
  • Forces Creating Managerial Dilemmas (Principle Forces Creating Practical Dilemmas)
  • What is Innovation?
  • Innovative Wholes and Inventive Systems (Fractal Wholes vs Fractured Parts)
  • The Emerging Global Ethic
  • Innovation through Ethical Tension
  • Sustainability: Bridge from Ethics to Innovation
  • The New Innovation Strategy
  • Architecting a Regenerative Commerce
  • Conclusion


Ethics to Innovation




In today’s business climate there are several forces intersecting in such a way as to create a tension that puts business executives, managers and employees into situations where they face an ethical dilemma. This dilemma could be summarized by the following question:

How do we do the right thing while at the same time balance the needs of all our stakeholders (investors, employees, customers and suppliers)? What is the right thing to do?

The recent events involving Enron, MCI/Worldcom, Global Crossing, Quest, Arther Andersen, and Tyco, (to name just a few) are examples of the negative consequences of actions taken by executives that face this dilemma.

These actions and the resulting surge of policies and public outcry to rebuild the faith in business and business people have created the conditions for what we call an emerging global ethic. This white paper explores the concept of this emerging global business ethic and the link between this ethic and innovation.

Forces Creating the Dilemma
The forces at work to create this dilemma are:

• an increasing quality of life,
• the transformation of organizational cultures,
• the limits of a hierarchic model
• increasing external competitive forces, and
• the short-term demands of Wall Street

Over the past 20 years, a large strata of western society has experienced an increase in personal wealth and an improvement in the quality of life (even though average incomes have remained basically constant during that period). Abraham Maslow pointed out in his hierarchy of needs (in the 1960’s), as people have their basic needs for food, shelter and clothing met they will tend to move up this hierarchy people feel safe, the quality of life improves and people have a tendency to feel the need for belonging and mastery of a task and ultimately the desire to be ‘all they can possibly be’

During this same period of time, businesses have been under-going a slow transformation that reflects this rise up the hierarchy of needs by executives and management. Simply put, for many businesses this transformation translates into a desire to bring the corporate mission in-line with the personal needs and values of the practitioners of the business.

This transformation, while desire-able and necessary for the enterprise to support the individual in achieving self-actualization, has a tendency to bump into the operating model of the organization. Most businesses (most organizations) in the west have been structured using a hierarchic organizational model, which, at its essence, uses the underlying operating principles of command and control to influence behavior. The command and control model of organizing conflicts with the rise up the hierarchy of needs and creates an internal organizational pressure that needs to be resolved in some way.

At the same time companies are experiencing tremendous pressures from the marketplace. Competition is increasing constantly and the pressure from Wall Street on public companies for short-term results to produce quarterly numbers (a short-term focus) is immense. Combine this internal organizational pressure with these external pressures and we find ourselves in a business environment where ethical dilemmas are plentiful.

What is Ethics?
Ethics and their underlying values are core beliefs which develop a person’s character and shape their actions. Most often these underlying beliefs are unconscious, unseen and unknown by the individual but make themselves known through their actions. An individual’s ethics and underlying beliefs come from their upbringing and are influenced significantly by their socialization (school, work, church, community, nation, etc.).

Individuals have ethics. Organizations have cultures. When young people come together in groups to accomplish something we call them gangs. When adults come together into a group to accomplish something we call it an organization. In either case, groups themselves don’t actually have ethics or values – they have a culture. This culture is created by a combination of the environment the organization is in, the structure of the organization, what the organization is attempting to accomplish, and the underlying beliefs of its members. Organizational culture can influence individual behavior in significant ways – in either a positive sense or a negative sense. The organizations cultural influence can be reinforcing (uplifting) or destructive and often both ways simultaneously.

The need to examine ethics in organizations has arisen from the complexity of business activities. The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, could be one way to articulate what has been the unspoken guiding value/ethic for western business. However, the nature of business in the 21st century is complex, global, professionally demanding and constantly changing. Therefore the demands on individuals and groups of individuals (teams, departments, organizations) are much higher and more complex. These demands require individuals and organizations to make a conscious effort to articulate a clear set of ethics/values to guide behavior for success in this kind of climate.

An Emerging Corporate Ethic
Since the advent of the ‘global marketplace’ there is a greater need for developing standards for global commerce. Since ethics are core beliefs, and influence behavior as well as communication, it is becoming increasingly necessary to develop a global standard, a global ethic, that facilitates commerce across many levels – transactions, collaboration, strategic partnering – and provides high quality goods and services for consumers.

In addition to the forces mentioned earlier there are several trends in the business environment converging to create what we call ‘an emerging global ethic’.

• The trend towards product quality and customer satisfaction
• The trend towards greater professionalism, autonomy and responsibility
• The trend for managers to become leaders and facilitators
• The trend of businesses being organized more towards teams, networks, and flatter structures
• The trend towards creativity and innovation for competitive advantage
• The trend towards the globalization of business
• The trend towards co-opetition (companies competing and collaborating simultaneously)
• The trend towards sustainability (triple bottom line economics)

These trends challenge the traditional corporate structure and bring forth the need for organizations to transform their work environments from top down, hierarchic organizations and organizational cultures into more flexible, emerging and self-organizing enterprises that are places of learning and creativity.

This transformation brings with it the need to re-evaluate existing values and define new values/ethics that are in line with and enable global commerce. We think this transformation and these trends set the stage for the emerging global ethic.

At the root of this new corporate ethic is a shift in ‘what a company thinks’ and ‘how it thinks’ which leads to a shift in ‘what a company actually does’.

New Strategies
Once we begin to shift ‘what we think’ and ‘how we think’ we begin to shift what we do. What businesses do is typically articulated as strategy and defined in operations.

The new corporate ethic is at the heart of shifting corporate strategies. These new strategies get articulated into the organization’s operations in the form of principles, policies, and practices. These new strategies also get articulated in an organization’s structure.

Ethical Principles
YES: A set of collectively chosen values that guide the actions of a company
NO: A list of corporate declarations that determine the direction of the company

Ethical Practices
YES: Decisions that are made as a result of managing day-to-day activities
NO: Choosing between the right and wrong thing once an incident has occurred

Ethical Policies
YES: Monitors the differences between chosen principles and actual practices
NO: Determines the legal fate of an individual or group after making improper choices

A company’s operations is a direct connection between its underlying beliefs and its actions. “The purpose of a system is what it does.”

We can always know (or extrapolate) from actions what the underlying beliefs are. In order to be successful in today’s global marketplace beliefs and actions must be in alignment with this new, emerging, global standard. As a consequence of this new, emerging, global ethic, companies are adopting new strategies and business models.

New Strategies include:
• Triple bottom line economics
• Sustainability
• Continuous Innovation
• Co-opetition and Collaboration


Of these new strategies, sustainability has the potential to provide the most far reaching value economically, socially and environmentally. We think sustainability is an important part of the emerging global ethic.

The basic definition of sustainable development was stated in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development’s publication Our Common Future and reads as follows:

“Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable – to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The concept of sustainable development does imply limits – not absolute limits but limitations imposed by the present state of technology and social organization on environmental resources and by the ability of the biosphere to absorb the effects of human activity.”

G.H. Brundtland (Chair), Our CommonFuture,
World Commission on Environment and Development, Oxford University Press, New York, 1987.

The Natural Step, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping businesses and governments integrate sustainability to their core strategies and operations has developed four basic principles for a sustainable society:

The Four System Conditions

In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing:

1. concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s crust;
2. concentrations of substances produced by society;
3. degradation by physical means;
and, in that society. . .
4. human needs are met worldwide.

There are many more definitions for sustainable development (and sustainability in business) which is leading a number of organizations to explore the development of new voluntary standards. In the United Kingdom there are several sustainable development standards being trialled by UK companies. These include: AA1000 (developed by the Institute for Social and Ethical Accountability), the Global Reporting Initiative (developed by a wide range of international organizations), ISO14001 (International Standards Organization) and Project Sigma (a sustainability management standard under development by the British Standards Institution, Forum for the Future and others).

There are significant opportunities available to businesses for actively pursuing more sustainable approaches. These include:

• save costs by reducing environmental impacts and treating employees well;
• increase revenues through environmental improvements and benefits to the local economy;
• reduce risk through engagement with stakeholders;
• build reputation by increasing environmental efficiency;
• develop human capital through better human resource management;
• improve access to capital through better governance.


Neither of the definitions of sustainability presented above is prescriptive. Both definitions allow for, and stimulate the creativity of practitioners to develop their own appropriate responses and innovate to create the right sustainable solutions in their unique organizational contexts.

In our white paper on bottom line innovation (InnovationLabs, July, 2002) we defined 32 innovation targets (see table on right). If an organization adopts a sustainability framework we can add several new opportunities for innovations to this list. Opportunities to innovate materials, methods, machines, new markets, and new business models can be added. Shifting to a sustainability provides business with a framework to move from a basic problem solving modality to one that incorporates innovation into the very fabric of the enterprise.


Today’s troubling business climate requires that organizations have a thorough understanding of ethics so that appropriate decisions can be made when dilemmas arise. But ethics is more than knowing what to do once a problem arises. Appropriate ethical action can only be applied when company managers are committed to leading from an ethical rightness based on values, not just the law. And, a broader education on ethics can help to reduce legal action by teaching managers how to make clear decisions early in the process.

To heal ethical dilemmas, organizations must commit to a collective values alignment process that acknowledges the transitional times we are now going through. This values alignment process should take into consideration the emerging global ethic and the shifting to economic models that contain sustainability as part of their framework.

An organization’s culture will reflect management’s commitment to a set of values. If management’s commitment includes understanding and embracing sustainable frameworks, companies will then be in a position to make innovations in strategies, processes, structures, products and services — making innovation a core capability of the organization.

Further notes to incorporate:

-Sustainability limits create infinite possibilities (fractal behavior)
-During times of great change, there is an emphasis on ‘principle’ over ‘policy’ (‘practice’ is the bridge of activity that is always present)
-[Also see inKNOWvate website for prewritten material]
-3P’s as principle-based foundational model for self-regulating ethical management
-3E’s (trinity) 7Ee’s as principle-based foundational model for self-regulating innovation management
-The 3 archetypes of Regenerative Commerce transfer principle concepts into practical action (Archetypes are a result of primary needs interacting to create an identity (such as Regenerative Commerce set of 3))
-Bringing innovation into an organization as part of a ‘knowledge management’ process
-Today’s ethics management processes are geared around informing of old policy (systemic) without communicating new principles (wholistic). Thus, an acting manager gets caught in a quagmire of existing practices [based on policy measures … coming from existing old myth] when there is a need for new practices [based on principle map … emergent new myth].
-Ethics as catalyst to new ‘forms’ of innovation [note that ‘form’ is more about invention]
-Suggest this in ‘about’? … or have link at where fractal wholes are mentioned? … From fractured parts toward fractal wholes takes us into the discussion of organizational architecture (and later, organizational geometries which is one level beyond org. architecture)
-Relations to Fractal-wholes concept Relations to Fractured-systems concept
heart orientation head orientation
feminine archetype masculine archetype
knowledge management (as in head/heart integration) information management (head only management-result from adolescent brain coming into its own identity realization separation from heart occurs only to return later)
Organizational learning: (learning centrally webbed to entire whole, energy direction is bi-directional to/from teach/student) Organizational development: training (unidirectional and periphery and attached separately to each system)
inclusive of fractured systems non-inclusive of fractal wholes
singular boundary multi- boundaries
spherical relationships vectored relationships
whole can be realized through any part
nonlinear linear
infinite finite
parallel serial
whole/hole interplay


DiscoveryColabs and InnovationLabs describe abilities to innovate utilizing ethics as the catalyst to develop the necessary dynamically-adapting learning-based organizations.

Vic Desotelle, DiscoveryColabs.com
Michael Kaufman, Innovation Labs




Innovation and the future of socialism and capitalism

image0011“You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it”, says an economics professor at a local college.

He made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an ENTIRE class.

That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.


This doesn’t feel right to me, but I”m not completely sure why. This report seems to be based on one of those quick conclusions and not enough interaction or detailed data. When analyzed I’m convinced that it would not provide enough evidence to support the writers own (seemingly biased?) conclusion.

But what also comes up for me is a sense of despair: Is this the future of humanity? Does the rich guy really deserve a better life, and the poor guy deserve a struggling life? Or is this written by someone that sees his/her whole life through a money-lens?

But maybe I am missing something? What about you? What comes up for you when you read this? How does the system that is in place now work? How does it not work? What assumptions do we have about ‘socialism’, and about ‘capitalism’? For me, it seems that socialism tends toward making everyone ‘equal’ through government process – i.e. financial wealth is distributed so that money is not a reason for someone to have a bad life.

And capitalism, on the other hand, tends toward giving everyone the “opportunity” to create a life filled with financial wealth. And, it’s up to each person to take advantage of this – to make the necessary money to be well-off. Yet does it consider how ones own wealth affects others well-being and the strange chasm between the rich and poor?

For me, neither capitalism nor socialism is a workable solution.

However, there is something in the combining the two concepts that I believe will bring a new economic system that uses money completely differently. One that combines our individual sense of identity and personal power, with a collective ability to allow all to be free from lives that are based in tyranny – which is directly related to one’s ability to access to money systems.

One thing that will be hard to convince me otherwise (but I will stay open!), is that ‘innovation’ as we know it must evolve beyond the conditions and thinking that created the society that has resulted from it so far. Sound familiar? Yah, Einstein said something similar. From my mind, he is soooo right. And that’s why I am a supporter of this new concept called ‘sustainable’ innovation, which this website discoveryfuel.com is all about.

RESPOND below, and stay tuned to learn more.

In my mind, the term ‘collaboration’ integrates both individual (capitalistic) and collective (socialistic) needs and desires. Thus, it IS the future. I encourage all readers to study it closely. Do not place collaboration in the category of socialism, for that is incorrect.

That said: I want to open this up to a real dialogue here (not a discussion or debate) …

What QUESTIONS (not opinions or answers) really need to be asked here? What might be missing? What is totally right on? What underlying emotions make you feel uncomfortable or comfortable about this article? How does it relate to the world’s past, present, and future situations? And how do we learn to evolve toward a way of life that feels more right, or more peaceful? … Or is that even the right question?

What are YOUR questions?

NOTE: When you respond, don’t let your expectations or belief systems play into your comments if at all possible (This is virtually impossible.)  But even more important is: What QUESTIONS (rather than opinions or answers) really need to be asked here? Make no assumptions, be judgmental of nothing, and inquire with a completely open mind. Try googling on the phrase: “you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it”, or click here and you will here many different opinions.

Please remember and experiment with the following point: The ‘question’ is far more powerful than any answer that you think you can come up with in this time of great change. So, what are your questions? Can you do it without bias? It’s really tough to do, but shall we try it?

Let the dialog begin. 🙂

"Be The Change!" – 7 Steps To Manifestation

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Join “Be The Change!” Twibes Twitter Group /// Participate in the “Be The Change!” Dialogue Project

Join One Of Our Discovery Communities At The Bottom Of This Page


Mohandas Gandhi’s quote above is powerful, isn’t it?

Being the change requires that we embody change itself. To do this, each of us must surround ourselves with a community of others that can provide us with encouragement and supportive feedback.

Seven Steps To Becoming The Change:

  • Know WHY you want change and be able to articulate it.
  • Understand WHAT it means for that change to happen.
  • Time WHEN the change can best occur.
  • Find WHO you want to ally with.
  • Consider WHERE the change can best serve.
  • Practice HOW the change needs to emerge.
  • And always always always be aware of the influence of your change on others – Our greatest risk is that we become blinded by your own righteousness about our own need for change. This is why a community is necessary to keep each of us highly motivated and always in check.


Become a ‘Fuel-Molecule’ within the Solution of Change



Because ‘WE’ being change is far more powerful than just ‘ME’ being change.



Click on the community image below that works for you.


Join the ‘Be The Change!‘ Twibes Twitter Conversation Group

Wear a “Be The Change!” T-shirt and Talk your Walk.

Is Sustainable Commerce an Oxymoron?

cygx1_spectrum_115Being sustainable has everything to do with being innovative. In fact, it is beginning to generate the next generation of creative products and services on (and for) this planet. Yet, with all of our amazing efforts, something seems to be drastically missing. There’s a BIG BLACK HOLE that the subject of sustainable commerce seems to be orbiting.

Any comments? Add them here ->http://EntrepreneursForABetterWorld.ning.com

Building A Learning Organisation

A learning organisation is an organisation that learns and encourages learning among its people. It promotes exchange of information between employees, hence creating a more knowledgeable workforce. This produces a very flexible organisation where people will accept and adapt to new ideas and change through shared vision.It is said that the only constant in life is change and organisations are not spared. Change brings about not only uncertainty and risks but also opportunities for growth. Those organisations that can manipulate the information available have a bigger chance to succeed. It is therefore important for everyone to be more knowledgeable about the work environment they are in. Building a learning organisation is a means to a business goal. It is not a new theory but a concept that has become an increasingly widespread philosophy in modern companies, from the largest multinationals to the smallest enterprises. It is to be applied according to the circumstances of each business, which has to cater for it at strategic and operational levels.

‘Systems Thinking’ takes a holistic approach to learning whereby not only does the organisation learn but so do all its employees, irrespective of their role within the organisation. Information has to be disseminated to all levels and does not stop at top management, thus, facilitating learning through flexibility and open communication by removing barriers to communication and adopting flatter organisational structure and design.

Therefore the message is clear: any organisation that is committed to future success must become a learning organisation in order to compete and survive. Today continuous improvement is a must. “Any organisation is only as good as its people and continuous improvement in business is about the development of people and therefore creating a learning culture.” (Sheppard)

Systems Thinking

The idea behind the concept coined ‘Systems Thinking’ in the 1950’s was that enterprises need to be aware of both the company as a whole as well as the individuals within the company – taking a holistic approach to managing. Gould-Kreutzer Associates Inc. defined it as “a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things; to see the forest and the trees.” System Thinking therefore tries to change the managerial view so that it includes the ambitions of the individual workers, not just the business goals.

However, it was only during the 1990’s that this concept started to be taken seriously by organisations. Systems Thinking nowadays is synonymous with Peter Senge, one of the modern day gurus, who in his book “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organisation” popularised the concept of the learning organisation, and referred to ‘Systems Thinking’ as the Fifth Discipline. Since its publication in 1990, more than a million copies of this book have been sold and in 1997, Harvard Business Review identified his book as one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years.

According to Senge, learning organisations are “organisations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. ”

Senge posits that the dimension that distinguishes learning from more traditional organisations is the mastery of certain basic disciplines, which he regards as a series of principles and practices that we study, master and integrate into our lives. The five disciplines that he identifies are said to be common to all learning organisations.

They are:

1. PERSONAL MASTERY. This is the discipline of ‘continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively.

People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode, continually clarifying and deepening their personal vision. This takes place by assessing the gap between their current knowledge and the desired knowledge, and by practising and refining skills. This develops self-esteem and creates the confidence to tackle new challenges.

2. MENTAL MODELS. These are ‘deeply ingrained assumptions, generalisations, or even pictures and images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. ‘

The discipline of mental models starts with turning the mirror inward; learning to unearth our internal pictures of the world, to bring them to the surface and hold them rigorously to scrutiny. Every individual has his own perception of the things around him. This happens consciously and unconsciously and therefore, if team members can, through positive, constructive criticism, challenge each others’ ideas and assumptions, they can begin to perceive their mental models, and to change these to create a shared mental model for the team. This is important as the individual’s mental model will control what can or cannot be done.

3. BUILDING SHARED VISION. Senge sees this as ‘the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create. ‘When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all-to-familiar ‘vision statement’), people excel and learn. To create a shared vision, large numbers of people within the organisation must draft it, empowering them to create a single image of the future. With a shared vision, people will do things because they want to, not because they have to.

4. TEAM LEARNING. Such learning is viewed as ‘the process of aligning and developing the capacities of a team to create the results its members truly desire. ‘

It builds on personal mastery and shared vision, but these are not enough. People need to be able to act together, as virtually all important decisions occur in groups. Adults learn best from each other and with team learning, the learning ability of the group becomes greater than the learning ability of any individual in the group.

5. SYSTEMS THINKING. The cornerstone of any learning organisation is this fifth discipline. This is the ability to see the bigger picture, to look at the interrelationships of a system as opposed to simple cause-effect chains.

Systems thinking shows us that the essential properties of a system are not determined by the sum of its parts but by the process of interactions between those parts. This is the discipline used to implement the other disciplines. Without it each of the disciplines would be isolated and would fail to achieve its objective.

How to build a learning organisation

The challenges facing managers in applying these five disciplines at the workplace are the following:

. Building a sound base

. Apply the Golden Rules


Before a Learning Organisation can be achieved, a solid foundation has to be in place. This can be implemented by taking into account the following points.

~ Awareness. Awareness of the benefits of a learning organisation must permeate to all levels not just the management level. A learning culture must be fostered among the employees that survival of the fittest depends on having a knowledgeable workforce. Change should start and be supported from top management and this ‘new’ culture should be manifested in the commitment to learning, personal development of the individual as well as valuing people and their divergent views.

~ The Environment. The right environment must be in place so that learning can take place. Centralised, mechanistic structures do not create a good environment. Organisations having organic structures are well positioned to develop
into a learning organisation. An organic structure places less emphasis on giving and taking orders and more on encouraging managers and subordinates to work together in teams and to communicate openly with each other. Authority, responsibility and accountability flow to employees with the expertise required to solve problems. In a nutshell, a flat organisation, whereby communication can flow in all directions and foster innovation amongst its employees.

~ Leadership. Managers must adopt open communication management styles so that employees will be able to question and come forward with ideas. Understand that mistakes and errors are part of this process and therefore employees should not be in fear of reprimands. Managers must also provide commitment for long-term learning in the form of resources (money, personnel and time). The amount of these resources determines the quantity and quality of learning.

~ Empowerment. Employees should be empowered to take decisions and actions. Let them own the process whilst monitoring all that is happening. Only through motivation and innovation will the employees grow and learn, equal participation should be encouraged so that employees can learn from each other simultaneously. The benefits are for themselves and the organisation.

~ Learning. Company-wide training is to be made available. This may take the form of simulation case studies where brainstorming sessions will be beneficial to all participants.


The following practices and approaches can be used while managing the learning process.

1. Thrive on change. Management must not be afraid of change. There should be commitment to and focus on the things that matter most. Change is necessary and therefore clear objectives and plans must be in place. Change will translate itself into a learning opportunity.

2. Encourage experimentation. Change will bring along uncertainty and risks. Experimentation is a necessary risk. Accept mistakes as a normal process and encourage employees to come forward with ideas. Learning from mistakes is often more powerful than learning from success. The most important thing is to ‘fail intelligently’ to learn something from mistakes. Apply reviews of the whole change process and reward individual effort.

3. Communicate success and failure. Let there be a communication system of disseminating information and knowledge that reaches everyone efficiently, for example, through company journals, website, job rotation programs etc.

4. Facilitate learning from the surrounding environment. Learn from internal factors such as processes and procedures at work and find ways of how to improve learning from competitors. Avoid their mistakes and copy their well-achieved results. Can also form alliances to have a cross fertilisation of ideas. Build a relationship with customers. Apply an outside-in policy to strategies. Customers provide free advice through their complaints, suggestions and surveys. After all, the organisation survives through satisfying customers. Theirs might be the best advice.

5. Facilitate learning from employees. Offer continuous learning and multi-skilling opportunities. Remove hierarchies and empower people to experiment and take decisions. The people at the lower ranks in an organisation are the ones who know most of the problems within the business. This means that more often than not, the employees themselves know what needs to be done to improve the business.

6. Reward learning. Have a proper performance appraisal system to reward those employees who are embracing the learning culture to boost morale. Remember that everybody wants their work to be appreciated. Make sure therefore that individual performance is linked with organisational performance.

7. Intentionally retrieve and retain company memory. It is important to keep a record of processes and achievements so that learning will not be lost; it can be passed on to those coming later on into the company and also the company can refer back to information held. The learning process must be planned and objectives for it set. It must be monitored and reviewed all the time.

Through the learning organisation process people will develop, the brains of all employees are switched on, not just those of the few, and a feel good factor is created through greater motivation. A more flexible workforce evolves by building organisations fit for human beings. People will become more creative and social interaction will improve. Teams and groups will work better through knowledge sharing, becoming more interdependent, increasing responsibility at all levels and developing an entrepreneurial spirit. The company will benefit from better customer relations, the breaking down of traditional communication barriers, and from the increased creativity and innovation of its people that should give it a competitive edge.

By Sandro Azzopardi

Collective Intelligence and Collective Wisdom

“Change” has been the big topic of conversation for some time now. For the most part, the change that everyone writes about and talks about is economic change. There has been much written about the change from a manufacturing economy to a service economy and there has been much written about the movement of manufacturing jobs off shore, but I want to concentrate on another kind of change. Willis Harman wrote a whole book about it in 1987 entitled, “Global Mind Change.” To paraphrase a line in this book, society’s experience shapes it’s science and science shapes the experience of it’s society.

We have been educated to assume that our scientific view of reality is correct. Harman suggests that there may be other views of reality that are complementary. He continues by proposing a reunion of science and metaphysics. He states, “The fundamental change that we are suggesting is happening in Western society can be put in terms of these metaphysics. Essentially, it is a shift of dominant metaphysic from M-1 to M-3.”


M-1. The basic stuff of the universe is matter-energy. Consciousness emerges out of matter. Consciousness apart from a living organism is inconceivable.

M-2. Matter-energy and mind-spirit stuff both exist in the universe. Matter-energy stuff is studied with science. Mind-spirit stuff must be studied in other ways.

M-3. Consciousness is the ultimate stuff of the universe and matter-energy comes in some sense out of consciousness.

Margaret Wheatley in her award-winning best seller, “Leadership and the New Science” suggests that, “we let go of the machine model of organizations, and workers as replaceable cogs in the machinery of production, we begin to see ourselves in much richer dimensions, to appreciate our wholeness, and, hopefully, to design organizations that honor and make use of the great gift of who we humans are.” She believes that ownership is essential and suggests that ownership is not only literal owners, but describes personal connections to the organization that inspire people to contribute. Participation in the development of a plan of action creates ownership. In fact, we participate in the creation of everything we observe. In a sense, we are owners of everything we observe.

We have all seen the progression where raw data when properly analyzed and organized becomes information. Information in turn is the basis of intelligence and intelligence the basis of wisdom. Historically, management has worked to control information. Wheatley uses scientific support to suggest that for a system to remain alive, it must have a steady flow of new information.

Much has been written about the fact that information is exploding. We know that more information was produced between 1965 and 1995 than in the preceding 5000 years and that knowledge is now doubling every 5 years. Technology certainly has fostered the explosion, but it has also made this information available to more people as well. It is no longer practical to use a traditional building block approach to information. We need what is described in quantum physics as relational holism.

Wheatley suggests that the new science reminds us that this is a participative universe and that nothing living lives alone. We are constantly called to be in a relationship and through relationships we co-create our world. With that in mind, we make systems stronger by connecting to more of itself. Webs and networks are stronger than single connections. Participation is the key.

The May-July 2004 issue of “What is Enlightenment” has some incredible articles about collective intelligence. In an article entitled, “The Science of Collective Consciousness” Robert Kenny provides strong evidence that collective consciousness exists and can be used to produce benefits. Another great article entitled, “Come Together” by Craig Hamilton, reports, “Call it collective consciousness, team synergy, co-intelligence or group mind – a growing number of people are discovering through their own experience that wholes are indeed far more than the sum of their parts; that when individuals come together with a shared intention, in a conducive environment, something mysterious can come into being, with capacities and intelligences that far transcend those of the individuals involved.”

While we may not yet be able to exactly define collective wisdom or how it works, it is working. There are a bunch of collective intelligence initiatives underway including: World Café, Laboratory for Social Intervention, Open Space Technology, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, Dynamic Facilitation, Deep Dialogue, Appreciative Inquiry, Global Leadership Initiative and others. This is not the product of some well-meaning, goody-goody types, but rather the output of some of the most influential organizational minds in the world.

My own experience using World Café, Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry to address complex and chaotic situations from a holistic approach has convinced me that collective intelligence and in turn collective wisdom are real and offer incredible potential for all organizations in this time of information overload and complexity.

Bob Cannon/The Cannon Advantage, 2003.

The 'WE' Part Hasn't Worked Because 'YOU' Are Making 'R'ational Decisions

I watched ‘The Colbert Report’ recently (see below video). He had this guy on named Jonah Lehrer who wrote the book “How We Decide”. Ohhhhh, we are so fooled by our own rational mind. You know, that tough guy part of us who thinks its in control when instead its his sister, the emotional/intuitive part of our brain, that is really running the show. “”Pure reason is a disease”, says Lehrer. Ha! It’s certainly done a good job for us so far, hasn’t it? NOT! How naive we are to think that we can conclude from ‘logical evidence’ what decision we need to make. And how different the decision that we end up making is from what we may have needed to make.

I suggest that, in our righteous stance, we have mostly been wrong and completely unaware of the fact that most our decisions are made based on irrational reason. Especially when it comes to making choices on how best to serve the human condition. The planet and our human (or should I say inhuman) state of being is busy tearing down our own life support system (called the planet’s ecosystem). And do you know what is finally making us take a different form of action? It’s the shear panic and fear that we feel from what we maybe have done. Thank God for the weird weather patterns so that we could question the scientists predictions.

Sure the scientists data is rational, but our ability as a collective to act on it is not. We have made our choices based on the emotional baggage that comes with old expectations and assumptions; things we don’t dare hold onto any longer. Our decision to change course is coming from an emotional response that’s way more potent than any logical one could ever consider being. Otherwise, we would have made different decisions, different choices, a long long time ago – wouldn’t you agree? (Beeeee careful! Notice where your decision is coming from as you choose to either agree or disagree with me 🙂

So, the next time you “think” that you are making logical choices about hiring or firing, creating or destroying, going to the meeting or not going, loving or hating, etc., know that your emotional state is probably in the drivers seat. The next time you’ve got something to decide about want to make, finish, stop, or start, give yourself permission to see that part of you which you are not in control of. Then practice taking a breath before you respond to your business cohort or your family loved one. What will happen if you do this? What will happen if you allow your rational mind to dance with its non-rational partner? I assure you, that the overall decisions you end up making will be far more supportive of your own well being, of others lives, and of the planet’s sustainability.

The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

Now then, here’s the link to ‘collaboration’.

Once you enter this personal dance between your rational and emotional mind, begin to watch how your relationships with others change. Yes, that’s right. Watch how you relate, how you listen, how you support and encourage, and how you begin to allow others to become a part of ‘YOUR’ decision-making process. It’s at this point that the ‘WE’ emerges. Watch how you come to realize that their level of participation and commitment to getting the work done is directly related to your old unconscious ways of ‘thinking’ that you have to get input from them, make the decisions on your own. As you awaken to this, your unconscious emotional fears will no longer have the power to kill of staff individuality. You will come to recognize that you’ve been missing insights from them, and as a result, deeper levels of participation. All of which feeds your company’s or team’s choices and decisions. When the group begins to choose together, to make decisions together, your organization’s intuition will come alive. It will help to steer you though a maze of (shall we say) irrational logistics that the rational mind just can’t handle. And what will happen when your team is empowered to do come together like this? … Ohhhhh, just you watch.