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’.


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


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 Business Planning Workshop Series

Start Your Own GREEN Company!


Create a sustainable business plan through my private coaching and online workshops.


Social Entrepreneurs, Green Business Start-ups, Clean Tech Ventures, Sustainable Designers, Business Technology Incubators, and Corporate Green Programs and Innovation Teams.

A Sustainable Business Planning Workshop Series

Turn Your Green Ideas Into A Real Sustainable Company!

  • Got a great idea but missing certain business know-how pieces to make it happen?
  • Would you like to tap into a network of skilled, green, socially-minded entrepreneurs?
  • Want to turn the bad economy into an opportunity to start your own successful green business?

Join Teacher and Facilitator Vic Desotelle for his online collaborative business planning series.

Would you like to claim yourself as a small business entrepreneur? Have you dreamed of owning your own sustainable business? Learn how to make a viable business plan that moves your green idea from conception to execution. Create a sustainable future for yourself, for your customers, community, and planet, through this sustainable innovation and business planning learning series.

During this ONLINE business planning series you will:

  • Group of people making a pile of hands

    Build your own business plan and begin executing.

  • Get clarity, guidance, and support on your idea to bring your innovation to life.
  • Become part of a unique community of practice with other green entrepreneurs who are implementing sustainable practices.
  • Generate a clear path for making your dream a reality.
  • Network with entrepreneurs from all over the world.
  • Tap into sustainable business learning communities using powerful online collaboration tools.
  • Increase your understanding collaborative design to drive your company.
  • Learn to create your own success by strengthening others potential for success.
  • Develop a GREEN business plan that will move your idea into the market place … and make money.

Sessions Overview

Businesses are not built during a weekend workshop. That’s why this complete workshop series will be held over a six month period, two times per month. One-on-one coaching sessions are also available.


  • Section 1: An overview of the year, Get to know each other, Get comfortable with the online environment, To get started, join our online entrepreneurs community.
  • Section 2: Computer tricks and web skills, overview and access to online tools.
  • Section 3: Develop expense spreadsheet, word document, and Power Point presentation.


  • Section 4: Starting Your New Green Business
  • Section 5: Writing Your Green Business Plan
  • Section 6: Marketing Your New Green Business
  • Section 7: Bookkeeping Basics


  • Section 8: Sustainable Company Overview
  • Section 9: Green Products, Services, Intellectual Property
  • Section 10: Define Industry, Market Research
  • Section 11: Green Marketing Strategy, Risks
  • Section 12: Management, Regulations, Green Operations
  • Section 13: Financial Projections
  • Section 14: Executive Summary, Confidentiality
  • Section 15: Sustainable Business Presentations

Review my Sustainable Business Planning Guide (under construction).

How long do you want to sit on your dreams?


Join us and find new motivation to make your green business happen. While you’re at it, sign up for our online business community at Entrepreneurs for a Better World.

Contact Vic by email for more information.





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?

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

Authentic Leadership Coaching

A Unique Coaching Experience, For Business & Personal Leadership Development

Authentic Leadership Coaching Is For …

Coaches, Executives, Managers, & Those in Life Transition

The professional coaching process is not what it once was. It’s purpose and intent is changing. Your own leadership abilities will improve and become more meaningful to you -and others- once you revisit the notion of coaching itself. When you work with me, you will find that your own values, identity, and sense of authenticity will be considered based on a non-formula approach to the coaching process.

To understand what it means to be a leader today, we must consider being coached away from traditional methods.

Why? Because each one of us is unique. And too often that one-of-a-kind identity does not get to reveal itself through traditional coaching methods. Leadership consulting and coaching process formulas only work to a point. Then what? How do we address you – that part of your personality that does not just have goals, strategies, and tasks to perform more efficiently. These are only on the surface of our inner personal truths, which are the TRUE DRIVERS OF THE CHOICES WE MAKE IN LIFE. This is what authenticity really is. Once revealed the whole world looks different. How you act and make choices will change. You – in your full authentic self – will actually become a more balanced self-realized leader of others. All of which comes from revealing your authentic place inside.

My approach to Leadership Development is different

There is a difference between leading and leadership; between directing as a manager and managing as a mentor. There is also a difference between practicing formulated exercises to create personal change, and experiencing deep transformational change through self awareness.

Leadership Ecology suggests that a person’s leadership qualities are transferred to another through a shared awakening process.

This is done by first empowering yourself as a leader in your own right based on your interests, capabilities, and passions to realize your unique authentic identity. Instead of your leadership being placed upon another by ‘leading the charge’, you rather consciously follow and look for opportunities to ‘catalyze the charge’. By following team members and watching for their own ‘yellow brick road’, you inject power into the group’s journey, one individual at a time – starting with yourself. In other words, you evolve an Ecology of Leadership (read this article) by positioning yourself to see others, rather than them seeing you. Thus, my coaching approach is somewhat opposite of run-of-the-mill coaching. It comes more from a place of ‘guiding’ than it does from a traditional ‘leading’ coaching perspective.

Find the Authentic Leader Inside Yourself

… Start Here

  1. Learn more about this perspective by reading my blog article on Authentic Leadership.

  2. Review client praise for my work, personal integrity, and coaching and facilitation skills.

  3. Contact me Vic Desotelle, by email or phone (831) 454-8046 for a no-obligation inquiry together.

Consider working with me online – It works great.