Supporting projects and leadership

All design is social. And anything social is complex. Most of what we call social “problems” are really patterns of relationship and story. In the work of shifting patterns, leadership is a shared process and shared responsibility. I’ve committed the last chapter of my career to work that’s more connected, inclusive and emergent, and to supporting leaders and teams in bringing more of their whole selves to their creative work.

Helping organizations listen to their community

Design research and community engagement are often transactional rather than connecting. So teams make decisions outside authentic relationship with the people they affect. We can open our approach to include more people with more power to shape what we make.

I support…
~ using the power of personal story to bridge the worlds of “created-by” and “created-for”
~ whole-community story collection, using patterns in stories to shape emergent strategy

Helping organizations listen to themselves

It’s wonderful what happens when we make listening the goal of our gatherings. That goal can take many forms, depending on the question at the heart of the situation. Some common examples: “Who are you, and what’s your world like?” “What’s going on?” “What do we need to stop?” “What’s possible?” “What’s worth trying?”

Participatory decision-making and co-creation

I’ve often found myself in rooms where people were trying to have ideas together, or define a problem, or narrow a concept. So often something gets in the way. Collaborative work is famously difficult. That was a key reason I turned my work to “the social” back in 2010. I determined to expand the depth and palette of co-creation. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes for a broad and diverse group of people to move through the creative process together. I’d love to help.

Mentoring and advisory relationships

I am not trained as a coach. But I will stand for your fullness of being. I have been through a lot of stuff in a lot of different contexts and sectors. I’ve had three careers and many seasons of life. I’ve learned something about the marriage of theory, practice, and poetry. I have a lot of approaches, methods and tricks in my pocket. I’m comfortable with uncertainty, and believe that personal development is more important to leadership than any particular approach or method. I enjoy supporting folks as they move into unfamiliar depths.