How to Spur Collective Innovation or Stall It

When physicist David Bohm studied what enabled Einstein and other physicists able to achieve breakthroughs, he discovered that they emerged out of free open conversations where they “exchanged ideas without trying to change the other’s mind and without bitter argument” as described in a Psychology Today article called Awakening Our Collaborative Spirit. They felt free… Read more

Insights on Strategic Questioning

When you teach you learn. I recently taught a workshop on Strategic Questioning at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, as part of a Leadership Survival Skills workshop series for New England alumni. For background, Strategic Questioning is a technique of asking open questions that inspire movement and new insights/ideas. Strategic questions are… Read more

What is the Right Question?

At the recent Stonyfield Entrepreuneurship Institute, a boot camp for community-minded entrepreneurs, small business leaders, such as Vermont Cookie Love and Breakwind Farm (specializing in baked beans, no joke) presented a ten-minute overview of their business and asked for input on a key question or two. A panel of experienced advisers provided advice and feedback…. Read more

Strategic Questions for the New Year

As the new year begins, it is an opportune time to reflect on the past year and clarify vision and direction for the year ahead. Strategic questions enable people and organizations to move from the known (present) to the unknown (future) – exploring possibilities, seeing new options, and realizing where new information may be needed…. Read more

Fragmented Bureaucracies or Integrated Policy Coordination?

NPR’s Living on Earth show recently ran an interview with David Suzuki, author of “The Legacy: An Elder’s Vision for Our Sustainable Future,” where he shared a moving story illustrating the interdependence of the temperate rainforest ecosystem. He contrasted that to how compartmentalized our government agency approaches are to “managing” our forests. Coincidentally, the same… Read more

Strategic Questioning

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” —ALBERT EINSTEIN Since many of the challenges we face… Read more