Reflecting on Challenge Coins

I'm not a fan of every military tradition, but I do like challenge coins. They're these weird, heavy little tokens which can be imbued with substantial memory and meaning. But it isn't the item that holds the meaning, is it? Perhaps it would best be described as an augmentative interface that equips us to better … Continue reading Reflecting on Challenge Coins

On Actually Embracing Actual Failure

Do not attempt to tackle complex, wicked problems without amply anticipating and preparing for the very real possibility of failure: On every attempt and at every stage. I'm talking about actual failure- not safe, fun, exciting failure or even safe failure, because it might not ever be emotionally 100% safe. I'm talking about the real stuff. The painful, uncomfortable, embarrassing type of failure. The kind you look in the eye and learn from... that looks back and tells you things you didn't know or care to admit...

Mapping Organizational Ecosystems: Artifacts & Rituals; Tribes & Institutions

This is an excerpt (Part 3) of an essay in progress to describe developing perspectives and practices for mapping organizational ecosystems. I recently facilitated a workshop with Agitare, the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, and the Federal Innovation Network to explore how we view, create, and use maps of our massive, interconnected community, and how co-created and inter-subjective approaches … Continue reading Mapping Organizational Ecosystems: Artifacts & Rituals; Tribes & Institutions

Please Use More Emojis/Reactions in Digital Spaces

This is your occasional reminder to use more emojis and reactions in your digital spaces. Mash that 'like' button. Give things a thumbs up or a "thinking face" if you're feeling grumpy. Like that tweet, even if you only kinda like it. You might be wondering why you should use emojis and reactions. Here is … Continue reading Please Use More Emojis/Reactions in Digital Spaces

When people show you who they are… don’t believe them?

People really like to share that quote from Maya Angelou that goes "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time". I am an enormous fan of the poet Maya Angelou, but this quote has always bothered me, mostly because of how incompatible it appears to be with a growth mindset, and … Continue reading When people show you who they are… don’t believe them?

The TIM^n Framework (video + script) Transcript:In the book Design Unbound by Ann Pendleton Jullian and John Seely Brown I was recently introduced to the idea of society existing and evolving on multiple levels of organization, and David Ronfeldt’s TIMn framework. TIMn stands for Tribes, Institutions, Markets, and Networks.  In early history, society only existed at the tribal level. Tribes … Continue reading The TIM^n Framework (video + script)

Alignment: Artifacts and Rituals

Allow me to be transparent in a way that might make all of us uncomfortable.  Over the course of the year that I worked at my last unit, I felt quite unaligned to their strategy and culture. I struggled to pin down who, what, and why we were, consistently coming up short. I was (very generously) handed a job that … Continue reading Alignment: Artifacts and Rituals