What good is theory, anyway?

Ah, theory. Both the bane of my existence and the subject of my master's thesis (yes, I'm a glutton for punishment). While I've learned to parse it, criticize it, and lit review it to death, my first reaction to theory is always to ask: How can this be applied to the real world? When you... Continue Reading →

What is it they say about assumptions… ?

If it were possible to be a professional devil's advocate or "chief questionologist," I'd be first in line to apply. One of my key strengths—stemming from persistent curiosity, some innate contrariness, and the ability to see things from multiple perspectives—is to be able to surface assumptions that are either too obvious or too uncomfortable for... Continue Reading →

Why is empathy critical to design thinking?

Problem-solving through design thinking is fundamentally an exercise in change: You begin by defining where you are now, you envision a future state, and you ideate, prototype, and test incremental changes along the way. But here’s the thing: Those changes are almost certainly reliant on other people. And you can’t change people who don’t agree... Continue Reading →

How can you cultivate a learning culture?

In his book Team of Teams, General Stanley McChrystal argues that leaders should think of themselves less like chessmasters and more like gardeners. Rather than carefully planning their moves, manipulating pieces on the boards, and making all of the key decisions, leaders are responsible for fostering an environment in which their organization can grow. Cultivating... Continue Reading →

Who can effect organizational culture change?

Changing an organization's culture is hard. Culture runs deep. It's rooted in an organization's history and it's embedded in everyday things like language, personal interactions, and value statements. It is also largely unconscious and unwittingly carried by each individual within the organization; altering culture is akin to altering the very DNA of an organization. Even... Continue Reading →

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