Visionaries Collaborate on New Questions

Question Marks  chairs by Stefan Heiliger for Tonon

I am honored to work with clients who want to contribute to a world that works for all. My clients are an impressive range of economists, engineers, scientists, inventors, techologists, chemists, biologists, architects, manufacturers, etc. What they have in common is phenomenal motivation, ideas, and intellectual strength to contribute to their version of a global sustainability vision.

When I connect with clients, business associates, acquaintances, and friends, we often land on a thread of conversation that goes something like this:  "How do I motivate my team to have HOPE about global sustainability when it is wildly evident that - even if I and my team worked at optimum efficiency, and even if every stakeholder got on board - we cannot possibly successfully address the scale of critical global challenges this world is facing in the timeframe necessary?"

That question was rolling around in my consciousness this past spring when I visited Paul Allen's Institute for Brain Science through the Stanford Graduate School of Business Alumni group. The Brain Institute is a nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to performing innovative basic research on the brain and distributing its discoveries to researchers around the world. The objective is to advance a new understanding of brain diseases and disorders. The Institute takes on projects at the leading edge of science – far-reaching projects at the intersection of biology and technology – and publishes the results and tools as a free public resource to fuel innovation and discovery for countless researchers and organizations. Their concept is to execute a body of basic research and essentially provide FREE scientific Lego blocks to the world at large, creating an environment conducive to speeding up innovation and reaching solutions on a seemingly infinite scientific landscape!

Then, at another Stanford event, I listened to Bill Barnett, Director of the Center for Global Business and the Economy at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. He drove home a concept that, frankly, gave me great relief to consider. His premise is that it isn't up to us to come up with the "answer" to sustainability, but that it is the collective mission for private, public, non-profits and NGO's to establish systems that demand the innovation that will address the global sustainability challenge. (As a sidenote, Bill has a very interesting Executive Program that he will be running this Fall to explore what it means to turn sustainable business practices into competitive advantage.)

With the experience of repeated conversations around motivating hope in the face of global sustainability challenges, my tour of the Allen Brain Institute, and hearing Bill Barnett's discussion, I suddenly had an insight. Well, let's qualify that - what really occurred is that I became the poster child for Chapter 5 of Keith Sawyer's book "Group Genuis". Here Sawyer shows how "sudden insight" is not so sudden, but the result of our brain's confabulation of a variety of creative sparks encountered on the way to the "insight." So while I could blithely tell you I am the brilliantly creative professional who had a sudden insight - the truth is not so simple. In fact, the flash of insight that sparked my articulation of this NEW question was really built on the collaborative conversations you and I have had, books I've read by wonderful thought leaders, the odd conversations I overhear on the bus, and some recent downtime that has allowed me to really consider the realm of questions that I am passionate to have answered!

SO, the new question I collaborated with other "lay" and "esteemed" visionaries to develop is: “What are the basic building/Lego blocks of global sustainability that could be researched and systematically delivered as a free, publicly available resource to speed and fuel anyone's innovation toward global sustainability?”

I invite you to check back on this blog where we will go from the effort outlined in this post of creating a NEW question - to the process and outcomes I go through on my way to developing innovative ideas that address that “new” question!

Also, remember that we, the creative brilliant community reading this blog, need you to respond and note your comments and ideas as you conceive them. I am confident that this community possesses our own vibrant potential for generating group genius!

Now, down to how all this could relate to you and all Bridge2Vision's current and potential clients...

Above you've seen a solitary example of how I knit together a variety of people's knowledge, insight, as well as a bit of my own personal creativity - to articulate a new question. This "knitting" is what I do on a larger landscape with you and your team. My gift is to first objectively gather the targeted range of individual/collective knowledge, insight, and creativity that resides on your landscape - and then to collaborate with you to articulate the historical AND "new" knowing that will power you and your organization's worthy visions!