What we can learn about leadership & business from a 20th century architect and a 21st century financial collapse.

What we can learn about leadership & business from a 20th century architect and a 21st century financial collapse.

On September 1, 2008, fourteen days before the financial collapse, I stood on the 3rd story roof of the business I had just launched and looked out at the horizon with a deep understanding of why I was going into "business."

I quote the word business because being "in business" was not my intent. In other words, I did not start a business solely to be in business, but rather to help build a better community. I knew that myself and my team were the right people to do it. We had a vision and the resolve to reach for it.  

How Independent Retailers Can Utilize Their Natural Advantages

Recently, Harvard Business Review published a blog post entitled, Megastores Want to Be Like Mom-and-Pop Shops… Sort Of. The article described how businesses like Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and Lululemon are using the marketing concept of “local” to build appeal within communities seeking authentic, regionally differentiated businesses. These companies are excellent at marketing. Whole Foods has a goal to source 20% of its food locally, but its stores display “local” messaging over a much greater percentage of their square footprint. Lululemon employs a grassroots strategy, hiring popular yoga instructors as brand ambassadors to convey their message to the community.

How I came to work in leadership development and why I love what I do

People often ask me how I got into this work, here's how (and why I love it).

I've worked on many different kinds of projects throughout my career. Real estate, start-up business ventures, economic development initiatives, rural community building, collaborative story-telling... meaningful projects that I believed to be viable, and knew that if successful, would help to make the world a better place

Though so much time, energy and money was invested in these projects, many broke down, fell apart, or failed to launch.

 

The scrappy shall inherit the Earth

The Merriam Webster Dictionary definition of the word scrappy is: having an aggressive and determined spirit : feisty

The definition I prefer is one that I found on a slightly less official source, yet a source that, I believe, more accurately represents the way people use the word currently.

Can technology save us all?

It seems that everyday I hear about a new technology that is going to save the world. Whether it's a new clean tech solution to help us meet our energy needs or materials that can "think" and adapt to their surroundings, there are incredible minds inventing incredible technologies that will no doubt change the world. So, can these technologies save us all from the monumental challenges we face?

One part structure, one part "out there"

What is the formula for innovation?

Today on the radio show, This American Life, there was the story of a scientist and a sound expert working together to find a cure for cancer by identifying and testing certain tones that would kill cancer cells without harming surrounding cells. This uncommon partnership has shown extreme promise of finding a cure through this method and yet has not been able to prove their findings. Much of this is due to the mental models that each man holds. The sound expert is open to the promise of outside the box ideas and sees progress as proof, while the scientist must follow strict protocol to produce any results that are worthy of his peers. Arguably, neither would get as far as they have without each other and the skills and mental models they bring.