Collective Intelligence

Today (September 27, 2018), is the second time I have come across the term, “Collective Intelligence” in the last week. I liked it the first time I heard it and the first time I heard it was in reference to what knowledge management had evolved into at a large, international organisation.

The second time I came across it was earlier today, on the website of an organisation who seems to be doing work like I am doing: creativity, innovation, resilience, autonomy.

I am sure there are lots of other places that it is used, I’m sure the words aren’t new and the ideas expressed in both situations aren’t new. But what attracted me, was that they describe what I have done and what I am doing, which somehow reassured me that I wasn’t crazy for doing what I’m doing.

So, are you trying to capture, leverage, tap into the collective intelligence of your organisation? It seems that anecdotal evidence suggest using a combination of knowledge management activities, combined with creativity to give you innovative, unique results to help you realise your potential: Entelechy

We need to talk, I can help you!

An update and some thoughts on creativity and honesty

Wow, so much is happening, and I seem to have fallen behind in my plans to blog and share this experience more regularly as well as share interesting info about creativity and innovation. So, let me catch you up a bit.

In the last few weeks I have been planning and delivering a several workshop on creativity and innovation, and how to incorporate these ideas into people’s everyday lives, whether that is on a personal or professional level. It has been great fun, and I’ve received some wonderful, insightful feedback on how to make the workshops even better, which I am extremely grateful for!

I got a bit of disappointing news that the innovation trip to Silicon Valley that I was going to facilitate some sessions on was cancelled, and in fact the business unit that was in charge of the trip has been absorbed back into the main company, and none of the trips that were being planned are going to go ahead.

On Friday, September 7th, I attended my first Creative Mornings: Berlin meeting, the theme was <chaos>, which definitely spoke to me, both from the painting that I do, as well as my consulting work in knowledge management, where I had given myself the title, “Chief Chaos Organiser”. I enjoyed the session very much and am looking forward to future meetings. During the session the organiser stated that they were looking for a speaker for the October meeting, where the theme is <honesty> and I thought, I could do that, so was one of 4 people who spoke to him afterwards about speaking next month. The abstracts/outlines are being reviewed, so I don’t know right now, if mine will be selected or not.

While I was working on my abstract, I realised just how important this theme is to me. I went from thinking, “omg, what I am going to talk about?” to, “omg, I have so many things I could talk about, how am I going to narrow it down?”, which was a nice problem to have. The theme touches, not just my consulting work, but my painting.

The thread that runs through both areas of my life is the idea of being honest about who I am and what I want for my life. I went back to the idea of how creativity is educated out of us in order to conform and fit in and be like everyone else, and for myself, and many others, I have spent a great deal of time and effort to figure out what that is: what do I like, what do I want for my life, what career do I want, where do I want to live????

So much of what I learned in 20 years of education was about doing what was expected of me, trying to fit in, be like everyone else, make the adults in my life happy, somewhere along the line, I stopped asking the question, “what do I want”, and started asking the question, “what am I supposed to do?”, which is the totally wrong question to ask, although I only realised that years later.

I had learned so well, to not be honest about who/what I was and wanted, that I hadn’t even realised it, until NONE of it had worked out the way it was “supposed to” and I was left with nothing of what I was “supposed to have by now”.

Since that time, I have tried out lots of things, some I liked, some I didn’t. I hated rock climbing. But I love being self-employed and having the flexibility and freedom to do the things I have done: worked with international clients, spoken at conferences around the world, published various books and articles. I love the painting that I do, and sharing it with people in my exhibitions, and on my website. I love living in Berlin, and am so glad I made this move, it has opened up a whole new facet of my life, and I’m doing things I could never have done if I had stayed were I was. That’s not to say everything has been easy, the move to Berlin is quite possibly the most difficult thing I have ever done. Making new friends, getting connected and integrated into life here, and learning German (which is still a work-in-progress, but I refuse to give up), has been HARD, but I have no regrets, and am grateful and consider myself lucky to have this experience.

Starting Entelechy, is both the realisation of my own potential, and gives me the opportunity to help other’s realise their potential whether it’s on an organisational or personal level.

Entelechy is honestly who I am, and why I’m here.

Edit: as of September 10 at 10am CET, I just got word that my proposal to speak at the Creative Mornings: Berlin event in October has been accepted! Woo hoo! Here’s the link: October talk

It’s been 4 weeks…

It’s been 4 weeks since my transformative conversation with Paulina Larocca, and what a month it has been!

I am ever so grateful that we connected, I have Kristen Peterson to thank for that, and I am grateful that the other coach I had asked to work with me refused, for reasons which are his own.

In the last month I have started a new webpage (you’re on it) as well as a new Facebook page. I have written several blog posts about the shift and what I’m doing now. I have spoken to a great group of women at a Future Females event here in Berlin, and have lots of people/organisations talking to me about doing workshops and coaching with them, I am so excited! I am also working on a series of videos, which will be created over the next few months to share my thoughts and experiences with creativity and innovation, so keep an eye out for those.

If you have questions about any of this feel free to get in touch, even (or especially if) you are not in Berlin, this work is definitely not tied to location!

Looking forward to sharing this journey with you!

Why is creativity important to me?

I have two degrees, an undergraduate degree in Accounting, and an MBA in Information Technology. Nice degrees, years and years of studying, useful, but ultimately very analytical, logical, process oriented, and rational. I spent most of the first 30 +/- years of my life being very process driven, analytical, rational, and results-driven.

When I finished I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I started to ask questions, try things out: going to the symphony, drawing, photography, painting…

I started to have fun.

I was more relaxed, less stressed, more curious, more confident, more resilient.

My personal and professional lives were more interesting, and satisfying. 

I wanted to share my experience with others, and help them have these same benefits, and hopefully, reduce their learning curve, or at least move them along it, so now I am!

Leaving 19 years of KM behind?

Since deciding a few weeks ago to fully evolve into creativity and innovation, I have had a few people ask me about leaving 19 years of knowledge management behind (4 in a full-time position, and 15 as an independent consultant), after-all I’ve written books, chapters, articles, spoken at conferences around the world, and worked with clients on 4 continents. They are surprised, to say the least.

However, I don’t see it as leaving KM behind, I see it as an evolution. The metaphor I’ve used is that instead of dragging my KM box with me, l am standing on that box. It’s here supporting me instead of me carrying it around. It’s a good feeling to stand on that 19 years of experience and knowledge and to be using it to support my next steps.

Productivity, is that all there is?

(this blog post originally appeared on my Missing Puzzle Piece Consulting blog in April 2017, and I expressed similar thoughts in a chapter I wrote for KM Matters, which was published early in 2018. I am reproducing it here, because I will be taking my Missing Puzzle Piece Consulting webpage down, and this content is still relevant.)

We seem to have spent so much time in the last 100+ years trying to drive efficiency and effectiveness into our processes. How to do things faster, with more quality, with better outcomes, reduce waste, reduce re-work. These are not bad things, but in our push to be effective and efficient many of our organisations have removed time for reflection, for questioning, for considering alternatives out of the process.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in the last 100+ years, there most definitely has been. Whole areas of study have been developed/discovered, new technology is being developed all the time, but what about the “smaller” things, everyday things. What happens when we take away the time to think and reflect? We do things by rote, not thinking about if that’s the right thing to do, we get tired and suffer burnout, we start to make mistakes and treat people badly because we have focused on efficiency and effectiveness to the detriment of the system as a whole (see United Airline’s complete failure to respect passengers  ( and and

How do we bring that space for reflection, for some humanity back into our activities? By introducing time. Time for reflection, time for learning, time for asking questions, time for talking to other people, time for doing things differently, time for experimenting. Time.

My path to creativity

In my introduction, last week, when I spoke at the Future Females: Berlin creativity event.  I made a joke about being an accountant and a IT professional and that I was going to talk to them about creativity. I said, “I know what you’re thinking, what is and accountant and IT person going to tell us about creativity?” and really, how does someone who studied accounting and IT come to be doing creativity?!? I mean, really???!!!

You’re going to have to trust me that it is all connected, I don’t want to bore you to death with all the details, but the short answer is, that after having the creativity, figuratively, if not literally, beaten out of me of during years of education, I came to realise how important it is.

I was exhausted and burnt out and a bit bored because I had finished my MBA and didn’t have any hobbies, after-all who has time for hobbies when there is school work to be done. So, I started trying things out: drawing (oooh, this is math, I can do math), photography (oooh, nice to be outside, what happens when I do this with the shutter speed?), rock climbing (hated it, never again), going to the symphony (loved it), painting (ooooooh this is amazing, this one REALLY stuck). As I tried out all these things some of them stuck, and some of them didn’t, but I slowly started to figure out who I was, other than a student. Who I was, when I wasn’t trying to do a “should” or a “supposed to” and it was fantastic. Having these creative outlets helped me be more balanced, to be better at my career, because I thought more critically, and I was more resilient.

I decided a week ago to leave the knowledge management consulting that I had been doing for 15 years behind, and to step fully into the creativity and innovation work that I had been developing over the last 6 years and it feels like, this is it, this is what I am here for, this is what this long, circuitous journey has been about: getting me ready to use all the skills and knowledge I have accumulated along the way to help organisations and people to be more balanced, to use both sides of their brains, to look at things differently if they want different outcomes; to apply artistic practices and principles to all kinds of problems to arrive at better, more balanced, more useful solutions.

I am so excited to be here!

Future Females: Berlin, Thinking creatively & thinking bigger event

Last night (July 17, 2018), I spoke to a group of about 70 energetic, engaged (mostly) women at the Future Females: Berlin, Thinking Creatively & Thinking Bigger event.

What an honour and a privilege to talk to them about creativity and how to increase it’s presence in both our professional and personal lives.

I shared 4 different creativity activities with them, 1 was an improv activity, and the other 3 were drawing, as well as some background and context information about creativity.

I usually speak with much smaller groups, so this was a great learning opportunity for me, but despite my “learning on the job” or maybe because of it, we had a great time, some good discussion, and some fun trying new activities.

Thank you to all who came out and tried something new!

I have posted my slides on Slideshare, if anyone is interested.

Creativity and Innovation Chapter

I wrote a chapter on innovation and creativity and how they connect to knowledge management for the book, Knowledge Management Matters: Words of Wisdom from Leading Practitioners, which was published early in 2018.

There’s a free PDF available here:

As well, there is a video and a podcast of me talking about the chapter.

Let me know if you’d like to apply some of the ideas I discuss in the chapter to your organisation or your personal situation.