An Exercise in Observation: Practicing Your Genchi Genbutsu

One of my all-time favorite thoughts is by UK-based urban designer Ben Hamilton-Baillie, a master of designing shared space intersections: “If we observed first, designed second, we wouldn’t need most of the things we build.” The Japanese phrase for what Ben is talking about is genchi genbutsu, which roughly translated means “go look and see.” […]

Can You Talk Like TED?

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference, known for its 18-minute presentation format. In those 30 years, TED has become the ultimate forum for today’s top thinkers and doers to share innovative “ideas worth spreading.” By all measures, TED talks are inspiring, creative, informative, entertaining and, judging by the numbers, wildly […]

The Power of Visual Thinking

As Napolean once said, a picture is worth a thousand words. This isn’t just a trite cliche. Visual thinking is an invaluable skill, if not a leadership art. In his book Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership, Howard Gardner makes the point that visionary leaders rally people around a compelling message by calling up mental […]

Hope To See You At SXSW 2013!

I’m looking forward to my first visit to SXSW. My schedule’s never permitted me to attend, and this is my first opportunity to speak. Unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t permit me more than one day: Saturday, March 9. I’ll be speaking for 20 minutes at 11:30 AM in Ballroom G of the Austin Convention Center, followed […]