PCI is Rolling!

February 16, 2009 by

For those of you who are following the development and roll-out of the PCI Adventure, we are on our way to a week in Portland, Oregon, where we will be delivering the experience to a health care organization in support of their new organizational values, which include innovation.

We are very excited.

Here we go!

Picture of the day

December 5, 2008 by

Creativity experts say that one of the keys to unleashing creativity is to relearn to think as a kid. Here is a picture of my daughter full of mischief circa age 4.


Inspiration and Mondrian’s “A”

December 4, 2008 by

I have spent a lot more time than usual browsing art this past week to provide visual stimulation for PCI Adventure. Van Gogh and Mondrian of course, but also a lot of photography. Although I am computer-fried and outdoors-deprived, I feel a deep surge of inspiration and connection from this browsing.

A lot more than I expected actually. My preferred mode of viewing art is definitely “in person” in museums and art galleries. I first travel through the artwork fairly quickly to scan which sculptures, paintings or photographs turn me on. I then come back to spend time in front of the few I have selected, allowing “transfer” time for me to fill up and regenerate.

So, it is definitely a surprise I have such a strong feeling of awe for art after spending days browsing images on my Mac. And a good surprise! Here is the picture that has inspired me the most for the past few days.

Red Tree, Piet Mondrian

Red Tree, Piet Mondrian

Mondrian painted it in 1909. Strange fact about it: Piet Mondriaan had known for a long time that he would remove one of the A’s in his name when he found his true personality. This is the first painting, completed at age 41, in which he signs his name the way we got to know him.

I am fascinated to know that this painting represents his being in the world in a deeper level of authenticity.


The Space You’re In

December 3, 2008 by

“All creativity happens somewhere—in a study, in a studio, on a stage, in a garret. That space is where the creation comes to life, where the work actually happens—or doesn’t.”
Phil Cousineau, Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion & Imagination.

I love this quote. Something about the idea that there’s always a “somewhere” where creativity happens. I think I like this because creativity seems so ethereal sometimes, it’s nice to think about it being anchored to a real place.

But then I look at my desk, where I do most of my creative work, and I’m struck by its confines. I inherited this desk very used (that is, free) at a time when I was so broke that free was almost expensive.

I’m observing now (not for the first time, but in a new way) that the top of my desk is pinched and crowded. Papers are stacked everywhere. Computer cords wrap my ankles. The wall presses in. Worst of all, I sit with my back to the window. 

Cousineau says “where the work actually happens.” And I don’t think he was talking about “work” as in a job. But maybe so. Now that I reflect upon the quote, I think it’s time for me to turn and face the work as I work. I hope that means, more often than not: as I create.

So my question to you is: what’s your work/job space like? What’s the space you’re in when you’re working in that space?

How does your space support you in your work?

by Amy Frazier


November 7, 2008 by

Last night Valdo and I joined a session on creative brainstorming, exploring the connections between imagination, the outdoors, adventure, and sustainability – and how they apply to teamwork.

The techniques were simple: we took colored 3 x 5 cards and filled them up, by quickly jotting down anything that jumped to mind, one topic at a time. We then offered up our suggestions, and one of the facilitators scribed the words onto large pieces of paper. The final step was brainstorming associations among the topics. After a few short visualizations, we were done.

The simplicity belies the effectiveness. At the end of the evening, after all the planned activities were done, a conversation arose “spontaneously” that allowed us to go deep, quickly, about the dynamics of teamwork.

I don’t think we would have had that level of conversation if we hadn’t been priming the pump first.

For me, once again it was a reminder that the creative process isn’t always evident on the surface. Filling cards with words was moderately interesting. The conversation that emerged when the planned activities were done, showed me how really valuable it had been.

by Amy Frazier


November 3, 2008 by

What’s the relationship between creativity and artistry? On the one hand, artists have to master the nuts and bolts of technique, and often this doesn’t really feel “creative” in the general sense of the word. They’re not creating anything new in those moments, one could say; they’re just practicing their scales. Part of what an artist does is not blindingly creative.

On the other hand, there are amazingly creative people who don’t consider themselves “artists” in the formal sense of the word. Clearly, being creative and being an artist are different things at different moments.

Here’s something that recently crossed my path in an article at the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge site called What Artists Know About Leadership, by Sharon Daloz Parks. She lists the power and qualities of an artist as: “the ability to work on an edge, in an independent relationship with the medium, with a capacity for creative improvisation.” This seems to put the choreographer and the project manager on pretty even footing as far as process is concerned. So then the question is: how do all of us develop those creative muscles?

by Amy Frazier

Passion, Creativity and Innovation

October 31, 2008 by

Join us in our conversation on what the three important concepts of passion, creativity and innovation really look and feel like in action. Our thought is that most people and organizations would like to have more of all of them…but we also know you can’t just place an order, and then voila, there it is.

So how does it happen? How does creativity arise, passion inspire, or innovation emerge and take hold?

We think these are great questions. And we’d love to have your thoughts. Click on the comment link below this post to join in the conversation. And see our PCI Adventure page for more info.

(On January 6, in Seattle, we’ll be rolling out the new PCI Adventure game to explore these three concepts in a fun, experiential way. Check back for more info.)

by Valdo Lallemand

La Rentree: “What I did on my Summer Vacation”

September 5, 2008 by

I’ve recently returned from France where I had a wonderful time reconnecting with family. It’s amazing, but in France, most people enjoy a full month of vacation — and most of them take this time during the month of August. A huge portion of the country, flocking to the countryside and the coasts of France. When it’s over, “la rentree” begins. The Return.

Now I’ve returned…and I decided it was time to start a conversation about the benefits of extended vacations (how they help restore us, connect us with family, etc). And to ask the question: how do many of us here in the States manage when we don’t have the same amount of time to get away? How do we replenish ourselves?

We decided it might be fun to have an informal essay contest. Send us your thoughts on the above to info@visionleadership.com, or reply to this blog, below. The winner(s) will receive a nice bottle of French wine to share with friends or family. And we’ll post your replies here, with your permission.

Enjoy! –Valdo