Monthly Archives: February 2011

Designing our Minds for Leadership

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March 2011 DwD was hosted by Fernando Lopez, executive coach and president of Bridgespace Consulting.


Just as the designer of a ship’s structure exerts more influence on its performance than does the captain or the crew, the structure of our thinking is the primary determinant of our actions and thereby the pattern of results we are getting in our lives. A change in how we think translates into a change in the results we are creating. Actions and results that were not possible before become possible. It is that simple—and also that difficult.

The most effective leaders are by no means perfect leaders, but they do have an upgraded thinking structure. This workshop will introduce you to and immerse you in this structure.

Key learnings:

  • A ground breaking model for leadership
  • Insight about which of 3 most commonly held illusions is getting in your way.
  • A powerful tool for creative relating when experiencing conflict or resistance.
  • An exploration of what really matters to you

The following image reflects the model used in the workshop process. A sample survey of how an organization might fit the different dimensions overlays the circle model.  The circle map shows the  the definitions of the creative competencies and reactive styles.

Also see:  Leadership: Uncommon Sense


FernandoFernando Lopez is president of Bridgespace Consulting Inc., an executive coaching firm that specializes in helping clients create the space for powerful collaboration. Fernando coaches (in English or Spanish) clients in North America, Latin America, and Europe.

Fernando is well known for his expertise in organization and relationship systems coaching. He is a faculty member of the Center for Right Relationship and the Coaches Training Institute, an industry leader that has trained over 20,000 coaches worldwide. Motivated by discovering new coaching approaches and sharing them with others, he has been a speaker at both Toronto OD Network and International Coach Federation conferences and workshops.

Fernando’s mission is finding often-surprising solutions to leadership and relationship challenges.

Before founding Bridgespace, Fernando was at Medsite Inc. (now part of WebMD) where he bridged technology and business teams. Having lived in Mexico, Toronto, New York, Hawaii, Munich, Brazil, and Chile, Fernando is comfortable operating in different cultures.  Fernando has a dual degree in Management and Technology from the Wharton School and the School of Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dialogue with Clowns

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February 2011 DwD featured nonverbal participatory social presence, led by Heidi Madsen (Columbus, Ohio), Elsa Lam (Dzieci Theatre Troupe), and Patricia Kambitsch (Playthink).

Some of the exercises required attentive listening beyond hearing. Dexter Ico captures Four Clowns at  Bus Stop, performed here by all participants. The “lead clown” is given a scenario, the others, without peeking, peripherally pick up on the behavior and act the part until they all, somehow, learn together the scenario without it ever having been communicated. This is as funny as it sounds …

Evolving Community of Design with Dialogue

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Design with Dialogue has evolved into a learning and practice community.

The purpose of DwD was to create an ongoing venue for practice whereby we could develop established and emerging methods of dialogue and structured group engagement for community and social design. As the community has grown, we have a total group of about 150 past and present participants, and we’ve explored, hands-on, everything from Art of Hosting to Sensemaking. We’ve gone from just learning methods to inventing them, from trialing new practices to conducting them as live facilitation in community engagements.

It’s clear to me that DwD is having an impact on cultural change. People in the community are actively entering into new conversations with community stakeholders and clients to introduce more effective ways of social learning and action.  And while our monthly community sessions are extraordinary experiences, the lasting value shows up in how DwD informs our work and everyday lives. This is where culture starts to change around us.

We now have a Stewards Council of 6 regular, committed leaders that share a vision for a higher-impact DwD learning and practice community. And we have never made requests on the community before for a commitment, other than those who have graciously offered to present a session. But we’re not going to reach these goals on our own, we would love some more volunteers. We promise that you will get more from participating than you put into it.  I know this is true of all this work, a learning community that changes culture and eventually helps everyone we work with.

We need help in the following activities:

  • Two new programs getting started (KMDI and a Master’s series)
  • help setting up and striking down the gathering space
  • video and photo documentation at sessions
  • posting documentation and session follow-ups
  • Blog ( management and posting relevant things from other sites
  • posting session invitations on
  • toolkit development and management (for online methods resource)
  • outreach (help us find and connect to other leaders for masters or methods sessions)

We have action teams for Community, Communications, Programming, and other functions as well.

Please contact me, or Greg, to let us know you’d be interested. And how you would like to help.

Shut Up & Dialogue! (with Clowns)

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DwD presents DwC: Dialogue with Clowns

What do clowns know that you don’t ?

The international clown troupe of Patricia Kambitsch, Heidi Madsen, and Elsa Lam presented the February edition of Design with Dialogue.

Through nonverbal, visual, and interactive experiences drawing from theatre games, we explored the essence of dialogue beyond words.

Eighteen people joined us in an inter-personal inquiry into the questions:

* What is dialogue, really?
* What does it feel like?
* How can we understand if we’re talking all the time?
* How might we experience understanding of each other through a dialogue between I, Thou, and Crowd?