With contributions from Genuine Contact Professionals around the world, find inspiration, stories of experience, and practical tips for living and working the Genuine Contact way.


Change process with channel workers

“I really don’t know what to do now” – said my new client, looking depressed at the desk in front of him. “I’ve really tried everything.” The man was visibly affected, sitting slumped in his chair and making no secret of his perplexity. Unusual for an executive. For me, admirable … Read More

What a children’s museum taught me about leadership

I think I learn more about leadership from raising children than I ever could anywhere else. One of my most recent lessons happened in a children’s science museum. There was an interactive digital immersion exhibit designed to introduce the basics of quantum physics. The sign at the entrance recommended staying … Read More

Winning isn’t good decision-making

A number of years ago I had just stepped into the Leadership Management Team of the Genuine Contact Organization and we were in a process of making some important decisions about the direction of the organization. I was learning how our systems and processes worked and was new to what … Read More

Decisions that gauge commitment to participation

The time has come to make a decision. The board is gathered and has discussed the topic several times. There is a proposal. Everyone agrees, and the topic is ready for the next steps. The person who first came up with the idea is happy to have the support from … Read More

One Day in 2050

An invitation from the global initiative One Day in 2050 gave me the energy to start a local conversation about how a day in 2050 would be in our community. A conversation that inspired and engaged a local group of grade 8 students while giving them the experience of participatory … Read More

First Experiences with 5toFold

It’s amazing to think that it’s been over 15 years since we first began using 5toFold as a collaborative decision-making method in our Genuine Contact community. And how quickly it became our chosen decision-making method for all major decisions that affect the GC program and the development of our organization. … Read More

Origins of 5toFold

Origin Story of 5toFold as a Tool within the Genuine Contact Way This story is written as a testament to our dear friend and colleague, Chris Weaver. Chris passed away on September 20th, 2017. I first met Chris in 1996 at a conference, during which time he asked if I … Read More

Exploring Worldview Changed My Life

The definition of worldview, “a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group,” can be hard to identify. Your worldview is so familiar that you usually forget it is just a construct, and not the truth. I guess that’s the point of a … Read More

Is Your Worldview Harmful or Helpful?

A worldview, simply defined, is a collection of values, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations that inform thoughts and actions. At first glance, the idea of worldviews might appear to be relatively neutral. But that is rarely the case. Your worldview is a big component of what shapes your reality. Each of … Read More

Maturity Exam

It was many years ago now and I have forgotten the names of those involved. However, the experience they gave me was so profound that I still carry it very vividly in me. In colour and in the total orchestration of my feelings at the time. It was my very … Read More

Accountability is more than just blame

“When successes happen, it is because of a team. When failure happens, it is because an individual is at fault.” I heard this statement in a recent conversation about accountability in organizations. And it broke my heart…even if it’s a common perception in organizations today. In the Genuine Contact way … Read More

Defining the desired state isn’t enough

Reviewing a client’s “strategy” document recently confused me. In the introduction, it noted that the strategy document defined the desired state for the business unit in 3 years’ time. I was just starting work with the unit and this document was to help orient me to the task at hand … Read More

Hierarchy. Is it really a bad thing?

According to Merriam-Webster, the word hierarchy has five definitions: a division of angels a: a ruling body of clergy organized into orders or ranks each subordinate to the one above it, especially: the bishops of a province or nation b: church government by a hierarchy a body of persons in authority the classification of a group … Read More

What is Whole Person Process Facilitation?

One of our preferred methods, when we are asked to facilitate a group, is Whole Person Process Facilitation (WPPF). Our clients, whether in the private or public sector, get results from an WPPF meeting greater in both quantity and quality than they initially thought possible. WPPF creates meetings that produce … Read More

15 minute meeting as a new standard? No thank you.

I was watching a webinar last week to find out about the latest and greatest tools for working online. By the time I was done, I had a sick feeling in my stomach. The more I heard about “great ways” companies are adapting to working online, the sicker I felt. … Read More

Presence -> Trust -> Collaboration

In 2013 we (Anna Caroline Türk (Germany), Doris Gottlieb (Netherlands), and Thomas Herrmann (Sweden)) decided to collaborate together to offer Genuine Contact Workshops in English in Europe. We gave ourselves time to feel into how we wanted to do this and in 2015 we offered our first Genuine Contact training. … Read More

Episode 12: I Want to be Human – Also in Organizations

In this episode we speak with Mariëlle Cuijpers, one of the members of the Genuine Contact Organization about her experience working with this holistic approach and how it’s contributing to her lifelong learning journey. In our conversation we touch on the importance of spirit as part of what gives meaning … Read More

Episode 11: How Inviting Multiple Intelligences Benefits The Whole Person with Helga Hohn

In this episode we talk with our colleague Dr. Helga Hohn, a psychologist based in the Netherlands. She introduces us to Gardener’s concept of multiple intelligences and we speak about the alignment we experience between his approach and the holistic worldview of the Genuine Contact way of working. Gardner’s theory … Read More

The Musical Rhythm Of Mentoring Circles In Genuine Contact

One of the key components in the Genuine Contact way of working is mentoring one-on-one, in online forums, and in Mentoring Circles that happen face to face. In the Netherlands, where I live, people working with Genuine Contact and those interested come together on a yearly basis in what we … Read More

How do you come back into alignment?

The idea of being in alignment is not something new. It seems a quest for the ages.  It was posed to me again recently. How do I come back into alignment? As I reflected on my own answer and experience, it reminded me again of the power that the Genuine … Read More

Grief Cycle As Part of Transformation

Lea este post en español. Enter into a contract with a facilitator who is skilled not only in facilitating a Whole Person Process facilitated meeting but also in working with WPPF for the longer-term benefit of your organization from even a single meeting. The contract will include provisions for a planning meeting, … Read More

Los Ciclos de Duelo son Ciclos de Sanación que Permiten la Transformación

English Post Here | Traducción de Elisabeth Tepper Kofod Cuando firma un contrato con un facilitador capacitado no solo para facilitar con Facilitación para la Persona Completa (Whole Person Process Facilitation), lo hace también para trabajar con la Facilitación para la Persona Completa para beneficiar a su organización a largo … Read More

Episode 10: People Who Are Cherished Want to Contribute

In this episode we talk with our colleague Tulika from the NIIT Foundation based in  Dehli. NIIT Foundation,is a not-for-profit organization that builds skills and capacities of underserved children by offering educational and skill programs for young people starting from 6 to 30 years of age. Besides this they provide … Read More

What is Genuine Contact

What is Genuine Contact? As someone who was raised in a household where it was taking shape and who has been working with it for 20 years, the answer feels like it’s woven into my DNA. But it can still feel like a difficult question to answer. I often say … Read More

Gratitude in Action

In November 2019 NIIT Foundation (NF) celebrated 15 years of establishment. To honor this milestone, we could think of no better action than to express our gratitude and appreciation to all those who helped us reach where we are today. This included the NF team, NGO partners, funders, students, parents, and many … Read More

Panoramic vision as a key leadership capacity

“Never discuss politics or religion in polite company” is an old adage with good intention. By avoiding potential hot topics, conversation stays peaceful and pleasant. But along the way, we seem to have added quite a long list of other hot topics to the ones to avoid. I don’t even … Read More

What happens when you understand a project is actually a change process

What happens when every new venture an organization takes on – every business initiative, every project, every new team formed – is taken on as a change process rather than looking at it from a project framework? Most new ventures are approached from a project framework. They have a fixed … Read More

Just What is the International Genuine Contact Organization?

Along with my co-facilitator Birgitt Williams, I’ve just finished facilitating the annual Genuine Contact Summer Academy. Our focus this year was on the Genuine Contact Organization module of the program. This module brings together the learning of all the other modules to explore how one can support organizational transformation the … Read More

Sounds of Change

Doris Gottlieb is a coach, consultant, and facilitator living and working in the Netherlands. She does all her work the Genuine Contact way and recently sat down with her clients Lucas Dols and Maite van der Marel, the Co-Directors of Sounds of Change. We’re diving into their conversation here, exploring … Read More

Episode 9: The Gift of Being Open to Outcome with Elisabeth Tepper

In this episode, we talk with our colleague Elisabeth Tepper Kofod, originally from Venezuela (via Denmark) and currently based in Madrid, Spain. Elisabeth has had a truly fascinating life, one in which she has had to learn to adapt and thrive even as the world has shifted around her. Elisabeth … Read More

Episode 8: What you need comes to you with Vibha

In this episode, we speak with our colleague Vibha, from India, one of the pioneers in spreading the Genuine Contact approach in India. Vibha is a citizen of the world, working and traveling to many countries and learning and teaching in many communities. She has a commercial consultancy called Vibha … Read More

Episode 7: Are ya’ll prayed up?! with Michael Vinson

In this episode, we talk with our colleague Michael Vinson from Arkansas. He is funny, he is wise, and he is the first genuine contact minister that we know of (second is Anna Caroline’s mum). He shares his experience with faith communities that light up by working the Genuine Contact … Read More

Episode 4: Happy Leaders, Great Results with Sabine Bredemeyer

Sabine Bredemeyer is a pioneer of Genuine Contact – working with this approach for nearly 20 years. In this Podcast she speaks about her new book Happy Leaders Happy People Great Results. The book introduces her leadership formula – which includes purpose, health, and self-discipline among other aspects – as the … Read More

Episode 3: I Walk My Talk with Thomas Herrmann

In this episode, Doris & Anna Caroline speak with Thomas Herrmann about his approach to life and work. He is a certified Genuine Contact trainer from day 1 as well as a Co-Owner of the Genuine Contact organization and has worked with Open Space Technology for over two decades. His company … Read More

Episode 2: Stamina and Generosity are Key Leadership Ingredients with Rachel Bolton

In this episode, we talk with Rachel Bolton – Director of the Genuine Contact program and organization – about her path with Genuine Contact. Together we reflect on characteristics of the Genuine Contact way of working within our organization. Whether you are new to our community or a long time … Read More

Episode 5: Leading the Genuine Contact way you’re never alone with Eiwor Backelund Jacobsson

“Everybody needs an Eiwor” – in this episode, we talk with Eiwor Backelund Jacobsson from West Sweden. She has been in many leadership positions applying the Genuine Contact way of leading and working. She shares with us the highlights of her journey – she has been committed to Genuine Contact from … Read More

The Discipline of Joy

Quick, picture a moment of joy. If your mental picture is anything like a google search, odds are it is children doing something that brings great joy. Playing with a sparkler, holding a bunch of balloons, or something else filled with childhood joy. It’s seen as some kind of right … Read More

Four long days of online workshop. Impossible?

If someone had told me in February that three months later I would be holding a lively, participative and highly effective workshop online for four days with a group of 16 people on the topic of “Leadership and Team Development”, I would have only smiled mildly and not believed him. … Read More

What distance schooling can teach us about working with grief in organizations

Distance schooling started here recently. Like communities around the world, we had been isolated at home for weeks. Our school district implemented a plan to get kids learning again. It took exactly 2 days before my daughter came to me and asked what would happen if she just decided not … Read More

Moving forward in times of complicated grief

Complex times can mean complex grief. The world as we know it is changing. It’s changing rapidly. Every day brings new changes, new loss, new normal that needs adjusting to. It needs adjusting to at a speed that is faster than most of us are comfortable with. Just when you … Read More

Episode 6: Beneath Anger and Grief is Love with Nancy Wells

“The more I understand grief the more I understand that underneath grief and anger is love. ” In this episode, we speak with Nancy Wells, who has been working and living the Genuine Contact Way for 20 years. In her work as an Information Technology professional she combined both the … Read More

Episode 1: People Are Precious with Doris Gottlieb and Anna Caroline Türk

Doris and Anna Caroline are hosting the Genuine Contact way podcast in 2020 – in this first episode they interview each other. They share a passion for working with people in a mindful way, enabling groups and individuals to bring out their wisdom, creativity and love. In this episode they … Read More

Whenever it starts is the right time

. This is one of the four principles of Open Space Technology that was “discovered”, as he likes to say, by Harrison Owen almost 40 years ago. Whenever it starts is the right time. I was aware of many things, but this was not a concept I was familiar with … Read More

Noticing extends your space to decide

Every time someone or something pushes one of your buttons, you have 1/10 of a second to choose if you are going to act on the trigger or not. Facilitators of Open Space Technology and Whole Person Process Facilitation learn to be aware of this process and talk about “sitting … Read More

Build Capacity if You Want to Realize Change

I was speaking with a participant in a workshop. She wanted to talk with me about her frustration. In her organization, they are encouraging people to take leadership for their own areas of expertise. In her experience, her manager never gives space for that. He says he trusts people but … Read More

A Worldclass Approach

This article was originally published by Wieneke Olthof of Providers of Goodness on March 3, 2019. It is republished here with her permission and is the first in a series designed to explore the many ways organizations worldwide experience the Genuine Contact way of working. Ambition turned reality: Worldclass Örnsköldsvik! … Read More

What Paperclips Tell us About Creativity

Odds are, you’ve heard of the paperclip experiment. In 1968, George Land and Beth Jarman conducted an experiment with children. They originally designed it for testing potential NASA engineers and scientists on how innovative they were. The researchers asked 1,600 5-year-old children how many uses they could come up with … Read More

Failing is only valuable if you’re learning something

My kid brought home her first failing grade last week. It wasn’t entirely unexpected as she’s not really connected meaningfully with the teacher or the subject matter. The experts talk about how essential it is to let our kids fail. It’s going to happen when we’re adults, so practice on … Read More

The Impact of Grief at Work

Change Is Always Accompanied by Loss Initiating the Healing Cycle of Grief Work Grief work is part of everyday life. Change is constant and change is always accompanied by loss. When there is loss, the human being goes through a cycle of grieving before being able to move on to … Read More

Don’t listen to what people say, watch where their feet are going.

As part of a workshop I gave about learning to build conscious awareness of the power of your conduct as a leader, I offered participants the opportunity to reflect upon quotes about conduct, and someone brought in this one. It struck a chord with me. That chord has been resonating … Read More

20 Years of the Spirit of Generosity in Action

2020 is a special year around here at Genuine Contact.  We’re celebrating 20 years of working together internationally in our community of practice. And I couldn’t be more proud. When I reflect back on what has made these 20 years possible, it comes down to a simple formula. Inviting collective … Read More

What Makes a Great Leader

Recently I was in a conversation about what qualities define a great leader.  After contributing my thoughts to the conversation, I thought they were worth sharing with you too.  Here are some of the qualities I believe define a great leader. Ability to Stay the Course We are living in … Read More

Five Beliefs of Genuine Contact

Birgitt Williams and Ward Williams designed the Genuine Contact™ program with simplicity in mind. The program focuses on attending to organizational health and balance as a foundation for organizational success. It uses meetings as a catalyst for organizations to develop as conscious, life-nourishing, interconnected creative organizations. Meetings are a catalyst … Read More

The Beauty of Autumn and Stories

“Autumn paints in colors that Summer has never seen.” I like Autumn like no other season, the crisp air, the yellow, orange and red leaves, the smell of damp moss on trees in the forest and most of all the calm feeling of fulfillment. This year Autumn in Sweden has … Read More

The Power of Simple Processes

One of the things I love about the Genuine Contact approach is that we work with simple frameworks and processes to address complex problems, we use the tools over and over and can apply them in many ways. One of the things that can make me very nervous about Genuine … Read More

One Drop at a Time

As facilitators, most of us have this desire to be able to work with many, many people.  To have large groups who can benefit from your knowledge and experience. And, of course, those of us who work with Genuine Contact, have a great desire to make the Genuine Contact Program … Read More

Honoring the natural rhythm of humans for the best results

A number of years ago, I was at a multi-day learning event. It was the last day and I was with one of the participants waiting for a session to start. He was a manager at a large company and had been at this event for curiosity. For five days … Read More

Showing Up and Being Fully Present

In her book The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary, cultural anthropologist Dr. Angeles Arrien identified 4 immutable laws of spirit: Show up and choose to be fully present Pay attention to what has heart and meaning Tell the truth without blame or judgment … Read More

Meetings that Engage

We often talk about engaging people, but what do we mean? What is the purpose or goals we want to achieve with this engagement? Are we going to start a movement or have people support a cause? Or could there be other results when we engage people? I mainly want … Read More

It’s A Relief to Remember — Change Has Always Been Constant

When I began as an organizational consultant, one of the things that were taken for granted and still is for many, is that people don’t like change and aren’t good at it. We use this as an excuse for all sorts of what is often called “push back” or “resistance” … Read More

The Power of Imagination

Lea este post en español. Imagination and Creativity I’m currently participating in a program that motivates participants to use their creativity. And I love knowing or realizing how creative I am and the magic this can produce. I don’t mind imagining great and wonderful things. Of course, I have no idea how … Read More

El Poder de la Imaginación

Read this post in English here. Imaginación y Creatividad Estoy participando en un programa actualmente que motiva a los participantes a utilizar su ceatividad.  Y me encanta saber o darme cuenta de lo creativa que soy y la magia que eso produce.  No me importa imaginar cosas grandes y maravillosas.  … Read More

Ready…Set…Go… the need for readiness

Do you remember when you were young and raced with your friends and one of you would start by saying: “Get Ready, Get Set, Go….” and then all of a sudden you would all take off toward your goal, running with a full commitment toward the line out in the … Read More

What Does It Mean to Be A Human Being in The Role of a Leader?

I was a curious little girl and always wondering “what does it mean to be a human being”? Possibly like all children, all over the world, I admired my parents. I thought they knew what it means to be human. So I watched them, copied their behavior and tried to … Read More

What Happens When We Acknowledge That Humans Are Actually Good at Change?

Throughout my life, I have taken for granted that people are bad at change. The thought is so prevalent it has become cliché. When I began my career as an organizational trainer and later as a consultant, the idea that people are change-phobic and change inadequate was taken for granted. … Read More

Holistic Leadership – Connecting Through the Interstices

Some say holistic is something that comes from New Age, some kind of spiritual fluff that does not belong together with leadership. This is not correct. Others say that holistic is a modern trend that organizations who want to be in the forefront better adjust to. This is not correct … Read More

Flying Solo in Genuine Contact

When I met Ward and Birgitt Williams back in 2006 I was immediately intrigued.  It was at a meeting of the International Institute for Global Leadership in the mountains of Asheville, NC and they talked about Genuine Contact (GC). It just sounded right, even if I was not completely clear … Read More

Increasing Engagement in Your Association – The Easy Way

Meetings could be a total waste of time. Or they could be simply wonderful – efficient, productive, innovative and time-saving. Like Cinderella said about the ball at the castle. How the meeting turns out is to a large extent depending on which method that is chosen for the process. Sometimes … Read More

Growing Wisdom Through Group Reflection, Listening and Curiosity

The other day I was working with one of my favorite groups and we shared a profound experience. This cohort of 31 young people act as Mentors to incoming students at their International Business School. Our meeting was part of their last session together as Mentors, now that the program … Read More

What Dancing Taught Me About Slowing Down

Birgitt Williams is fond of cautioning people to “go slow to go fast”. This is true in any learning experience or intentional change effort. Those of us who work with Genuine Contact know that by slowing down at the beginning and carefully creating the foundation for any new project, it … Read More

A Typical Village Training: The Genuine Contact Way

The project was Financial Literacy Training. The participants, 42 women living in a remote village in India. The common mindset – and moreover my own assumptions about the participants – is a typical orthodox mindset to be non-progressive, non-communicative and less willing to be part of change in the society. … Read More

Leaders and leadership are a key to success

When an organization is going through a transformation process, it is to a large extent the leaders and the leadership that will determine if this change will be successful or not.  Leaders because they have great power to impact the organization by the way they are leading. Leadership, the approach, … Read More

Power of Collaborative Mentoring: The Genuine Contact Way

Typically, one associates mentoring with the act of someone older, more experienced or knowledgeable, giving advice to someone younger, less knowledgeable and experienced than them. With traditional mentoring, it is assumed that the mentees benefit from the guidance provided by the mentor. Can mentoring also be collaborative? If so, how … Read More

La Necesidad de Reflexionar

  Ahora que las festividades navideñas han terminado y que el invierno llega con todo su fuerza para los que vivimos en el hemisferio norte, me gustaría reflexionar un poco sobre la necesidad de reflexionar. No estoy familiarizada con las festividades de fin de año en las diferentes zonas del … Read More

The Need to Reflect

Now that the Christmas festivities are over, and winter comes full blast for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, I would like to reflect a little about the importance of reflection time.  I’m not familiar with the year-end festivities in the many different zones in the world, but I … Read More

Reflection - Knowing where you’re going by knowing where you’ve been

Recently, I worked with a group of students employed as Mentors for students entering their university. They are part of a program designed to build the university community and to help new students integrate into student life and their studies. The program asks a lot of these young people, both … Read More

The Art of Leadership

Sometimes we talk about leadership as an art and people agree and say ”yes, of course” but what is it that they actually agree with? What is leadership, what is art and what is the art of leadership? A Culture of Leadership Within Genuine Contact, we speak about a culture … Read More

Save time…Go Slow

One day, I was preparing for an event with a colleague. We had about a half-hour to go before 50 people would arrive for the start of the day. We were running late and were just starting to set up the venue. I thought we would need at least one … Read More

Lo que Significa Estar en un Círculo de Mentoría de Genuine Contact

Deseo compartir con ustedes lo que significa para mí participar en los Círculos de Mentoría de GC, muy especialmente por haber llegado recientemente de uno llevado a cabo en Ámsterdam, el 15 de septiembre de 2018. Lo primero que ocurre para mí es que me siento contenta porque sé que … Read More

What it means to be in a Genuine Contact Mentoring Circle

I want to share what it means for me to participate in GC Mentoring Circles. Especially having just arrived from the one held in Amsterdam on September 15, 2018. The first thing that happens to me is that I feel the joy of sharing space and time with a group … Read More

What’s Your Worldview?

There are many ways to look at the world. What kind of glasses are you using? Many organizations are still using the same glasses that they got when they were founded. At that time their world might have looked like a machine or an assembly line where you easily could … Read More

Leading Online Collaboration

Today, more and more often we work in online environments. It is a simple and effective opportunity to work with people from afar. When connecting to one person for a conversation, it is easy to use Skype, Zoom or other apps instead of making a phone call. When you want to … Read More

Silencio y Espacio

Read this post in English here. Vengo de un mundo corporativo altamente competitivo y en esa época tenía la extraña idea de que debía hablar todo el tiempo, muy especialmente, tenía que defender mis ideas.  Para probar que era una líder había que hablar, hablar y hablar.  Si hacía eso, … Read More

Silence and Space

Lea este post en español. Coming from a very competitive corporate world I had the weirdest notion that I always needed to speak, especially speak up.  To prove I was a leader I had to talk, talk, talk.  If I did, I could “grow” within the organization and become someone renowned and … Read More

The Importance of Purposeless Play

Not that long ago, my daughter spent a rainy afternoon drawing. She made drawings of fancy clothes, delicious cupcakes, unicorns, mermaids, and about everything else you’d expect a 10 year old to be inspired by. The stack of papers grew and grew, until I finally asked her what she was … Read More

How Genuine Contact taught me what it means for organizations when “People are Precious”

A number of years ago, as I was beginning to work with the Genuine Contact approach, I had the opportunity to participate in a bid with two more experienced colleagues. While we were writing the proposal I remember being surprised when my colleagues chose to include a phrase in which … Read More

The Butterfly Effect

Many people have heard about the butterfly effect. It suggests that the butterfly, when flapping its wings, could either stop or cause a tornado. This term was coined by Edward Lorenz when he worked with weather models. In his research, he found that a very small change in initial conditions … Read More

What if everyone who is here is right?

I spend a lot of time speaking with leaders in organizations and teams. We talk about how to improve communication. How to develop a strong working strategy. Ways to enhance the leadership culture of their organizations. We design meetings for people to bring in creative ideas and turn them into action. … Read More

What is Open Space Technology?

One of our preferred methods, when we are asked to facilitate a group, is Open Space Technology (OST). Our clients, whether in the private or public sector, get results from an OST meeting greater in both quantity and quality than they initially thought possible. After a simple planning process, the facilitators … Read More

The Failure of Traditional Re-engineering Methods

Over the last decade, many organizations have attempted to bring about needed change by re-engineering efforts. There is increasing evidence of the failure of these efforts. Traditional re-engineering efforts, although well intended, have not taken critical factors into account including the length of time needed for implementation. Managers often complain … Read More

The Magic of Working the Genuine Contact Way

For those of you who don’t know me, I live in Spain, but lived most of my life in Venezuela.  And I’m sure most of you know how crazy the situation is there.  There is no way of explaining what happens there because there is no previous historical reference to … Read More

From One Leader to Many Leaders

Published in the At Work Journal by Berrett-Koehler, 1997 and again in Leverage Journal 1997. A Canadian social services organization incorporates Open Space into its culture and thrives For ten years, I was CEO of a Canadian social services organization. I had been in this position for six years before … Read More

Being Raised in Genuine Contact

This post was originally published under the title “Being Raised in Open Space” in 1999 and appears in the book The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership. As Genuine Contact has evolved, many people have begun to wonder if this would be a good way to raise children.  … Read More

Leadership Development vs Leader Development

It is helpful to consider what is commonly called ‘leadership training’ as actually being ‘leader training’.There is a difference, especially regarding application of leadership, and it matters.Recently I met with a well seasoned ‘Leadership Development’ trainer. She is deeply dedicated to the development of people, and has devoted her career to … Read More

Mentoring Circles and Masterminds

The “Master Mind” may be defined as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” ~ Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill was one of the first to write about the “master mind alliance”. … Read More

Genuine Contact as a Holistic Approach to Organizational Development

The Environment Change is constant. Change cannot be managed. Solutions must be found quickly to complex challenges and opportunities. Solutions must be understood throughout the system so that individuals can make individual decisions to take on the new. Knowing what works is harder than knowing what doesn’t work. 90% of … Read More

Are you under pressure from the Christmas co-illusion?

How many of us think that Christmas will not arrive if we have not done this and that? Or that we will have that fairy tale Christmas they show on postcards if we just do certain things? Can you keep a secret? Christmas will arrive anyway, on December 24 or … Read More

The Stunning Effect of Liberating Structures

Givens as Prerequisite for Maximum Freedom, Maximum Choice When I did my Genuine Contact training in 2003 I learned from Birgitt Williams about what she referred to as “givens”. The “non-negotiables” for Open Space Technology meetings or any other meetings in which people participate. These givens, provide them with orientation … Read More

What’s your worldview – sink or swim?

Years ago I moved to the Netherlands to work at a Dutch professional University. I was surprised that many students had real difficulty with even the basics of writing academic papers. In talking to my colleagues, I found out that they were very frustrated about this. Their explanation was that … Read More

Consciously creating the climate – a pathway to success in business

What is it that makes some organizations so attractive for employees while others have a difficulty filling their teams? What is it that makes work seem smooth and … Read More

Leading with High Impact

When I met people in leadership positions in a Norwegian community, they all wanted to use more time leading and less time managing. They instantly saw the difference between leadership and management, which not all people do according to John Kotter, professor of leadership at Harvard University. His definition of … Read More

How Much Structure Do You Need to Feel Free?

In 2009 I was at a Summer Leadership Intensive from the Genuine Contact Program. The facilitator, Birgitt Williams, invited the group to reflect on this question:  “How much structure do you (personally) need in order to feel free?” I have carried this question with me ever since.  It informs my … Read More

Imagine if we could put all of our minds together – no challenge would be too great

How often have you sat in a meeting, or with a group of people and had that thought?  If we could all just come together, bring in all of the intelligence, the heart, the experience of everyone involved, surely we could find a solution. I know I have felt that … Read More