Me, in a Nutshell
For my entire life, I have been connecting ideas and people that were not meant to be together.
As a child, I often played with Lego and Playmobil. I would ditch the instructions and create whole new scenes, entire worlds full of community and collaboration.
My experience as a leader, consultant, and advisor is that in high-level complex scenarios, there are no instructions. We can design processes and curate different experiences but in the end, plans never match reality and influence happens in all sorts of ways.
So to this day, I do the same I did as a child: I design tailor-made processes and spaces so my clients can co-create their emergent future one step at a time, for themselves and their communities.
The secret to the future of work is not in picking the right tools but in deepening human connection.
The Longer story
I left university a generalist with a passion for international politics and the desire to change the world for the better. This desire took me to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in Rome, and later to work for the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC.
I worked on topics from natural resource management and land rights, to food security. From Technology adoption and agricultural value chains, to gender and women’s empowerment.
The common thread in all of these projects was collaboration. I helped build and coordinate international networks of researchers and development practitioners.
Increasingly this included collaboration beyond the occasional workshop and conference using online tools.
In 2009, when I left the 9-5 world, this is what I started to focus on: how to help distributed groups to work together more effectively online. My company, Radical Inclusion, was one of the first to offer support for remote team development when companies still thought that this was just another fad.
In the last 20 years, I learned that it is not technology, not the tools or systems that drive team success, but the degree to which all team members can feel (psychologically) safe to be themselves and act without pretense.
So, to overcome the challenges of our time and change the way we live and do business, we have to become more and more authentic, more and more ourselves, hiding nothing:
… the gifts we bring for they can change the world; and
… the pain we carry for it is what makes us hide our gifts.
For many years I led, what looked like on the outside to be a very fulfilling life: Working remotely for 20-30 hours per week, being able to live wherever I chose to.
Yet, I felt unmotivated, out-of-sync, and stuck!
After the birth of my daughter, in 2012, and a cancer diagnosis shortly thereafter, I finally mustered the courage to confront my wounds and the pain they caused. From there, I was able to find the path to myself and as a result, a happier, more fulfilling life.
In hindsight, this has been my healing journey. It has been a gift, and I believe that sharing will impact the world.