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Unflattening Collaborative Interactions, Imaginative Conversations, and Creative Endeavors

Unflattening possibilities

Unintentionally we flatten. Whether it's another person's idea, our own emotions, or relationships, making things flatter creates the illusion that our experience is somehow simpler, less entangled, or more forgiving than we want it to be. We flatten things in order to eliminate uncertainty, avoid complexity, and make it easier to overlook complicating details. Flattening give us a sense of control over the unbounded

Our work exists to stop the movement towards a flatter world. With quiet revolutions, soft subversions, tiny conspiracies, and small innovations we are trying to gently provoke shifts in the way we organize & structure our relationship to work and to each other. By slowly metabolizing and creatively destroying conventional approaches to chronic challenges, we are exploring the adjacent possibilities that emerge from positive disintegrations. 

We make a habit of getting dirty. 

Areas of Practice & Consulting Services

Immersive Action Research & Transition Design

We accompany clients on generative journeys from tiny hunches through initial discoveries & novel insights to purposeful exploration of new territories and adjacent possibilities. Frequently, this results in the development of new offerings, the maturation of an anti-fragile portfolio, a wider-dynamic range of options for meeting customer needs, AND the transition of rigid products/services/practices into creative destruction. 

organizing for learning & Learning partnerships

Creative adaptation, metabolic exaptation, and recombinatorial agility provide organisms of all types with evolutionary fitness and advantage. We help individuals and groups organize themselves to benefit from both deliberately designed and accidentally insightful learning experiences. We arrange resources, relationships, and ____  in a way that makes learning an irresistible partnership in which acting our way into new thinking replaces thinking how to act differently. 

structuring Generative interactions & Relationships

Reality is necessarily incomplete. Each of us possesses a limited perspective and view of what's true. Only by engaging more people's intelligence and sensibilities can we understand and work with the full complexity of what's present.

Every interaction has the possibility of generating something novel. Certain relational patterns reliably produce innovative & inventive possibilities. Our work focuses on structuring the conditions for novelty to emerge more reliably. We use Liberating Structures and draw on insights from complexity science to micro-structurally organize interactions that include a wider range of adjacent possibilities and while engaging everyone in shaping future options.

Over time, we have observed that rigorous and disciplined use of these structures results in durable relationships that distribute power & authority more widely while also integrating the creative, adaptive intelligence & creativity of more people. 

creatively working with complexity & Novelty

One of the most common times people unintentionally flatten possibilities is when confronted with complexity and novelty. When you narrow your options too soon, you exponentially increase the likelihood of solving the wrong problem. We work with clients to engage with seriously playful curiosity and wade further into uncertainty as a way of exploring and discovering options that are likelier to be anti-fragile. We specialize in making confusion, incoherence, and entanglements fun and productively harmful - converting small disintegrations into productive patterns for sustainability, resilience, and endurance.