All hail grit power (= determination + discipline)!


One of the most famous pieces of behavioral research ever conducted is the ‘Stanford marshmallow experiment‘  What this shows? The power of discipline. And determination. Grit! Having an eye on the long game rather than instant gratification…  That’s one of the things I’m teaching my kids. Intelligence sure helps, but when it comes to succeeding […]

Ramping up my/our emotional literacy (online)?


That’s it, we’ve started that amazing slow-thinking and triple loop journey to make sense of this incredible transition and challenge that we are facing. We had our first session last Monday and it was intense. Because this transition journey is intense… Really intense… Not least emotionally. We are grappling with all kinds of signals and […]

Slow thinking and triple loop learning for our high-paced online metamorphosis


In her preface to a great series of posts on moving online in pandemic, our iconic and highly inspirational friend Nancy White made this revealing statement: In typical Nancy fashion I jumped into action, started up an email list, opened a Google Doc to share resources, responded to individual requests for help. Boing, boom, zip, […]

The little secrets of collaboration: The opaque, empathetic, talking-listening balancing act


As I continue with this mini series on the secrets of collaboration, an important angle dawns on me: Among collaborators, where is the sweet spot between talking vs. listening? And I mean: how do we each balance it out in order to truly be in a genuinely collaborative approach? Of course this is a silly […]

The little secrets of collaboration: Assume good intent


My former employer’s Director General used to say, almost ad nauseam: ‘always assume good intent’ At some point, it kind of became formulaic. No one seemed to be listening to that particular message of his any more. And the gossips and rumours went on as they always do – and indeed always did. But the […]

The ‘meta’ reflex, that little knowledge ‘extra’ that makes a difference


My head is still boggling about the relation that some people can have with time. Particularly about what they do with time, this fascinating uber-theme of humanity alongside with love, death and the meaning of life. I’ll be blogging a couple of posts about time. Starting today with this: the little extra time that smart workers […]

Nothing new under the sun? Here’s what’s new: your dying thirst for learning


It’s a natural tendency of skeptics, experts, people who’ve been in a field for a while: they’ve seen it all, nothing is new, why bother? This is happening currently on KM4Dev in relation with a conversation on what is different about communities of practice now and then. Some people have the tendency to say that indeed […]

The uneasy step from conflict management to collaboration


We all aspire to collaboration. We all want it, we all heed it, we all crave it. But as we know, in trust we must trust. And sometimes trust just isn’t there. Even quite the contrary. Conflict might be looming about, whether insidiously or openly. It is difficult to let go of our desired image […]

Principles of life to live with good heart and intelligence


Over Christmas holidays I had an interesting exercise with my father to identify what would be the principles of life that guide our life and that we would like to leave as our philosophical legacy to our ‘next of kin’s’. I am coming back to this because, just like a contribution statement helps you become […]

Of ‘toxic micro cultures’


‘Culture is a hypothesis’, as a friend of mine would say. And by that I mean national/regional/ethnic cultures. As for me, with that kind of culture it’s a case of ‘Mind your culture, and mind that I don’t mind it 😉 ‘ But in any human group, in addition to this overall layer of culture, there tend […]