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Report: Learning Consortium for the Creative Economy


Executive Summary of the 2015 Consortium

Released: October 26, 2015

I had the privilege of traveling with and visiting nine companies this past summer that have courageously and boldly moved their management cultures and practices into radical new ways and I am thrilled to now share this summary of what we discovered. When you see how this is really happening—at scale—it can be so amazing and beautiful, so efficacious and humanizing, that you begin to wonder: why doesn’t everyone organize in this manner? What rational leader and manager would want to even consider any other such approach in today’s fast-changing, creative economy?

Sure you can read a lot of books on new management methods, attend many conferences, take a course or hire coaching or consulting.  All of that is good for areas of knowledge we already have. Much is already known about how to create high-performing teams and work collaboratively.  Where there is not a lot known is how all this new style managment works at scale.  How do large organizations operate with mindset and methods so different than what traditional management has known for a hundred years that this new way of thinking about it represents a management paradigm shift?

Faced with this unknown we decided to do what people have always done, go exploring. A year ago I was invited by Forbes columnist and author of seven books, Steve Denning to help form and facilitate a new Learning Consortium initiative along with Michael Pacanowsky who spent 25 years with W.L. Gore, the innovative makers of Gore-Tex and now the Gore-Giovale Chair of Business Innovation at Westminster College. I liken it to the voyages of Lewis and Clark in their “Corp of Discovery” that explored the vast unknown interior of North America in 1804-1806, or Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, or the exploits of the Starship Enterprise to “Go where no one has gone before.”

We formed the Learning Consortium for the Creative Economy to do some basic exploration and observations in this same old fashioned manner: Go and see.  And as explorers do, we also kept our observations in journals and logs. With much gratitude to Steve, Michael and our fellow member explorers, I am pleased to provide this collective work of our findings on this delighful and amazing journey through Consortium member companies in Spain, Ireland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Michigan (and with a “virtual visit” to India). The full text of the summary is available on-line here.


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