Posts tagged: Business


By , November 16, 2007 2:37 pm

Collaborative Decision Making: Quick, efficient meetings

Coordinated Collaboration: The Best of Consensus and Hierarchy 

Here are some Task-Roles  and Impasse Resolution Procedures , for use when a group has a limited time to make decisions. This model can also be used, as Coordinated Collaboration, as a way of gathering information and input, in work groups where there is a boss, a Project Manager, or a Coordinator who will make the final decisions.

As with all the Applied Methods of Creative Edge Focusing ™, the procedures create quiet, protected moments where participants can pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and create innovative ideas and solutions.

The tasks can be rotated in a “shared leadership” model, where appropriate, each person on the team learning the various skills. Or, for instance, on the Board of a Corporation or Non-Profit Organization, the formal Chairperson might serve as the agenda keeper more regularly.

Shared Leadership Tasks

The group appoints or gets volunteers for the following tasks: Read the full instructions here

Read all about Creative Edge Organizations

Download PDF article “Collaborative Edge Decision Making” or Metodode Tomade Decisiones del Border de Colaboracion

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


By , November 7, 2007 6:00 pm

The Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method  

     Hierarchical and collaborative models of decision making both have strengths and weaknesses. Hierarchical models can breed apathy and alienation, and the absenteeism, low productivity, and carelessness which can result. Collaborative models can lead to an inability to reach conclusions and to carry out effective action and can degenerate into power struggles over leadership. The Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method combines the benefits of both collaboration and hierarchy:

1. Benefits of Collaboration

     Collaboration, where people work together as equal colleagues toward a common goal, has the following benefits compared to strict, hierarchical, top-down decision making:

  • (a) The equal hearing of every viewpoint and the contribution of each person’s unique expert knowledge can lead to win/win decisions which are more inclusive and creative;
  • (b) Egalitarian expression of disagreement can address weaknesses, producing decisions that are objectively higher in quality;
  • (c) When participants have a say in decisions affecting them, even when they do not get all of what they want, they experience greater “ownership” of decisions and become more willing and motivated to carry the decisions out;
  • (d) Working together toward a common goal also produces feelings of friendship and collegiality which lead to greater enjoyment in working together and greater commitment to the group and the organization itself.

2. Benefits of Hierarchy

     In most business settings, clear, hierarchical lines of authority and responsibility insure that:

  • (a) Decisions can be made within prescribed time limits;
  • (b) Specialized expertise of individuals can be utilized effectively;
  • (c) An overview of the entire organization’s objectives and projects can be developed by executives, in communication with any advisory Boards and shareholders. This overview can be communicated to managers, who can organize the efforts of work groups toward accomplishing these over-all objectives.
  • (d) “The buck stops here.” Clear lines of responsibility, and the accompanying power and authority needed to take responsibility, are established.

3. Coordinated Collaboration Component

      In pure consensual decision making, a decision is not made until everyone in the group feels able to go along with it. At the very least, dissenting group members have to be willing to say, “I’m not willing to participate in the project that way, but it’s okay with me if you three want to carry it out, “or, “I think there’s a better way to be found, but I’m willing to go along as long as we review the outcome in a month” or some such qualified assent.

     If someone is not able to agree in any way, it is assumed that the decision is flawed, some piece of information needed for problem-solving is missing, or not yet articulated, and the group will benefit from spending more time sitting with the decision until an acceptable solution arises. Committees can be formed to gather more information, and group members can spend time individually or in pairs using Intuitive Focusing to look for innovative solutions.

     However, in many situations within an organization, decisions have to be made on a timetable and passed along to other collaborative teams or up the hierarchy. Using the Coordinated Collaboration approach of the Collaborative Edge Decision Making method, a Coordinator or Project Manager can set time limits for Collaborative Decision Making and be empowered to make final decisions when the time limits are up and take these to other levels.  Coordinated Collaboration allows the benefits of collaboration within the time limits and structured responsibility of hierarchical organization, capitalizing upon the best of both models.

Read the complete article about Collaborative Edge Decision Making, including Hand Outs to use in applying the method immediately at meetings, at and in Spanish at

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


By , October 30, 2007 10:24 am

Empowerment Organization: Motivating from the bottom up

Motivation = Engagement : Apathy Is The Enemy!

You are charged with finding that “one small thing” which will get every employee or volunteer or citizen fully engaged in your larger projects. No apathy allowed in a Creative Edge Organization! You want to become alert to noticing apathy, people at any level who are not caring, not involved, and then work at involvement. You want every person actively involved at The Creative Edge, the lively, creative, energized “intuitive feel” of being a living, thinking, involved  Co-Creator or Collaborator.

Finding “One Small Thing”

In the ongoing life of your Creative Edge community or organization, the weekly exchange of Listening/Focusing turns in Focusing Partnerships and  Focusing Groups or Teams will keep individuals involved at their own personal, unique Creative Edge. See Interest Area: Creative Edge Organization at for a full introduction to the model.  

However, in addition, or perhaps first or independently, you can use the “One Small Thing” method to find one over-arching project that will get everyone involved.

You want to find “One Small Thing” that every person in the community or organization can become involved in with minimal effort but maximum sense of satisfaction in contributing something to the larger mission.  If the first step of involvement is too big, too difficult, then most people won’t be willing to do it.

So, you have to keep looking until you find something so small that everyone can do it, easily, willingly, yet so important that it will feel like a real contribution, a first step of commitment to the larger cause. Then, you can invite these involved, engaged people into further Collaborative Decision Making about the project.

If your “One Small Thing” project is not having the desired effect, then the step is too big, requires too much motivation or commitment. If that is the case, then you need to look for a smaller step until you find the one that works.

Example One: Achieving Corporate Buy-In

At Old Navy (Business Week, June,19, 2006), Innovation Champion Ivy Ross, catching the MySpace-type lifestyle of today, used a facebook-style CD in an effort to bind old and new employees into one new group. Every employee filmed three minutes of “something so personal it would take years to discover it.” Ross had new and old employees hungrily viewing the CD. They quickly became bonded into one, new group, “infused…with a close tightness essential for innovation.” Ross had found the “One Small Thing.”

Example Two: Revitalizing the PTO at a public school

The PTO of a public school was languishing. A handful of parents wer doing all the work. A new property tax bill dramatically cut funding to the public schools, wiping out PE teachers, art, music, librarians, nurses….The parents suddenly had to raise a whole lot of money from a population of middle to low income parents.

The small group of committed parents started selling Grocery Store Gift Certificates. The PTO could purchase the “scrip” at a 5% discount, resell it to parents to use to buy groceries, and make a 5% profit on something parents had to buy anyway. Everyone had to buy groceries!  They sold “scrip” in the front hallway before school and at school events and PTO meetings.

Suddenly, everyone was buying “scrip” – grandparents, neighbors, as well as parents and teachers. People were coming into the school to purchase “scrip” and staying to paint walls or help with reading. The only people who were unhappy were parents who were on food stamps – they were furious that they couldn’t contribute!!!! The PTO had found the One Small Thing that allowed everyone to become involved.

Now, parents had a “stake” in how the money would be spent. Attendance at PTO meetings grew to thirty, making decisions about how to distribute the funds, how to enlarge the “scrip” program. Teachers came to present proposals for funding.

In the first year, the PTO raised $11,000 (at the 5% net profit, gross sales of $220,000!) to hire a part-time PE teacher who would teach the other teachers how to run PE classes. The “scrip” program spread to other public schools and, ten years later, a large banner in front of the town high school reads “Buy Grocery Scrip”.

But, more importantly, the entire school was revitalized.  The parents had to establish a “volunteer lounge” at the school to accommodate all the volunteers!

Hypothetical Example: Global Warming

You are Al Gore.  You want to get every day citizens involved in the issue of Global Warming. But most people feel apathetic: “Oh, there is nothing that one person can do…it is up to governments.”

Well, maybe it is up to governments…but non-apathetic, engaged citizens are the ones to put pressure on governments.  So, you are looking for that “one small thing.” “What is one small thing that masses of people would be willing to do and which would act as a first step toward full engagement?”

Here’s a possibility:  Purportedly, “idling” your car greatly increases the output of pollutants. Yet, everyone, without giving it a thought, “idles” at drive-up banks, fast food take-outs, school pick ups. What about a “Stop Idling! Stop Greenhouse Gases” campaign? With bumper stickers, flyers on car windows or handed out at drive-up locations….the double-entendre “Don’t idle and don’t be idle!”……

If you can get people, all over the world, to “Stop Idling!”, you will have them engaged in thinking about global warming every day…and primed to engage in other actions which you initiate.

Intuitive Focusing on “What is the One Small Thing?”

Your Turn

So, let’s use the Intuitive Focusing skill to find the “one small thing” to engage and motivate your target audience, be it consumers, citizens, volunteers, or employees. This could be the most important decision you make, so, one small session may not be enough, but it will start you thinking about Creative Edge engagement. It will put the pot on the burner so that creative insights can arise now or later.

You can do this first step alone, by yourself, but even more productively with the appropriate group of problem solvers, benefiting from the Creative Edge Collaborative Thinking of many people.

However, the best way to generate ideas for the “one small thing” is to initiate a Listening/Focusing Brainstorming process with the people at the bottom! We are not going to do that here, but it is essential to the process of motivating from the bottom up.

As a group or individually, sit down and get comfortable, preparing to spend up to  twenty minutes letting right- and left- brain problem solving interact. Add another twenty minutes for group sharing. Keep a blank pad of paper in front of each person for gathering ideas.

In a group, have one person read the following instructions aloud to everyone else. Everyone except the reader, close your eyes, focusing inward, on The Creative Edge…or, at least, look off “into space”. You want to access right-brain, intuitive thinking before you turn to more traditional “brainstorming” methods.

Upon hearing the instructions, pay attention, inside, looking for the “intuitive feel” of answers – not what is immediately, intellectually known, but the right-brain, intuitive, murky, vague feel of what you know that is “more than words”…..leave at least a minute of silence between each instruction….(read more and find the actual Focusing Instructions at

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


By , October 26, 2007 6:21 pm

 Conceptos Básicos de Focusing de Borde Creativo para Padres que Crían de Manera Positiva. 

  • ·        Para criar niños en el mundo de hoy, los padres deben ser “mentores” de sus hijos, para que sean independientes y flexibles en la solución de sus problemas y en la toma de decisiones.  Los niños necesitan guías, mentores como el personaje Yoda en StarWars, no personas autoritarias. 
  • ·        Los niños tiene un acceso natural al “sentir intuitivo” que es básico de Focusing Intuitivo.  La guía interna conduce a la toma de decisiones de manera independiente, tener una “consciencia” y tener una vida satisfactoria la cual satisface el proyecto detallado de vida en cuanto a  talentos específicos y a  aspiraciones únicas.
  • ·        La crianza positiva ayuda a los niños a mantener y desarrollar esta “guía interna”.  Al usar la Escucha Focalizada, los padres aprenden a ayudar a los niños a encontrar su propia solución a los problemas. 
  • ·        El abuso físico, sexual y emocional son el enemigo para desarrollar este sentido interno, esta consciencia y guía para la toma independiente de decisiones. Ellos enseñan a los niños a disociarse de sus cuerpos, desde su “experiencia Sentida” o su “sentir intuitivo”.
  •  ·        Educar a los padres para que críen a sus hijos no es suficiente; los padres deben sanar su propio “Niño Interno” antes de que puedan alterar su comportamiento hacia sus hijos.  El Proceso de Solución de Problemas PRISMAS/S con su destrezas básicas Focusing Intuitivo y Escucha Focalizada son necesarios para el cambio a nivel de Paradigmas cognitivos/emocionales/esquemas de comportamiento que determinan la conducta, las emociones y el pensamiento.       El kaleidoscopio tiene que virar…
  •  ·        Los padres pueden aprender a usar Escucha Focalizada y Focusing Intuitivo en su propia relación.  La Pirámide de Borde Creativo incluye aplicaciones de PRISMAS/S en muchos niveles.  Los padres pueden ayudarse unos a otros con la curación de su Niño Interno a través de turnos de Focusing en Pareja. Pueden usar también Focusing Interpersonal para resolver conflictos entre ellos mismos en cuanto a estilos de crianza. 
  • ·        Los Grupos de Apoyo en la crianza son absolutamente necesarios.  Cuando los padres comparten con otros padres pueden tener ayuda en épocas de crisis ya sea en sus matrimonios o como padres solteros.  La esencia de los grupos de apoyo consiste en (a) Ud. no está sólo, Ud. no es el único experimentando esas cosas, (b) Todos Uds. son expertos.  Al usar sus propios recursos pueden solucionar sus problemas, pueden mover montañas.  Los Grupos de Focusing y la Comunidades de Focusing proveen auto-ayuda, modelos de consejo de pares para grupos de apoyo. 

 CUATRO APLICACIONES DE LA ESCUCHA/FOCUSING PARA PADRES QUE CRIAN:Las destrezas básicas Focusing Intuitivo y Escucha Focalizada pueden ser aplicadas a la crianza de cuatro maneras diferentes, dos primariamente para sus hijos, y dos para Uds. como padres.  Le llamo a esto “Crianza Interna/Externa…” Lea más acerca de las destrezas arriba mencionadas y baje artículos a su computadora como: “Padres como Espejos: Previniendo el Narcisismo”. “Poniendo Límites Mientras se Permiten Elecciones” “Crianza Positiva: Escucharse a Sí Mismo, Escuchar a su Pareja, Escuchar a su Hijo” En: Creative Edge Focusing (Focusing de Borde Creativo)Área de Interés (Positive Parentering) Crianza Positiva http/: you/3a1d.php 

  • Otros sitios web interesantes: 

Jane Nelson (autora de Disciplina Positiva, mi libro favorito sobre crianza) 

Programa de Entrenamiento Padre a Padre en CHADD (organismo nacional para Niños y Padres con Desorden de Déficit Atencional) 

Recursos y

Entrenamiento del programa de crianza positiva   

DRa. Kathy McGuire, Directora


  • TraducciónAgnes Rodríguez. 


By , October 26, 2007 3:37 pm

The Enneagram: Looking At Your Shadow Side 

While the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (see description and tests at )stresses the positive, our “differing gifts,” The Enneagram helps us to take a brave look at our shadow side, our personal demon, and the motivations driving us.

I find it interesting that, even if someone’s MBTI is exactly the same as mine, the person can seem to be very different from me in how they behave. Especially if I am getting into conflict with the person, I often try to figure out their Enneagram as well to see if that sheds light on the situation.

There are nine basic personality types, refined by degree of interaction with the other types.  They are The Reformer, The Helper, The Motivator, The Artist, The Thinker, The Loyalist, The Generalist, The Leader, and The Peacemaker. However, complexities involve leaning toward one”wing” or the other and passing into a different type when ideal vs. under stress, etc.

Riso’s book, Discover Your Personality Type: The New Enneagram Questionnaire (Houghton Mifflin, 1995) provides a simple description and test for exploring your Enneagram profile. However, Helen Palmer’s work with the Enneagram can lead to somewhat different results. Again, try several tests and see what you learn:

More Personality Tests and a philosophy for conflict resolution through understanding Individual Differences at

Dr. Kathy McGuire


Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


By , October 19, 2007 2:01 pm

Metodo de Toma de Decisiones del Borde de Colaboracion

Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method 

(Download this article to read all about the Creative Edge Focusing (TM) model for creative and innovative task-oriented meetings )

I believe it is at Google that every employee’s total work is put out publicly on a shared networking site, so everyone always knows what everyone is creating!  Wow! The opposite of competitive cubby holes.

Also, at a number of businesses, they are tearing down walls between employees, enlarging “shared work spaces” with comfortable chairs and work stations to encourage sharing, breaking down walls between departments, and also between inside and outside, bringing many more outside consultants and consumers into the idea and product-generating process.

The old model of static bureacracies is not adapted to this “niche” and consumer-driven market. Companies have to respond very quickly in creating new products to meet demands worldwide. So, they need the work teams down the hierarchy to be the “front line” in terms of responsivity… A Bottom-up model.

Also, companies are sending employees out into the marketplace to observe the real lives of consumers — e.g., in terms of figuring out what kind of cell phone to create for a foreign market, employees travel there and observe how the people there use technology, use cell phones and computers , etc.

Creative Edge Focusing is right in line with all of these collaborative and experiential directions! And we “own” the remaining new frontier: inner “felt sensing,” the “intuitive feel” of ideas and situations as a font of creativity and innovation.

Malcolm Gladwell, In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Little, Brown, 2005) legitimated the power of “intuition” and “gut feelings” for decision making.

Certified Focusing Professionals of The Focusing Institute, and now Creative Edge Focusing (TM) consultants, have been exploring and teaching the use of The Creative Edge, the “intuitive feel” of situations and ideas, for over thirty years!

See (many of these books are available directly from The Store at The Focusing Institute, as well as )

       Gendlin, E.T. Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984)

       Cornell, Ann Weiser The Power Of Focusing (New Harbinger, 1996)

       Flanagan, Kevin Everyday Genius: Focusing On Your Emotional Intelligence

              (Marino Books, Dublin, 1998)

See also the website of Flavia Cymbalista, , and testimonial from George Soros about how the Intuitive Focusing skill helps with decision making in the uncertainties of financial markets.

And, at our own website for Creative Edge Focusing (TM),,

Core Concept: Creativity, ,

Instant “Ahah!” Empowerment Organization: Motivating From The Bottom Up ,,

Case Studies:Creative Edge Organization,,

Core Concept: Intuitive Focusing,,

Core Concept: Creating At The Edge: Culture of Creativity,,

and, to sum it all up, Interest Area: Creative Edge Organization, 

(if these links don’t work, go to our Blogroll and choose Creative Edge Focusing and The Focusing Institute! You’ll find the articles to download under Free Resources: Articles. I’m just learning how to do this blogging!) Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director, Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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