"Western education predisposes us to think of knowledge in terms of factual information, information that can be structured and passed on through books, lectures, and programmed courses. Knowledge is seen as something that can be acquired and accumulated, rather like stocks and bonds. By contrast, within Indigenous world the act of coming to know something involves a personal transformation. The knower and the known are indissolubly linked and changed in a fundamental way. Indigenous science can never be reduced to a series of facts or a database in a supercomputer, for it is a dynamic and living process, an aspect of the ever-changing, ever-renewing process of nature."

F. David Peat, Lighting the Seventh Fire

"So, too, the whole of human life contains within it the germs of its own future; but if we are to tell anything about this future, we must first penetrate into the hidden nature of the human being. And this our age is little inclined to do. It concerns itself with the things that appear on the surface, and thinks it is treading on unsafe ground if called upon to penetrate to what escapes external observation."

Rudolf Steiner, The Education of the Child

"Freeman Dyson has expressed some thoughts on craziness. In a Scientific American article called 'Innovation in Physics,' he began by quoting Niels Bohr. Bohr had been in attendance at a lecture in which Wolfgang Pauli proposed a new theory of elementary particles. Pauli came under heavy criticism, which Bohr summed up for him: 'We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that is not crazy enough.' To that Freeman added, 'When a great innovation appears, it will almost certainly be in a muddled, incomplete and confusing form. To the discoverer, himself, it will be only half understood; to everyone else, it will be a mystery. For any speculation which does not at first glance look crazy, there is no hope!'"

Kenneth Brower, The Starship and the Canoe

". . . an autocatalytic set can bootstrap its own evolution in precisely the same way that an economy can, by growing more and more complex over time. . . If innovations result from new combinations of old technologies, then the number of possible innovations would go up very rapidly as more and more technologies became available. In fact, he [Kauffman] argued, once you get beyond a certain threshold of complexity you can expect a kind of phase transition analogous to the ones he had found in his autocatalytic sets. Below that level of complexity you would find countries dependent upon just a few major industries, and their economies would tend to be fragile and stagnant. In that case, it wouldn't matter how much investment got poured into the country. 'If all you do is produce bananas, nothing will happen except that you produce more bananas.' But if a country ever managed to diversify and increase its complexity above the critical point, then you would expect it to undergo an explosive increase in growth and innovation--what some economists have called an 'economic takeoff.'

"The existence of that phase transition would also help explain why trade is so important to prosperity. . . Suppose you have two different countries, each one of which is subcritical by itself. Their economies are going nowhere. But now suppose they start trading, so that their economies become interlinked into one large economy with a higher complexity.

"Finally, an autocatalytic set can undergo exactly the same kinds of evolutionary booms and crashes that an economy does. Injecting one new kind of molecule into the soup could often transform the set utterly in much the same way that the economy was transformed when the horse was replaced by the automobile. . . upheaval and change and enormous consequences flowing from trivial-seeming events--and yet with deep law hidden beneath."

M. Mitchell Waldrop, Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos pp. 126, Touchstone, Simon & Schuster, 1992

"We've all had those perfect moments, when things come together in an almost unbelievable way, when events that could never be predicted, let alone controlled, remarkably seem to guide us along our path. The closest I've come to finding a word for what happens in these moments is 'synchronicity.' . . .

"My quest to understand synchronicity arose out of a series of events in my life that led me into a process of inner transformation. As a result of this transformation I decided to follow a dream that I had held close to my heart for a number of years. It was the most difficult decision I had ever made, but the day I made it, I crossed a threshold. From that moment on, what happened to me had the most mysterious quality about it. Things began falling into place almost effortlessly, and I began to discover remarkable people who were to provide crucial assistance to me. This lasted for over a year. Then I lost the flow and almost destroyed the dream I had worked so hard to establish. Ultimately I regained the capacity to participate in what I later came to understand as an unfolding creative order."

Joseph Jaworski, Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership pp. ix, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 1996

"Although I do many of my projects alone, some involve other people. I love both types of projects, although I have become pretty selective after years of working with other people. I do not enjoy working with people who do not know how to create; I love working with those who do. I especially love those moments when everyone eggs everyone else on to new heights. For this reason, the creative process is often at its most efficient when working with groups. . .

". . .there are those people who have the potential for working well together, but who do not know how to fulfill it. Usually this is because they do not know how to create, and so they are left with a combination of reactive and responsive behavior. Many of the groups with whom I have consulted began in disarray. They thought they had personality conflicts, but as it turned out, they did not. They simply were not creating what they wanted to create because they didn't have a clue how to go about it. . .

"Most work groups do not have the first step of the creative process in place, let alone any of the others. If you ask any work group to name the results they are after, they often fail to do so. Many groups laugh when I ask the question What do you want to create? 'This is so simple, why are we spending time on this?' a few of them say and others think. When they finally attempt to identify the results they want, they often discover they are not on the same wavelength after all. Often they begin to disagree with each other about the results. They had assumed that everyone was working toward the same ends, only to find that each person had a different idea in mind. Only once they clearly establish the end results they want can they begin to organize their actions, energies, and evaluations accordingly."

Robert Fritz, Creating: a Guide to the Creative Process pp. 224-246, Fawcett Columbine, 1991

"Yesterday, when I wrote to you about my methods of composing, I did not sufficiently enter into that phase of work which relates to the working out of the sketch. This phase is of primary importance. What has been set down in a moment of ardour must now be critically examined, improved, extended, or condensed, as the form requires. Sometimes one must do oneself violence, must sternly and pitilessly take part against oneself, before one can mercilessly erase things thought out with love and enthusiasm. I cannot complain of poverty of imagination, or lack of inventive power; but, on the other hand, I have always suffered from my want of skill in the management of form. Only after strenuous labour have I at last succeeded in making the form of my compositions correspond, more or less, with their contents. Formerly I was careless and did not give sufficient attention to the critical overhauling of my sketches. Consequently my seams showed, and there was no organic union between my individual episodes. This was a very serious defect, and I only improved gradually as time went on; but the form of my works will never be exemplary because, although I can modify, I cannot radically alter the essential qualities of my musical temperament. But I am far from believing that my gifts have yet reached their ultimate development. I can affirm with joy that I make continual progress on the way of self-development, and am passionately desirous of attaining the highest degree of perfection of which my talents are capable. Therefore I expressed myself badly when I told you yesterday that I transcribed my works direct from the first sketches. The process is something more than copying; it is actually a critical examination, leading to correction, occasional additions and frequent curtailments." --PETER ILICH TCHAIKOVSKY

Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori, Anthea Barron, ed. Creators on Creating: Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind pp. 56, 182-183, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1997

"If I ever feel I am getting to the point where I'm playing it safe, I'll stop. That's all I can tell you about how I plan for the future."


Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori, Anthea Barron, ed. Creators on Creating: Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind pp. 56, 182-183, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1997

"Most 'new' industries created over the years have provided services that complement services offered by existing industries or have substituted for existing, less efficient services. They have tended to be stand-alone industries that attract new entrants and exploit economies of scale or scope. But today the fusion of information technology and telecommunications is permeating most industries and often restructuring the underling basis of competition. The integration of these technologies is becoming the very basis for executing, coordinating, measuring, and communicating about activities within firms."

Stephen P. Bradley, Globalization Technology & Competition,1993

"In rock and jazz music there is also a stage similar to kindling. It is called the groove. A groove occurs when the rhythm is so strong that it seems to carry itself. The larger structures -- harmony, melody, texture, and form -- become ignited by a solid rhythmic feel. It is accurately said of musicians that when they 'play in the groove,' they cannot play anything that does not work. Even mistakes -- wrong notes, wrong phrasing, and so on -- always somehow work. But when a musician is not in the groove, anything he does will not work -- including playing all the 'right' notes in the 'right' places.

When you're in the groove, a strong underlying structure upholds and generates energy, leading to more and more momentum. When you're not in the groove, you must impose energy on the environment you are in, and the energy is not supported. Consequently, energy doesn't build and it becomes depleted. Inertia, rather than momentum, develops and leads to more and more difficulties. . . .

In a mindless quest for overachievement, many people willfully stretch themselves in defiance of the natural forces in play. If they were building a fire, they would not allow for enough air. They would be working against their goals by working on them with excessive zeal. In their attempts to create what they want, they would work hard, but not smart, and they would eventually burn themselves out.

(from Robert Fritz's book Creating, pp. 202-3)

"The probable assumption in a period of turbulence is the unique event which changes the configuration -- and unique events cannot, by definition, be 'planned.' But they can often be foreseen. This requires strategies for tomorrow, strategies that anticipate where the greatest changes are likely to occur and what they are likely to be, strategies that enable a business -- or a hospital, a school, a university -- to take advantage of new realities and to convert turbulence into opportunity."

Peter F. Drucker, Managing in Turbulent Times

"...the new physics cogently explains that there is no objective reality out there waiting to reveal its secrets. There are no recipes or formulae, no checklists or advice that describe 'reality.' There is only what we create through our engagement with others and with events. Nothing really transfers; everything is always new and different and unique to each of us."

Margaret J. Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science

"The work pays for itself as it goes because the productivity increases outgrow the costs. Solutions are simple, but they are not free. The major cost is the willingness and time investment of each member of the organization to actively re-think and re-work the workplace."

"Reworking the Workplace." Mobius Dec. 1993

"One final component of systems thinking is leverage. When you want to make changes to an existing system, you must locate the leverage points --those places where a small amount of influence will create a great change in direction. And leverage points are not always in the most obvious places. They're frequently obscure and insignificant looking."

Bryan Coffman, "Process Thinking and Strategizing" 1993

"Make the organization smarter all around you. Improve the quality of the dialogue between your group and others. Let your passions and values show. Connect the people you influence with others who can broaden their understanding of the larger system. Establish an organizational intelligence network. Never mind if the company wide body does not exist yet; start your own discussion group and link up with other groups interested in the issues of freedom and system wide responsibility as those groups appear. Share learning, and build the sense of common cause that becomes the community of and for organizational intelligence."

Gifford Pinchot, The End of Bureaucracy & The Rise of The Intelligent

"The hero is no longer the blue-collar worker, a financier, or a manager, but the innovator (whether inside or outside a large corporation) who combines imaginative knowledge with action."

Alvin Toffler, Power Shift

"In an era of change we need real leaders, not mere managers. Gold-collar workers, in particular, require leaders who understand how the world is changing, how their organizations fit into the changing world, and how to involve workers and other managers in creating a vision that directs everyone's efforts toward achieving a goal. These leaders must have a perspective of the entire system in which they operate, realizing that action taken in one subsystem will undoubtedly affect other subsystems."

Robert E. Kelley, The Gold-Collar Worker

"Every high-performance team member we met described their teams as special and their experiences as having participated 'in something bigger and better than myself.' Furthermore, each such team positively influenced the performance ethic of the larger groups, or extended teams, around them. They created an aura of excitement and focus that sustained the growth of new capabilities and openness to change. Still, such teams are rare. They cannot be created on purpose. As a result, executives must understand them if they are to recognize and take advantage of them. And the wisest leaders will do whatever it takes, from providing recognition or additional challenges to just getting out of the way, to keep these valuable teams -- and all they represent and influence -- alive."

Katzenbach & Smith, The Wisdom of Teams

"When you are asked what matters to you, how are you to answer? There are many obstacles which work to confuse the issue, and there may have been little real encouragement while you were growing up to know how to consider such question.

You may use your values, concepts, experiences, conflicts, worldview, problems, identity, concerns, beliefs, and aspirations to attempt to determine what matters to you. The mix can lead you either to great confusion and conflicts of interest or to great resolve. So many fallacies abound in our society that it can seem as if the subject is arbitrary, evasive, or even unimportant. In fact, it is greatly to your advantage to know what matters to you -- not only in theory, but in reality. There is a significant difference between the people who know what matters to them and the ones who do not."

Robert Fritz, Creating pp. 179-80

"Take an art course form a serious practicing artist. Not to spiff up your home page, but to experience an altogether different way of processing information. Artists process the world all at once, not one step at a time as the Industrial Age taught the rest of us to do. Numbers, equations, and sequential thought are the wrong tools for the realities of the Information Age, where parallel realms, from the Internet to business ecologies, demand new styles of thinking."

James Bailey, from an article in Fast Company Feb/March 1997

"...cat society is based on a rather subtle, covert language. The sorts of signals that pass between cats...happen very quickly, very rarely, and if you're not tuned into looking for it, you just don't see it. So I think people have spent their lives living among cats without taking into account the subtleties of the relationships that occur between cats."

David McDonnel, author of a 12-year Oxford University study on cats

"Less than half of the workforce in the industrial world will be in 'proper' full-time jobs in organizations by the beginning of the twenty-first century."

William Bridges, Job Shift

"Lewis Thomas explains that he could tell something important was going on in an experimental laboratory by the laughter. Surprised by what nature has revealed, we find that things at first always look startlingly funny. 'Whenever you can hear laughter,' Thomas says, and somebody saying, 'But that's preposterous! -- you can tell that things are going well and that something probably worth looking at has begun to happen in the lab.'"

Margaret Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science

"The ability to support unresolved paradoxes and to allow many different styles and interior dialogues to flourish is the mark of a truly creative scientist, artist, writer, or musician. While he may have been politically conservative, Shakespeare presented in his plays an entire universe of widely differing personae, each with his or her unique voice. For Bohm the individual is enfolded within the social and the social within the individual. People with sufficient creative energy can, by working on their own, dissolve fixed thought and provide the fertile ground to sustain a multiplicity of voices. Yet most of us normally use our energy to sustain a false sense of ourselves, which means we tend to operate from fixed and nonnegotiable but unexamined positions. Here lies the power of dialogue: to make manifest such assumptions and positions, bringing them out into the open."

F. David Peat, Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

Albert Einstein

"A (third) function of intuition is to synthesize isolated bits of data and experience into an integrated picture, often in an 'aha!' experience. In the words of one manager: 'Synergy is always nonrational because it takes you beyond the mere sum of the parts. It is nonrational, nonlogical thinking perspective.'"

Daniel J. Isenberg, "How Senior Managers Think" in Intuition in Organizations

"Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments of our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times -- although such experiences can be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen... For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves."

Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, Flow

"The less we know about the consequences of an action, the more likely we are to use direct controls to achieve the desired results. The reverse is equally true, as our understanding of intervention increases, we can afford to be parsimonious in the application of direct controls."

Doug Meng, The Natural Organization

"Words, he said, unfold in the brain, producing changes in its chemistry that permeate the whole body. As a result of our individual and social conditioning, particular words evoke strong somatic reactions that in turn modify our thinking. Words, thoughts, feelings, and intentions have their objective correlates as chemical processes within the brain; likewise, objective chemical processes have their subjective correlates in movements of thought. Thought is neither exclusively subjective nor exclusively objective. Like the observer and the observed in quantum theory, or the poles of a magnet, the two are inseparable. 'Significance' always has a somatic component, and somatic changes are always accompanied by a change in mental significance."

F. David Peat, Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm

"Intuition is a powerful purifying awareness that sees into the nature of things, beyond duality, into the void, the matrix of all creation. With intuitive insight comes self-acceptance, compassion, and love. When there is no duality there is nothing to fear."

Frances E. Vaughan, Awakening Intuition

"To learn is to change. Education is a process that changes the learner... Learning involves interaction between the learner and the environment and its effectiveness relates to the frequency, variety, and intensity of the interaction. Education, at best, is ecstatic."

George Leonard, Education and Ecstasy

"As humans we are not only aware of our environment, we are also aware of ourselves and our inner world. In other words, we are aware that we are aware. We not only know; we also know that we know.... In the Santiago theory, self-awareness is viewed as being tied closely to language, and the understanding of language is approached through a careful analysis of communication... Communication, according to Maturana, is not a transmission of information, but rather a coordination of behavior among living organisms through structural coupling.... Language arises when there is communication about communication."

Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life

"'You must tell children how to behave, but you mustn't tell them how to be' illustrates Bohm's idea of the difference between a paradox and a contradiction: A contradiction involves two things that cannot fit together, while a paradox, which appears at first sight to be a contradiction, on closer examination has a resolution."

F. David Peat, Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm

"Without a shared language for dealing with complexity, team learning is limited. If one member of a team sees a problem more systemically than others, that person's insight will get reliably discounted -- if for no other reason than the intrinsic biases toward linear views in our normal everyday language. On the other hand, the benefits of teams developing fluency in the language of the systems are enormous, and the difficulties of mastering the language are actually reduced in a team. As David Bohm says, language is collective. Learning a new language, by definition, means learning how to converse with one another in the language. There is simply no more effective way to learn a language than through use, which is exactly what happens when a team starts to learn the language of systems thinking."

Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

"Action should precede planning because it is only through action and implementation that we create the environment. Until we put the environment in place, how can we formulate our thoughts and plans? In strategic planning, we act as though we are responding to a demand from the environment through our own strong intentions. Strategies should be: just in time...supported by more investment in general knowledge, a large skill repertoire, the ability to do a quick study, trust in intuitions, and sophistication in cutting losses. In other words, we should concentrate on creating organizational wave packets..."

Karl Weick in Margaret Wheatley's Leadership and the New Science

"When a great innovation appears, it will almost certainly be in a muddled, incomplete and confusing form. To the discoverer himself it will be only half understood; to everyone else it will be a mystery. For any speculation which does not at first glance look crazy, there is no hope."

Freeman Dyson, physicist and principal architect of the theory of quantum electrodynamics

"More than 90 per cent of the technology that will affect our daily lives at the beginning of the 21st century has not been invented. This means that more innovations will be introduced in the next ten years than were produced throughout previous human history."

Aviation & Aerospace Sept/Oct 1993

"We really cannot sensibly disagree when we are standing in two entirely different vantage points. A vantage point is like a scientist's microscope or telescope -- an instrument that sets the range of our observations, and separates and highlights events in which we're particularly interested."

Thomas Gilbert, Human Competence

"I may have worked at my desk morning after morning trying to find a way to express some important idea. When my 'insight' suddenly breaks through -- which may happen when I am chopping wood in the afternoon -- I experience a strange lightness in my step as though a great load were taken off my shoulders, a sense of joy on a deeper level that continues without any relation whatever to the mundane tasks that I may be performing at the time. It cannot be just that the problem at hand has been answered -- that generally brings only a sense of relief. What is the source of this curious pleasure?

I propose that it is the experience of this this-is-the-way-things-are-meant-to-be. If only for that moment, we participate in the myth of creation. Order comes out of disorder, form out of chaos, as it did in the creation of the universe. The sense of joy comes from out participation, now matter how slight, in being as such. The paradox is that at that moment we also experience more vividly our own limitations. We discover the 'amor fati' that Nietzsche writes about -- the love of one's fate. No wonder it gives a sense of ecstasy!"

Rollo May, The Courage to Create

CREATIVE THINKING RULES: Break restraints; Ask why...why...why...what if...why not...; Pay the price; Integrate goals to life...live them; Don't waste time; Don't give up; Look for patterns; Ask how was this solved before, what is different now?; Organize your environment; Expose yourself to diverse stimuli, and know when to stop and walk on the beach, etc.; Think AND; Learn many techniques.

copyright 1979, MG Taylor Corporation