Project Story Comics

Three project stories in comic form, related to the theme that organizational life, strategy, decision-making, and quality are all, in essence, conversational.

Listening to difference, made practical

A report on our workshop for Pittsburgh's Inclusive Innovation Week, for which we gathered community leaders and a remarkable diversity of storytellers, using the Collective Story Harvest method as a way to practice listening across difference.

The Problem with Problems

In his short article on Medium, Marc Rettig details the risk of focusing on solutions to problems: we can easily miss the opportunity to feed the possibilities already latent in the situation.

Frontier Retreat 2017: Taking in a wider horizon

For the third year, we gathered people in Montana to “bring their frontier to the frontier. Through a collage of images, extracted readings and wordsfrom attendees, this report offers a taste of the experience.

Listening to the catalysts

To better understand the experience of people who are working in community- and system-scale challenges, we interviewed people who are hip-deep in the difficulties of multi-stakeholder situations. Here is our report, composed of quotes from the interviews.

Surfacing Unspoken System Dynamics

Different kinds of conversations yield different results. While discussions can introduce different perspectives, theatre methods draw us into the felt experience of a situation, shifting our relationship to it.

A Letter to the Misfit

Hannah has been noticing a pattern: people who are “different” may interpret the culture’s dismissal as evidence of personal flaws. But quite the opposite is true! So she decided to write them a letter....

Three articles on participation strategy: why it matters, how to sketch it

When we make our plans visible, we can better imagine them, collaborate on them, and manage them. In this three-part series, Marc Rettig discusses strategic participation, the weaknesses of workshops, and a simple language for sketching participation strategies.

TEDx: Three Skills for Transformation

We are pleased to share the TEDx talk of Fit principal Hannah du Plessis. At the heart of the talk lies the question of transformation: if we are enacting our current world, how do we transform and become the life-sustaining world?

These times, this life: What really matters?

Amidst the busyness of life, the clamor of media and discomfort of being alive, it is important to remember what really matters.

Transforming Moment: Situation Modeling

A senior design manager uses a modeling technique to get from "overwhelmed" to "Ah-ha!"

A story told about story listening: podcast interview with Marc Rettig

Jared Spool interviews Marc Rettig. "We've watered reflection down to grouping sticky notes on the wall. And we've watered listening down to data collection." What does it mean for an organization to really listen?

Trust the Process of Transformation

In this interview, Hannah du Plessis discusses the process of transformation, the difficult place where "the old is no longer valid and the new is not yet," and the use of applied improvisation to help people learn how to shift their own situation.

Culture in Small Servings

Improving organizational culture doesn't have to be big, messy, and abstract. It can and does happen in small doses, though it certainly helps to have good tactics. Here are two small-scale tactics that can have lasting effects.

From which mindset to we approach change?

How we see translates into how we work. If we see people as broken, we'll want to fix them. If we see ourselves as right, we'll try to convince others. This 6 minute video looks at the mindset from which we create change in our world.

Experiencing emergence with The Systems Game

How do you help students, poised to engage in system shifting work, understand concepts such as emergence and interdependence? In this class we used a game to bring these concepts home.

How to foster design culture: expand your conversational toolkit

If your palette of culture-shifting tools is limited to meetings, presentations, mandate, persuasion, and technology, it’s no wonder that culture-shifting seems impossible. What tools for conversational leadership are in your kit? Marc Rettig scans the "communication continuum" and offers a chance to expand your toolkit.

Syllabus: Social Design Fundamentals

Here is an example of a "Design for Social Innovation" syllabus for a bi-weekly 7 week course.

Student Books: Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation

If you are curious about the topics we cover, here are two student books to page through.

How and why to add reflection to your process

Often, our best insights come in the shower. But how do we help more people have "a-ha!" moments? Here are two articles Fit wrote to speak about intentionally creating pauses in the design process.

Getting Still: Why it’s difficult, and why it’s possible

When we facilitate client workshops, there often comes an time when the group moves toward an important collective insight. But there is a risk to repeat the habitual narrative and not learn something new. How might we learn to quiet our own minds and step away from our dominant narrative so we can help others do the same?

Podcast Series on Social Creativity

A nine-part series (!) of conversations, with links to readings and resources, produced with Burgert Kristen for his Liminal Podcast. The series ranges across the landscape of ideas and work that some are calling “social innovation.”

Dealing with Fear in the Creative Journey

Fear is woven into the fabric of any creative endeavor: the fear of failure, the fear of not knowing etc. This blog is written for people who wishes to rekindle their creative fires, but feel pulled back by fear.

Frontier Retreat 2017

Frontier Retreat is a gathering of people who bring their personal or professional frontier to the wide frontier of Central Montana. For three days and four nights we learn, reflect, make, explore the prairies and mountains, dine and converse. Join us in 2018!

Non Violent Communication

In this talk, Fit Principal Hannah du Plessis, talks about the difficulty of speaking up and looks at the four steps of Non Violent Communication and the personal skills required to enact them.