Many of the tools of the trade in innovation consulting are passed from one facilitator to another – something like our version of a secret handshake. Seldom written down, they are passed using the ancient/modern oral tradition of storytelling. “We met with X company and did Y activity and boy, did it work!” In Gamestorming – A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers and Changemakers, you get full membership in the secret club. Gray, Brown and Macanufo have compiled a great selection of exercises that will energize the brain of any participant and warm the heart and hards of every facilitator who has been tasked with producing ‘innovation.’ Magic!

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

In Memory of James Hillman

If you have not had the pleasure of being introduced to his body of his work; my favourite is ReVisioning Psychology, written in 1975.  He has written many since then from which to choose. Oprah Winfrey liked The Soul’s Code – maybe an easier place to begin.  In our current economic climate – perhaps a call to character is needed. James Hillman was a bright light in our community. His work will continue to illuminate a path to a better future.

The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling

Joining Forces

If 75% of mergers fail, what makes the other 25% succeed?

An experienced merger manager says it all.  “An organization can burn down and be rebuilt. If you run out of money, you might be able to borrow more. But if you lose people, you’re dead.” In “Joining Forces” authors Mitchell Lee Marks and Phil Mirvis outline the importance of corporate culture in M&A transactions. An area long overlooked, cultural aspects of mergers determine success or failure of the outcome.  In the past twenty years, the statistics on failures of mergers and acquisitions remain a dismal 75% – a giant F on the scorecard.  Why so many organizations refuse to consider the importance of culture is reason for the many failures on record.  It’s time to wake up!  If cultural due diligence is not on the agenda, your venture is at risk. The economy in North America is still shaky and mistakes need to be avoided.  This book will provide an excellent toolkit to ensure your venture keeps in the 25% of success stories.

Joining Forces: Making One Plus One Equal Three in Mergers, Acquisitions, and Alliances

The Political Psyche

Canadians are once again returning to the polls – an interesting question to ponder is why? Same politicians, same issues, same political rhetoric which is deteriorating into childish mud-slinging. Have we now deteriorated into the cheap methods of American politics? Please let it not be so!

Andrew Samuels has written an interesting book entitled the Political Psyche. Samuels explores the connections between inner and outer worlds and sets into motion a two-way dialogue between depth psychology and politics which addresses such key concerns as market economies and our attitudes towards social responsibility and environmentalism. Perhaps our politicians should take heed and update their reading load walking into this next election. For all those who are “Jung at Heart”, this is an interesting read.

The Political Psyche

Tell to Win

Peter Guber has had a very interesting career – studio chief at Columbia Pictures; co-chairman of Casablanca Records and Filmworks; CEO of Polygram Entertainment; chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures – to name a few.  His current occupation includes storyteller and that perhaps is his best gig yet.  In Tell to Win, Guber draws upon his extensive experience as a thought leader in multiple industries to deliver an easy-to-read and easy-to-follow book on how success is driven by creating a compelling story that moves people to action.

Moving beyond ‘death by powerpoint’, he brings to life the power of story in what he calls the ’emotional transportation business’ and states “if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it”.  Short, sweet and right to the point.  If you are looking for a good reference book for the use of storytelling in business to achieve your goals, this is one of the better ones I have found.

Among his techniques:

1. capturing audience attention

2. motivating listeners by demonstrating authenticity

3. building your tell around ‘what’s in it for them’

4. changing passive listeners into active participants; and

5. using state-of-the-art technologies online to make sure audience commitment remains strong.

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

Psyche and the City

Place Branding is a particular form of economic development that takes full advantage of the power of archetypal psychology. With a nod to the pioneering work of Jane Jacobs, this book explores a variety of cities from around the globe through a psychological  lens.  For all those interested in the art and science of branding, this book is a great reference guide.  With a Jungian flavor, “one might say that the relationship of a city to civilization is analogous to that of ego to one’s field of consciousness.”  Enjoy!

Psyche & the City: A Soul’s Guide to the Modern Metropolis (Analytical Psychology & Contemporary Cul)

Wisdom of the Psyche

For those of you interested in depth psychology, here is a new offering that I think you will enjoy.  I had the pleasure of seeing Ginette Paris in action at the Jung Society in Calgary this past weekend. Ginette was one of my favourite professors at Pacifica Graduate Institute – an accomplished writer, an insightful psychologist and one of the leaders in the field of depth psychology. It was a highly enjoyable way to spend a weekend – I feel energized and refreshed! Who could ask for more?

Her most recent book, Wisdom of the Psyche, speaks to the relationship between depth psychology and neuroscience – how they differ and how they relate.  She explores the question of what belongs to science and what belongs to the humanities in the quest for identity and healing. Ginette also speaks to her brush with death after suffering a brain injury in 2002 and how she witnessed from the inside-out how the brain heals itself.

Perhaps Jungian analyst James Hillman says it best: “Emotionally personal, immediately useful, surprisingly original, beautifully deep, this page-turning read also turns the pages into a new century of psychology. What an achievement!”

Wisdom of the Psyche: Depth Psychology after Neuroscience

Mapping the Organizational Psyche

It’s not often you find a book using Jungian psychology and archetypes that is useful for organizational design. Slowly the Jungian crowd is edging into the business world – and how much it is needed! Of course I am biased being a hard-core Jungian but I truly believe that this type of psychology is most useful for business design and transformation. Jung believed that creativity is a psychological need for the human race and this book explores how that creativity can be tapped and used in the service of organizational dynamics.  Authors Carol Pearson and John Corlett outline how the use of archetypal psychology will inspire corporate cultural change.  An easy introduction into the world of C.G. Jung. And a much needed primer for corporate culture change.  A favourite in my library.

Mapping the Organizational Psyche: A Jungian Theory of Organizational Dynamics and Change

The Hero and the Outlaw

Using archetypes in films has been the standard since we started watching silent movies.  Taking archetypal psychology into the realm of business is a new addition to the mix of business strategy.  The authors have made the sometimes complex world of archetypes into an easy-to-understand rendition of the personified or personal archetypes.  Archetypes have been called the software of the psyche, that unconscious realm that governs our behavior. When you understand the archetypal terrain, you can then utilize these powerful approach to organizational development and change management.  A useful tool in internal branding.

The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes


Whether or not you have read the research, chances are you have experienced what psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls ‘flow’. A professor at and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, Csikszentmihalyi (OK – I’ll help out – ma-hi-ya chick-sent-ma-hi-ya) explores the state of optimal experience – times of deep enjoyment. Remember those? You can also have them at work. If you don’t have time for the book (and why would that be?), listen to his story at

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (P.S.)