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Humane Leadership Ideas Build Young Leaders

Humane Leadership is on the move again.

The core ideas of Humane Leadership – continuous performance innovation in the self leadership lab, internalizing and applying new mental models with Wisdom Jigs, and professional self and project leadership skills – have found there way into some fascinating places over the past few years.

One of the most exciting places is in the Local Innovation Lab, a highly impactful internship experience meeting important community needs in partnership with Southern Oregon University. To support the interns, we created a 10-week online course including live online workshops that uses project-based learning to develop student project and self leadership skills. Empowering young people with professional level skills creates the next generation of leaders who know how maximize effectiveness and humanity at once.

The program has helped city governments, local community groups, and businesses recover from the 2020 Labor Day fires in Southern Oregon while giving students valuable experiences that bridged into full time work for nearly 40% of the first cohort.

The approach of the course has been so successful SOU has formed an innovation community of leading professors to look at how the core ideas and practices of the course might be worked more deeply into courses across the university and beyond potentially as an Open Educational Resource.

From the very beginning we had three questions, we’ve answered the first two; What would humane leadership look like? Is it learnable? See the book for our answers to these questions. Now, we are on to question three, if humane leadership works and is learnable, then how might we make it that new norm?

Today, we continue to look for innovative ways to empower emergent leaders with the skills they need to empower themselves.

As all this goes on, I continue to be our lead researcher, pushing out towards the edges of self and community leadership in search of insights that will empower a more humane collective future.

Of course, we’ve also been busy sharing the power of Humane Leadership in more traditional settings, including:

  • Training workshops for a variety of groups including corporate learning professionals via Executive Learning Exchange, the Pacific Northwest Organizational Development Network, Film Festival Alliance, Firebrand’s Zone Captains, and Stanford Children’s Hospital.
  • Leadership support work for a variety of community, educational, and business leaders – leadership support includes traditional coaching as well as extra support in areas where capacity is constrained.

Thank you for supporting our work.

Please reach out if you have any questions or ideas you’d like to discuss.

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Ashland Works Update July 3, 2020


Ashland Works – Projects to support economic recovery in Ashland. 

  • Ashland Works 501c3 formation to support local innovation, education, and job creation.
  • Incubator to develop and attract startups in software, green technology, and light manufacturing. Working with SOU, interns, and volunteers to develop this program.
  • Revisioning Ashland community conversations – hosted by the Ashland Food Coop and planning to expand to the greater community in the coming days.
  • Community Investment Fund – to allow local investors to support development of ideas and social/commercial enterprises to meet local needs and create good local jobs.
  • Mountain Bike Summit – to accelerate mountain biking as a form of recreation and economic development

We decided to take these actions after orienting ourselves in conversation with our community based on the observations below.

ORIENTATION – How we see the situation

  • Economic disruption is likely to be long and damaging to Ashland’s current businesses.  So, job creation will become vital for the health of our community.
  • Economic development should be focused on a shared vision for Ashland’s traditional qualities and possible futures.
  • State, county and city governments are unlikely to have the funds or bandwidth to create the solutions we need.
  • Return to prior economic levels is likely to take years according to government and private studies.


  • Public health locally is manageable, but Covid cases in Jackson County and across the state are accelerating.
  • Nationally, infection rates are accelerating and opening is being rolled back in many states.
  • Millions have returned to work nationally, but many more millions remain unemployed.
  • State, county and city government budget shortfalls are just becoming clear now.
  • While businesses are reopening, demand still seems too low to be sustainable.


Leading in a crisis post explores this methodology (OODA loops) in detail


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Humane Leadership Update April 23, 2020

This is the first of an intended series of weekly updates of my own efforts to figure out what to do in these extraordinary times.

I start with the actions I decided to take and explain the orientations and observations that led to my choosing those actions.

My goal is to show the method at work while supporting your work by sharing what I have found and am thinking.


These Actions are based on my,



  • Avoid personal financial challenges
  • Earn influence by
    • Connecting with people in the community
    • Discovering their needs and offering to help
    • Being visible by aligning with citizens, City, Chamber of Commerce, businesses, landlords.



Ashland and Southern Oregon

This Orientation is based on my,


Public Health

Economic health

About The Methodology

Leading in a crisis post explores this methodology (OODA loops) in detail

Other Support