Thought Leadership  

In 1996, Lavinia Weissman convened a group of people to examine a growing trend in the global workforce of approximately 140M workers who have chosen to work well to live well. This global network of people described as Cultural Creatives by Market Researcher, Paul Ray, have leveraged global change through life long learning. People with these values have formed into small communities of "trusted friends" to investigate and adopt methods of sustainable practices that value the environment, health and socially responsible engagement within business, government and community.

These people live around the world and have formed a constellation of smaller communities that have grown out of a new Global GeoStrategy that is not limited by space, place, time, institutional practice or culture. This global community draws its membership from intelligent workers and investors, who have a more global view of organizational practice and methods of effecting social change through business and public interest groups. The mode in which these people communicate and work has rapidly accelerated through the adoption of web based technology.

With the trend toward these community centric practices in business and the public sector, these small groups of like-minded people have fostered a generative dialogue, which assumes that educated healthy people "work well to live well." This community of workers is today's talent pool, so they have gained a power that assures them the ability to be part of healthy schemes of work effectiveness, compensation and benefits that sustain them and their families and friends, who matter most. 

The initial forum of investigation drew from the thought leadership of 

  • Edward E. Lawler, III, Director of USC's Center for Organization Effectiveness, CEO
  • Karen Stephenson, Social Network Analyst and Faculty, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design,

By 2003, both Art Kleiner and  Lavinia Weissman began to observe tangible evidence that early adopters of these practices are now influencing a change in the way institutions (NGOs) and corporations work and relate to the larger social network and market place in which they exist. As these small groups gain strength, they foster core group patterns that synthesize social and intellectual assets through the shared ownership of a mission and purpose. This slowly synthesizes into intangible assets that form into more tangible assets that deliver a return on investment to investors or philanthropists, as well as the people who join in the beehive of activity to create products and/or related services.

This is resulting in many changes where corporate, government and public leaders are joining with other peers to organically form core groups of trust that join to make strategic decisions that set direction for the people in their constituencies. This has led to many institutions (corporate and non-profit) recognizing the importance of leading a human resource strategy that fosters respect for all people in service of a business or publically represented social strategy. This new healthier organization pattern is replacing the 20th century mode engendered by heroic leadership.

More and more today's workers are becoming actively leveraging their career as "portfolios of high performance" from which they can earn and accumulate assets that protect their right to home, health, education and retirement, an agenda formerly prescribed to representative government. These workers recognize the need for continuous learning and access to resources that workers historically drew from lifelong employment.

As part of a choice to leave behind the consequences of corporate downsizing and unethical practices reflected by the Enron crisis, workers and investors of all backgrounds and credentials are joining in communities of practice to learn how to leverage sustainable change through these leaderless group. In this geographically dispersed channel, workers are experiencing less wage inequity and more balance with work and life outside of work.

To learn more about this community of practice and its thought leaders read on...


- The Core Group Theory Community of Practice
- Practitioner Bios
- WorkEcology Core Group Theory & Practice Forum


  The Core Group Theory Community of Practice  
The core group, as described in Art Kleiner’s recent book Who Really Matters: The Core Group Theory of Power, Privilege, and Success, isn’t just the people at the top of the hierarchy; it is that group of people in any company whose interests and priorities are taken into account by people who make decisions. Organizations may espouse all sorts of values and ideals, from enhancing shareholder value to fostering a better workplace or making a better world; but when the chips are down, they’ll move first and foremost to help the core group.

Effective organizations need effective core groups, and in federated organizations, where there are dozens more core groups, there is a chance for far greater effectiveness. There are other benevolent effects: far more people get an opportunity to be at the center of an organization. To be sure, there are risks; an inexperienced or poorly prepared core group member can have devastating effect on an organization.

But in a federated organization, where attention is paid to developing and cultivating the awareness of core group members, the risks are mitigated by the sheer diversity of opportunity. There are more chances for core group members to be great, and few chances for a self-indulgent core group to overwhelm the system.

“The practice of Core Group Theory is the gateway to thought leadership that is guiding today’s emotionally intelligent leaders to learn and practice."

• authentic leadership
• value network analysis
• social network analysis
• a new accounting – intangible asset valuation
• an integrative system of benefits, compensation and professional development.

Buy the book at http//

Read more about Core Group Theory on the Web:

Inkwell.vue - http://www.inkwell.vue

Art Kleiner's Web Site - http//

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Practitioner Bios

Verna Allee - - Value Network Analysis

Verna Allee is recognized worldwide for her work in value networks, knowledge management, intangibles, communities of practice, and new business models. She is a practitioner, thought leader, author, and frequent keynote speaker. Through her value network of colleagues, including in Toronto and Vision 2020 in Brussels, she consults with a wide variety of organizations—from global corporations and entrepreneurial startups to government agencies and global action networks.

Verna is a Fellow of the World Business Academy and the Asian Knowledge Management Association and contributes to special projects for the European Commission, Stanford University, the Brookings Institution, and others. In July 2001 and September 2003, she was featured in cover articles for knowledge management journals as one of the top people in the knowledge management field. She is on a number of Advisory Boards including the Collaborative Intelligence Lab at UC Berkeley, the Knowledge Management Institute of George Washington University, and the Ethical Business television series. She is adjunct faculty member of Alliant International University (California) and Waikato University (New Zealand).Verna's publications include The Future of Knowledge: Increasing Prosperity through Value Networks (2003) and The Knowledge Evolution (1997), which is a continuing best seller in the knowledge management field.

Verna is also co-editor with Dinesh Chandra of What is True Wealth and How Do We Create It? (2003). Verna is a contributing author to several books and journals and is on the editorial board of Knowledge Management magazine. The Verna Allee Toolkit™, published by , features Web-enabled learning modules and applications for her powerful and innovative methods

For more on Verna Allee go and


Gil Friend– - Sustainable Business Practice Thought Leader

Gil Friend is President and CEO of Natural Logic, a strategy and systems development company that helps companies and communities prosper by embedding the laws of nature at the heart of enterprise. Tomorrow Magazine called him “One of the country’s leading environmental management consultants — a real expert who combines theoretical sophistication with hands-on, in-the-trenches know-how.

Clients have included Agilent Technologies, Fox Broadcasting, Gilead Sciences, Granite Construction, Green Mountain Energy, Hewlett Packard, Husky Injection Moulding, Nike, Odwalla, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sun Microsystems, US GSA and many others.

As a systems ecologist and strategist, Friend has contributed thought leadership and shaped practice with leaders, who are leading measurable change relative to environmental science and investment indicators in all sectors. Friend observes that “Nature’s ecosystems have spent 3.85 billion years building efficient, complex, adaptive, resilient systems. Why should companies reinvent the wheel, when the R&D has already been done?

He serves on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's Clean Tech Advisory Council; was a founding board member of the Sustainable Business Alliance and internet pioneer Institute for Global Communications; and co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a leading “think-and-do tank,” where he pioneered the current “green roof” trend more than 30 years ago.

Gil writes The New Bottom Line, a column on business strategy and is authoring a forthcoming book: Risk, Fiduciary Responsibility and the Laws of Nature. He holds an MS in Systems Ecology from Antioch University, a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned presenter of “The Natural Step” environmental management system.

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Michael Jones – - Artful Leadership on the Commons of Imagination
In 1980 Michael was asked the defining question; “ who will play your music if you don’t? It was a question that set him on his own road of discovery inspiring him to take a break from his leadership consulting practice to discover his own artistry. This led to Pianoscapes (1981) the first recording of his own original piano compositions. It also became the first release on the Narada recording label. Since then he has recorded 14 CDs and been featured on approximately 30 music compilations. He has also performed in a variety of settings including the International Piano Festival in Montreal, The Parliament of World Religions in Chicago as well the Seoul Arts Centre in Seoul Korea and The Satagaya Art Museum in Tokyo Japan. Since the beginning, Michael’s many CDs have served as a benchmark for solo piano recordings and helped popularize and define the emerging genre of contemporary instrumental music.

In 1992 Michael came full circle letting his piano serve as the ‘lectern’ from which to bring his ideas to others. By sharing stories and insights to convey his message and musical performances to deepen it - Michael offers a uniquely memorable and deeply personal experience. “ My interest” he says” is to tell a new story

, one that traces the journey to awakening our own imagination and discovering our common life together”. In the back of the mind and imagination of every leader there are questions, e.g. Who am I really? When do I feel most alive? What am I uniquely called to do? Where is home? What is my relationship to beauty? How do I let go? What is my inspiration? How can I best serve the common good?

These are some of the questions at the heart of artful leadership. They also awaken qualities that are common to us all, drawing us into a quality of being - and leading - that is more organic, creative and whole. They pull our attention toward the capabilities and character needed to transform our institutions from the demands of an industrial and knowledge era to the opportunities of a creative age. As we enter into the age of the leader as artist; we will need to awaken more fully to our own artistry (be it story, voice, tone, metaphor). This will help leaders develop the more nuanced attention needed to navigate in a time of uncertainty and sudden change. To navigate the unknown no one set of capabilities will be sufficient. To lead well leaders will need to explore the intersections between inspired leadership, the creative impulse and constructive dialogue.

For more on Michael, go to


Art Kleiner - - Core Group Theory Thought Leader
A visionary and pragmatist all in one! As a visionary, he captures his audience through a foundation of organizational learning that reports on actual strategies and forms of organization that are working now through learning, practical application and dialogue.

It is Art’s visionary thinking that launched the practice of CORE GROUP THEORY. His ability to synthesize other thought leadership and how it contributes to organizational culture and change shows through his authorship of articles and books over the last 20 years.

Art is an unusual person who has synthesized a network of practice through his network of intelligence as an author, consultant and evolutionary thought leadership. He is editor-in-chief of Strategy and Business Magazine and adjunct faculty at New York University's Center for Continuing and and Professional Education and The Tisch School of the Arts' Interactive Telecommunications Program. Art Kleiner has worked closely with Lavinia Weissman to build an infrastructure of thought and action in founding WorkEcology as a Community of Practice. In this capacity, Art through his talent and the respect he draws from his peers has been selected Chair of the WorkEcology Thought Leadership Group.

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Karen Stephenson – - Social Network Architect

Karen Stephenson is a maverick with a talent for attracting and codifying organizational knowledge and identifying how people organize and link their work practices to codify corporate assets. Karen is a faculty member of Harvard School of Design and anthropologist, she has organized a systemic approach to capturing and tracking patterns of work and identifying who is contributing and how to form intangible and tangible assets that codify a company's knowledge base.

Karen's consultation, analysis and KnowledgeBanking provide the knowledge to Core Groups on how their mission translates and works in social networks of people (employees, outsources, consultants) carrying out the company mission. When the Core Group does not have that mission, the Core Group can learn from Karen’s approach and method why assets are being codified and what and who is building these assets without a clear mission or conscious leadership.

It is through Karen's unusual ability to visualize a business strategy as a live network of social and intellectual capacity, that she is leading the way for WorkEcology Thought Leaders to partner with best practice companies dedicated to organizing applied web based software technology and tools to HR practice where adoption of these tools can build success with the changing corporate public accounting practices dictated by the Sarbanes Oxley Act. This US Legislation was authored in response to the crisis ensued by Enron Corp. and has become the biggest change effecting Corporate Governance today.

For more on Karen, go to

David Peter Stroh – - An Organizational Learning and Systems Thinking Theorist
David Peter Stroh, initially became interested in how organizations worked in a class with one of the first Organization Development expert, Dick Beckhard at MIT Sloan School. It was during this class experience, that David accelerated his interests in organization effectiveness and went on to found Innovation Associates with Robert Fritz, Charlie Keifer and Peter Senge.

As a founding partner of Innovation Associates, David contributed to the frontier area of organizational learning. His expertise lies in visionary planning, leadership development, systems thinking, organization design, and change management. Clients acknowledge him for his ability to integrate diverse thinking, people and organizations; clarify the essential challenges facing them; rekindle motivation; and establish strong relationships with both individuals and organizations based on his caring, knowledge and professional approach. He is a charter member of the Society for Organizational Learning and a Fellow with the Conflict Management Group.

As a pioneer expert in the discipline of Systems Thinking, David works in parallel with other founding members of the Society for Organizational Learning with government, non-government organizations and corporations to harness the dynamic tensions and conflicts that inevitably emerge when an core group of people set out to leverage new systems of thought and leadership in practice.

David works closely with Lavinia Weissman as an Applied Learning Practice Leader to devise customized instructional learning labs for groups of people, both institutional or networked based to apply systems thinking as a practice.

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Lavinia Weissman - - Publisher, Leadership Coach, Change Agent
Lavinia is a self-generative learner and collaborator. Drawing from this core capacity, Lavinia serves as the Managing Director of WorkEcology's CoP. As a capacity builder and leadership coach, Lavinia mentors teams of people and leaders to the accomplishment of goals, measurements, and objectives and effective leadership of interdisciplinary teams in the context of Core Group Theory. Lavinia's wide reaching experience with professionals credentialled to work in life sciences, finance, investments health care, engineering, the environment across sector and industry in phases of start-up, maturity and growth is valuable to anyone she works with.

As a wellness practitioner, Lavinia is introducing thought leadership into the practices related to worker health, compensation and education. She guides her clients in the adoption of practices where successful careers do not depend on institutions. Her clients become more reliant on membership into informal core groups that deliberately form out of professional associations and personal leadership.

Lavinia is a former health care administrator, consultant and trainer, who took interest in how to bring the best practices to the workplace that support "narings liv", the Swedish word for work that translates to "work that nourishes you for life. It's Lavinia's passion to learn with others how to form organizations as a partnership between the workforce and employers to build sustainable and ethical workpractices that nourish the workforce and shareholder value.

For more on Lavinia Weissman, go to