Innovative Concepts

On the Leaderboard

What if I told you a Tour de France rider made the leaderboard by receiving a penalty. What conditions would allow for such an occurrence?

Quinn Simmons is on the leaderboard for the King of the Mountain competition at the 2022 Tour de France with -1 points. Magnus Cort has won all the fourth category climbs, which offer one point for first place and no points for places behind first, and therefore is the current leader. As a penalty for riding off the course (on the grass shoulder next to the road to pass some other riders), Quinn received a penalty point and is listed on the KOM leaderboard, although technically he sits behind 174 other riders who have zero points. The irony is that the leaderboard added him to the tally for being behind.

It is convienient to say we are on the leaderboard, and it might be a true statement. However, being on a leaderboard is not always a sign of the highest ranking and overall performance.

Where there is smoke…

What advice would you give your younger self? If you could go back in time, say half of your current lifespan, what wisdom would you share with your less traveled self?

Chris Guillebeau shared a mind-shifting answer this weekend at World Domination Summit. He stated that he would ask his younger self how to nurture the key characteristics and mindsets that aging might erode. He flipped the script. He did not see the question as linear but rather generative. He reversed the flow and asked for guidance instead of funneling suspect wisdom to youth.

What questions and opportunities in your ecosystem are prime for a mind shift? How might we tell less and ask more for guidance? 

I am more connected to the causes who asked for my insights over the ones who told me their results and impact at the first point of contact. My ideas are treasured investments in these enterprises, and I intend to monitor their germination.

Ask a question before we tell; perhaps it becomes the fire that never natures into smoke.


Without context, pie charts, bar graphs, scatterplots, histograms, and gauge charts are more like artwork than representative of data that informs their creation. The challenge to us is to present the graphs with accessible context. There is a story within each, an opportunity to take the viewer on a journey. How might we employ graphs to support our efforts and avoid confusing those looking for meaning? 

The Work That Matters

If given ten seconds, could you articulate the work that matters for your cause? Would you use your mission statement, vision for the future, core beliefs, purpose statement, best story, or some hybrid? Is it accessible to those who ask why you do what you do?

Apple and Steve Jobs talked about making a dent in the universe. Most of the products and services that followed changed the paradigm of how we communicate and connect. Dent made (for better or worse).

What is your dent in the universe?


I find switchbacks essential to the journey. They allow me to continue at my cadence while gaining (or losing) the elevation I need to reach my objective. They also provide perspective and an opportunity to contemplate what comes next. Even when we travel away from the summit, there is a sense of certainty that we are on course.

How might we see bends in the pathway as confirmation of our progress and wayfinding? How might we embrace directional change as intentional instead of failure? How might we celebrate that the greater the difficulty, the less likely we can move directly between the departure and arrival point?

Done But Not Over

Imagine announcing ‘this is a wrap’ to a sold-out, best-in-class gathering that consistently improved over ten versions (thirteen years due to pandemic disruptions). An event attended by super fans, individuals so inspired they broke numerous world records for fun, including this year’s iteration with the most individuals dressed in T-Rex costumes.

When we build something magical, authentic, memorable, and one of a kind, we might consider adopting a river mindset. We are visitors to the confluence point between individuals and events. The main channel moves forward at some point, and the merge is complete. We cannot stay forever at this liminal boundary where two things combine, but we might capture the spirit and retell the stories. These imprints will serve us well as we encounter what is around the bend as we navigate the next section of the canyon.

As Barry Lopez reminded us, “Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.”

Thank you, World Domination Summit, for a transformational journey and living the values of community, adventure, and service. It was remarkable and shall live on.

What Gets You On A Plane?

What event or opportunity is meaningful enough to get you on a plane (or another form of transit)? With ubiquitous virtual conferencing platforms, why do we ever need to travel again? Why can in-person connections not generate the same intensity as those created on a screen? Why do groups that exist in a virtual platform hold in-person gatherings (online gaming competitors, Youtubers, etc.)? In my experience, there are planned connections that we can schedule when we gather in person. A friend or colleague we look forward to seeing. Then there is serendipity. The individual we sit next to at a meal or during a presentation. The one we discover a point of confluence with adds depth and dimension to our journey (and work). I have several in-person connections from attending the same conference for over ten years; our online chats archived on the conference app. I have few virtual friends that I connected with on-screen and shared contact information. Creating the necessary depth and dimension from a virtual connection is much more challenging.

I am attending the final World Domination Summit (an unconventional weekend for unconventional thinkers) in Portland, OR. After the pandemic caused a two-year delay, the summit re-launches to celebrate its final iteration. It would be convenient not to attend; a multi-year delay disrupted the cadence of the event and disjointed some of the networks of participants. But the group is remarkable, and the connections resonate. The event does not define me, but it expands my mindset. It adds crucial details to the unmapped portions of my journey. The flight there represents the front door of the odyssey.