Ask me anything – I know Everything

The first time I brought a friend to visit my Father, the first words out of Dad’s mouth were: “Ask me anything – I know EVERYTHING.”

Everyone in the family rolled eyeballs and left the scene, so my friend could receive the full “treatment”.

Of course, Dad was right . . . He’s always right!

Dad’s not a narcissistic egomaniac . . . In fact, he is a wonderful man with a HUGE heart who happens to know everything of importance to him.

I haven’t known my Father for my entire life. He and my Mother divorced when I was @ 4 years old, and he departed for the better part of 20 years . . . This story has potential to get lengthy, so I’ll spare you the intricate details, but my Brother Cam “found” Dad and we all reconnected in the early 1980s.

When I first “met” Dad, I felt like I was meeting myself. There was no awkwardness whatsoever. We had many of the same mannerisms and even very similar voices . . . There was no denying that he was my Father.

I spent a decade “catching up” on those 20 “lost” years by immersing myself (as much as he would tolerate) in getting to know him and learning about his work. Dad’s work was fascinating because he was practicing a degree of quackery in the world of “Organizational Development” which soon earned the new moniker of “Organizational Transformation Consulting” which manifested in the form of Open Space Technology. I liked his “rebel” persona . . . t’hell with the status quo and the “conventional” ways of helping leaders of organizations deal with important and complex issues . . . and just Open some space.

I learned of Dad’s life work – an ordained Episcopal Minister, work with street gangs in the streets of DC in the 60s, Peace corps work in the bush of Africa (Liberia), and amazing work consulting with myriad organizations inside the DC beltway.

The more I learned about Dad, the more I realized that he really DOES know everything . . . that matters to him.

What I learned about Dad was that, when he encountered something he didn’t know (yet), it became very important to him to learn everything he could learn about that.

It’s this level of curiosity within him that has driven him through life from one knowledge quest to another to another . . . and the most entertaining by-product of all of this is that Dad is a magnificent storyteller who can mesmerize just about anyone who engages in dialog with him.

One of Dad’s “disclaimers” is that he IS a storyteller and quite possibly might not speak the facts through embellishment, but every time I think I’ve heard a distortion or inaccuracy, google informs me that he was right and accurate.

So . . . Know what you know and practice indefatigable curiosity, and you too can know everything (that’s important to you)

I love you Dad . . . warts and all.

The Worldwide Open Space On Open Space is Spooling up


Full invitation and registration is HERE:

October 25-27, 2019

Each year, the community of folks who “practice” the use of Open Space Technology (OST) in myriad ways in our life and work, gather to discuss issues and opportunities relating to this “ineffable” self-organizing process which has been pivotal for countless people and organizations around the planet for 35+ years (and really forever).

“Discovered” by Harrison Owen, OST is a simple and efficient, yet POWERFUL, way for people (in groups of 1 to thousands) to gather together to tackle important and complex issues and opportunities. It’s especially effective in “CHARGED” scenarios with a wide ranging diversity of people with all of their myriad opinions, ideas, cultures, status . . . which, of course, is flavored with potential for conflict and a real need to find resolution quickly (like YESTERDAY).

This WOSONOS happens every year in a different country for 27 years. This is a POWERFUL gathering as good people doing amazing work all over this earth we call “home” convene to tell stories from the field and work on ways we can use OST to make this world a better place every day.

The principles of Open Space Technology are, indeed, very simple and as they are merely descriptive of what always happens when good people with good hearts convene with a common purpose (theme).

Whoever comes is the right people

Wherever it happens is the right place

Whenever it starts is the right time

Whatever happens is the only thing that could have

When it’s over it’s over

and 1 Law . . . The law of 2 feet

If at any time you find yourself in a place where you are neither contributing nor receiving anything useful, you have the permission and responsibility to take yourself to a place where you can contribute and/or receive . . . be useful.


If so . . . You don’t have to be a “practitioner” of OST to attend this event.

Perhaps you lead or work in an orgnization facing emergent important issue(s) . . . Anyone and everyone is invited to register, show up, be present, and Follow your heart.

Go ahead and make a full week of your journey by participating in 2 workshops before and after WOSONOS2019

Cherry Hill Park
9800 Cherry Hill Park
College Park, MD 20740

Participants are invited to arrive Thursday October 24 for an evening of gathering and stories.

There are workshops planned before and after the WOSONOS you may wish to include in your journey.

If you have ANY questions, feel free to connect with me.




My Calendar is mostly blue

This is an unapologetic plug for the power of “Time Blocking”

Here’s my calendar for next week:

For years, I resisted the siren call of the practice of Time Blocking.

After all, I was pretty much born an entrepreneur which (by definition) translates to being “FREE” to do as I please and ever imagining new and different (out of the box) ways things can be done.

While that’s been fun through the years, there’s one very important piece that seldom happened . . . I rarely FINISHED what I started, because there were so many bright, shiny objects (squirrels) popping up in my peripheral field of vision which would distract my attention on the task at hand thereby shifting my focus elsewhere.

I am still afflict by this condition as are SO many of my friends and colleagues . . . Birds of a feather flock together, eh?

If it weren’t for my penchant for reading and learning (accumulating knowledge), and forever travelling on this quest for “BETTER”, I’m pretty sure that I would never have shed my blinders which protected my belief that I would stumble into success if I were to continue to flit from one thing to the next and so on and so on and so on.

This life of seldom crossing the finish line, was exciting and exhausting and vibrant but not fulfilling – rewarding.

Failing to finish is not to succeed.

I’m still “that person”, but I finally discovered (15ish years ago) that I MUST find a way to force myself to “finish my peas”.

I found therapy through voracious reading and working with a variety of professional coaches – MOST significantly – Harrison Owen (My Father) with his discovery and dissemination of Open Space Technology with 5 principles and the law of 2 feet – Angeles Arrian with her “FourFold Way” – Deepak Chopra – Stephen Covey was a HUGE influence, Joe Stumpf with his “By Referral Only” program – Bill Haggard who taught me the importance of being willing to be held accountable resulting in my having multiple forms of accountability (Weekly on Mondays with my team, monthly with 5 different colleagues each via 1:1 Zoom meetings, and one monthly 5 hour “Forum Six” with 4 other business owners) – Gary Keller @ Keller Williams Realty MVVBP & WI4C2TS, the 411 and weekly worksheet – and Larry Kendall with the Ninja Selling program – Seth Godin with his pithy wisdom landing in my email inbox every single morning .

As I write this, I realize that they were all saying the same things packaged differently, and I needed ALL of them to be sufficiently “programmed” to become a “FINISHER”.

I distilled all of that “content” down to a “way” which I call “Life Rhythm” . . . this is a 5 session workshop (2 hours/session) that I will offer in November.

All of the above written is to say that this concept commonly knowing as “Time Blocking” is my magic pill for finishing more projects even as the world around me conspires to distract me.

The truth is that “multi-tasking” is rarely (if ever) efficient because it fractionalizes FOCUS . . .

We all have multiple daily tasks and myriad projects which we must finish in order to complete our mission (succeed).

There’s great wisdom in the old saying: “How do you eat an elephant? . . . “One bite at a time”

This is the essence of “Time blocking”

When we schedule daily, weekly, monthly, annually recurring activities, we develop our own unique rhythm.

In this way, we “touch” every one our “initiatives” each and every day thereby making daily incremental progress towards “finish”. This allows us to laser focus (single-task) our way through our days.

My calendar pictured above is VERY BLUE which means that I have scheduled most of the available hours in every working day with some activity leaving very little ostensible time for “Emergent issues and/or Client meetings”.

Gary Keller “fixed” this dilemma by introducing the permission to “erase and replace”. We can always adjust the time blocks by moving or deleting them to accommodate flexibility.

The reason this “strategy” increases efficiency (more finished with less effort and time), is that it prohibits the “bad habit” of us seizing a new initiative and allowing it to all consume our time and energy thereby neglecting other projects or “quality of life” activities and responsibilities.

When I “got rhythm”, I reduced my “working hours” in 1/2 (80 hours a week reduced to 40) with no loss of production.

How blue is YOUR calendar?

Don’t be small

As I was doing my normal Monday “spool-up”, I was overwhelmed.
I literally had a moment of panic when I looked at this daunting list of large projects I’m tackling simultaneously.

How can I possibly get all of this done?

Then I remembered that “We are all meant to shine”
My panic quickly subsided when I realized how fortunate I am to be practicing my version of shining in spite of the FEAR I sometimes feel that I might not succeed.
Worse yet . . . a fear of actually succeeding.
Everyone’s definition of “Shining” is different.
Today, I hereby invite YOU to pause for as long as you need to liberate yourself from any FEARS.
When you get this, you’ll become a magnet attracting the right people into your life, as your liberation spawns other people’s liberation.
Don’t play small anymore . . . 

Our Deepest FearBy Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, 
As children do. 
We were born to make manifest 
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; 
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, 
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we’re liberated from our own fear, 
Our presence automatically liberates others.

When the feces hits the fan . . .

Something breaks, and you know it’s going to be an expensive fix, and you just paid all of your bills, and you know you don’t have the cash on hand to fix it now . . . What d’ya do?

FIGHT? – BLOW UP and Blame it on someone else and make a scene.

FLIGHT? – Practice denial and ignore it in hopes it will magically fix itself.

CONSPIRE? – Find other people with similar issues and form a coalition to punish someone/anyone

POUT! – Even worse . . . Choose deep depression because this happened to you, and it isn’t fair

ACCEPT! . . .

Most people react to this misfortune in the order above.

Oh! Imagine how lucrative it could be to capture the energy expended in that herculean effort.

Try this instead:

Pause your game!


Count your blessings. No-one has died.

Know that this will pass and will add to your repertoire of good stories of things that have happened to you . . . You Grandkids will love this one!

Quit taking life so seriously and chill!