Revolution at Work, Day 2

Here in Washington, DC, two blocks from the White House, Day 2 of Revolutionizing the World of Work commences (twitter #RevWork). 

Here in Washington, DC, two blocks from the White House, Day 2 of Revolutionizing the World of Work commences (twitter #RevWork). 


Today’s event is a natural outgrowth of the annual Smithsonian event on Organizational Storytelling, led for the last 10 years by global thought leader on leadership, Steve Denning. After a decade of annual conferences, the vision has expanded beyond story to the transformation of work in the 21st century.

Denning & I organized this year’s event, assisted by five practice partners:  Madelyn Blair, Rod Collins, Michelle James, Deb Mills-Scofield , and Peter Stevens. (see yesterday’s article).

Today started with participants using Planning Poker to design their own agenda. Denning placed options on the wall including those identified by participants, and the group voted on the topics. The purpose of the execise was to provide relevant tools while practicing participatory design, one of the key elements of the new work world.

The first session, led by Rod Collins (twitter @collinsrod), asked the group to design three different management architectures that would each support innovation and collaboration – hallmarks of the new paradigm. The designs were evaluated in plenary, common elements were identified, and the results compared to the management architecture of Gore, makers of GORE-TEX®, and featured in Collins’ book, Leadership in a Wiki World: Leveraging Collective Intelligence to Make the Leap to Extraordinary Performance.

Deb Mills-Scofield (@dscofield) shared her story from early days at Bell Lab where she received a patent for what became one of their top revenue-generating services and was instrumental in creating AT&T’s entrance into the Internet and E-commerce marketplace, AT&T WorldNet® Services.

During lunch, Denning (@stevedenning) reviewed the power of his technique, springboard storytelling, to spark change. Details can be found in his book, The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations.


Afterwards Jim Hays shared his experience as a senior consultant at CISCO, and asked the group to work together with him to apply the principles of radical management to the worldwide leader in networking technology and services.

Several participants are here from Deloitte Federal Consulting, representing GovLab, an internal innovation fellowship.  Due to the increasing complexity of government work this dedicated group of Ninja consultants is taking on some of the thorniest issues facing their clients in the hopes of generating out-of-the-box solutions with real outcomes.

Steve Cottle, Katie Jorgensen, and Charlie Tierney are participating in the workshop and previewing ideas from their upcoming research on the future of the federal workforce.

Charlie says, I think you actually see in government a lot of the ideas we have been exposed to over the past couple of days. You might not see them altogether in any one place, and maybe no one organization is maximizing the potential, but there are pockets of leaders leveraging radical management and getting results.

The government faces real challenges. Radical management offers real solutions. Just because its radical doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered.

From Katie, I was particularly inspired by the people here. They believe in these ideas and are passionate about them. They came here with a stake in the game. Some of them are in government. Some are not millennials. Clearly this is catching on.


Look for more from Revolutionizing the World of Work. This was an auspicious beginning to a new chapter portending radical transformation.


Seth Kahan (
is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and
executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell,
World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of
Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike
Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder
of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a year-long learning experience for
CEOs in Washington, DC. His book,
Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out, is a Washington Post bestseller. Visit for more info and a free excerpt. Follow Seth on Twitter. Learn more about Seth’s work at


About the author

I help leaders with change, innovation, and growth. My latest book is "Getting Innovation Right." My first book, "Getting Change Right," was a business bestseller. home office: (301) 229-2221, USA - email: