There are many people that are writing things on the Internet, that are collaborating, and it has been a very fruitful experience for many of them. That is what I would like to experiment with on this page. So please send your comments and suggestions as you interact with the papers to me at

In order to facilitate this creative, collaborative space, I have licensed most of the articles under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Licenses. For the articles that I do not hold permissions to distribute under this license, I let you know.

  • Action WorkflowDownload Document
  • The Action Workflow is a late twentieth century theoretical framework the synthesizes the fundamentals of service design. Its framework covers the whole spectrum of services from banking and crowdsourcing to hotels and Airbnbs and helps reveal a realm that has been opague for decades. This paper explores the Action Workflow, its history, and its continued vibrancy over the decades. This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  • Consulting Projects Mobilizing Change and InnovationsDownload Document
  • A paper written by Matthew Hancocks and myself based on our experience mobilizing change projects. Traditional project management can fall short when bringing about an as-yet-undefined innovation in a company or organization. Here we explore a different style of leading a change project, one that embraces an iterative and contingent integration of emergence and design-in-action. This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  • Guanxi: Understanding Social Capital in the China MarketDownload Document
  • A brief framework on guanxi as generation of social capital in China and how one might integrate it with strategies for growing a business. This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Descartes and the Cartesian StyleDownload Paper
  • Two decades ago Maria Flores-Letelier and I wrote this reflection on the modern way of being and its philosophical roots.

  • Practices for Assessing Human Capital InvestmentsDownload Paper
  • A short paper I wrote to produce useful distinctions for making assessments about performance in human capital investments, such as educational and coaching programs

  • Notes on LeadershipDownload Paper
  • A paper I wrote with Chauncey Bell about practices that leaders cultivate.

  • Management TraditionsDownload Paper
  • A sketch of the main management traditions, their distinctions, action verbs, value, and dark sides. (The dark side is the negative consequences of over-stressing their virtues.)

  • The Illusion of Controlling PeopleDownload Paper
  • A short document on control in organizations as a tangible set of know-how.

  • A Notion of Breakdown: Networking Practices for Improving Transparent CoordinationDownload Paper
  • I built this articulation of breakdowns to lead a conversation with a group of people coming from the construction project management world. Most of them were concerned with lean project management, which I understand basically as improving coordination on a systematic basis. One of the frequent areas in which these efforts get stuck is when they transform "lean" into an ideology or a set of rules to be applied. Then you create a style in which people complain about having tried a rule with discipline and not having produced the results. And that's a problematic situation that Dean Reed from DPR, Will Lichtig, and Dave Pixley from Sutter Health, among others, invited me to talk about. The spirit of lean is to keep alive the openness to be unsettled in unexpected ways and the willingness to engage in a bold design conversation. I found this distinction, "breakdown," instrumental to that purpose. Let me know what you think about this condensed diagram.

  • Framing the Design TaskDownload Paper
  • A map I recently did of the principles which frame the process of design.

  • Sketches on ListeningDownload Paper
  • A paper I am currently working on. Take a read and send me your thoughts.

  • Assessments, Values, and PossibilitiesDownload Paper

  • Delivering Concrete On Time in Mexico CityDownload Paper
  • An article in the Wall Street Journal showing the changes produced by the team I was a part of during a long-term engagement at Cemex in the mid 90's. This article is not licensed under Creative Commons.

  • The Production of TextsDownload Paper
  • This is a paper from the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile that Chauncey Bell and I collaborated with the library on. We helped a team from La Biblioteca Nacional de Chile organize their thinking and their recent experiments around the social production of texts and the formation and growth of collectives dealing with innovation in social practices. This paper came out of these discussions and the library has been kind enough to allow us to post this for all to see.

  • Leadership and FollowershipDownload Paper
  • The document was written as a commentary to a previous paper written by Chauncey and I titled "Notes on Leadership," which is part of a developing chain of conversations on leadership. The most significant previous papers that influenced this conversation are the Business Design Associates paper written by Charles Spinosa titled "Leadership" in the late 90s, and another Business Associates paper written by Bob Dunham, Luis Sota and others titled "Team Leadership" from the early 90s. I decided to free this draft version of the paper (even it contains unresolved and contradictory points of views) because it may contribute to further controversies and developments on the subject.