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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
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We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.

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Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

The Ties That Transform?

Peter Nicholson

Relational New Year
I’ve been reading about relationships. I enjoy pursuing sustainability-related projects because of the people often involved. Working from a platform of shared values provides fulfillment, and the opportunity to delve more deeply more quickly. Progress on complex issues requires working across different types of silos. Increasingly, Foresight has been asked to assist clients with overcoming friction that can occur within collaborations small and large. The immediate problem we’re asked to address is rarely what most needs attention. The root causes nearly always go deeper, and are where we try to focus attention. I didn’t start reading John Gottman's The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work to inform my consulting, but its data-supported, myth-busting insights have done exactly that. It can be frustrating to see so many resources being deployed on technical fixes, and so relatively few on what really matters: relationships. Outside the personal realm, they seem to be taken for granted, overlooked, developed over the course of conducting business, except perhaps by astute sales people. I’ve always viewed them as fundamental assets to most anything I’ve ever attempted. They are, in fact, what has often made it worthwhile. Whether they involve a large group, a small staff, or the person with whom one shares a home—and I’ve worked intensely within and on all of these—the achievement of our potential will be hampered until we learn to better invest in and navigate these relationships' rich complexities.