Sara Holoubek on Human Companies and Solving Problems that Matter


Today I talk with Luminary Labs CEO and founder Sara Holoubek. Luminary Labs is a really unique company that both consults with companies on strategy and also helps run massive open innovation programs for organizations. We talk about working on problems that matter, on how humans have always been more nuanced than marketers and how companies need to be creating Intelligence Engines.

One of the things that Sara helped me think about is an idea i've been noodling with about Complimentarity vs. Non-Complimentarity. How in situations, you have really only these two choices: to go with or against the current tide. Sara helped me see that the conversation between a company and the culture it's in is very similar to the conversation two people might have! Companies face that choice, too. Only, too many companies choose to go along with trends or not...not intentionally, but mostly unintentionally.  And that's the thing about design: everything is designed,  either well, or poorly, intentionally or unintentionally. Sara clearly helps companies and the people in them be more intentional about their work.

 In trying to re-design a conversation you're in,  you can shift patterns by consciously pushing with or against them. David Bohm tells a great story  about this in "On Dialogue"...a psychologist was treating a young girl who wouldn't talk to anybody. After an hour of fruitless attempts, he was exasperated and said "why won't you talk to me?"

"because I hate you" she countered: She was pushing *back* on his energy, you see?

So he asked "how long will you hate me?"

she said "I'll hate you forever"

Then he kept with it, taking the logic further "how long will you hate me forever?"

Somehow, this broke the spell and the little girl laughed. He kept questioning her refusal... somehow, taking it seriously helped shift it.

What is that behavior? He somehow accepted what was happening with the little girl, but questioning it in the right way, shifted the conversation.

I learned about non-complimentarity from Invisibilia, an *awesome* podcast from NPR. I'll link the episode in the notes: in the show opening they talk about a group of people drinking wine in their back yard who get help up at gunpoint. They tell the robber they have nothing, so they offer him a glass of wine instead...which flips the whole script of getting robbed. Spoiler alert: it ends in a group hug. Enjoy that episode from Invisibilia and enjoy this episode, too! I hope you learn something about redesigning conversations for your own context...



Luminary labs


David Bohm on Dialoue:


Invisibilia: Flip the Script


Toothpaste Medium Article


Gartner Hype Cycle


The Human Company Playbook


Makers and Takers


Danny Meyer


EdSim Challenge


Avoiding the 20 Million Dollar Mistake: