Unexpected Strategies for Complexity


Almost everybody is talking about how complex everything has gotten in business and life.

What are you doing about it?

There is lots advice out there. Much of it is misleading or simply wrong.

On the other hand, talented individuals and teams, in coming up with strategies to solve problems in their fields, have unexpectedly created ways to deal with complexity.

For example, the Silicon Valley start-up strategy of “Fail fast, fail often.” It was created to deal with the need for rapid development cycles and scarce resources in a changing market. This strategy also addresses the uncertainty and volatility of complexity by making many small ‘bets’ on the future or ‘experiments’ if you are scientifically-minded.

As it turns out, it has obvious applications in other fields.

There are a wide variety of examples around us if you know where to look.

In the upcoming meeting of the Complexity Network Chicago on Dec 21 at Willis Tower, together with Charles W. Faulkner, my co-founder, we will look at advice and activities across the spectrum of fields from self-help, software developer to scientific discoveries, pointing out successful strategies for dealing with complexity that is hiding in plain sight.

In the spirit of this holiday season, we will offer those present presents: Personal and professional applications to complexity. How small acts can make a big difference.

Let’s exchange the gifts of our insights into complexity with each other and make our wishes for 2018 realities.

If you are in Chicago, please join us for another lively conversation. Space is limited. Reserve your seat now. Must pre-register for the building security. ComplexityNetworkChicago.Eventbrite.com

Holiday Greetings!

Holiday Greetings,

Here are some timely events in December. Are you in?

Dec 6 American Women: Galvanizing for our Future – Next

Dec 7 Opening Reception at Lake Forest Gallery

Dec 15 Pitch Party – Pitch Idea for a TED Talk
Do you or do you know anyone who has an idea worth spreading?

Dec 21 Complexity Network Chicago
Get ready to face the complexity of 2018

Must register now for building security. Will I see you before the snow comes?

PS. To set up a short call, please reach out

Greetings in Autumn

Greetings in Autumn . . .

Earlier this year, I applied for a TED Residency and was honored to be one of the finalists. Although I was not selected for this season, I would like to share my journey and new ideas with you.

During the process, I discovered that the insights and strategies of Painting On Water™ are applicable to dealing with the unexpecTED complexity of life. Please join me on selected dates for an informal discussion at Complexity Network Chicago. I would enjoy seeing you before the snow arrives.

Save Some Dates Below is a list of the public events that I will participate in.

Oct 6, 2017 Complexity Network Chicago at Willis Tower

Share insights and strategies to deal with Complexity in your career and life. Must pre-register at ComplexityNetworkChicago.Eventbrite.com. Scroll down that page for details.

Oct 13, 2017 Lake Forest Gallery Reception

Meet local artists, including Amy Lee Segami, and mingle with contemporary art collectors. Sign up for a complimentary guest pass, TheGalleryLakeForest.Eventbrite.com

Oct 20, 2017 Meet The Alliance Network with those who enhance human potential. The core group is composed of members from 9 associations. Must pre-register at  MeetTheAlliance.EventBrite.com. Scroll down that page for details.

Oct 26, 2017 Tammy Reed Tran, Chair of Executive Women at Metropolitan Club is hosting American Women: Galvanizing for our Future – Empowerment From a Local, National and Global Lens. Yours truly is one of the panelists. Sign up now for your complimentary guest pass, http://bit.ly/2y9IHTB

TEDxIIT Call For Speakers


Early Spring Greetings,

As you may recall, I founded TEDxIIT for my Alma Mater Illinois Institute of Technology. TEDxIIT is now the longest running independently organized TED Event in Chicagoland. Each year the event is sold out and live streams worldwide. TEDxIIT.com

As reminder, the deadline for the TEDxIIT 2017 call for speakers nomination is this Sunday, Feb 26.

If you are interested in speaking or nominating someone to speak at TEDxIIT, see all details in the link to the TEDxIIT 2017 Speaker Nomination Form, http://bit.ly/txi17speakernom

If you are unable to find anyone affiliated with IIT, your nominator can enter my name in the Additional Information space toward the end of the form. No self nomination.
Save the Dates

April 8 TEDxIIT
If you are interested in attending in person and receiving updates, click here to join the TEDxIIT mailing list.
TEDxIIT 2017 Speaker Nomination Form

Watch List for TEDxIIT 2016 UnexpecTED


If you missed TEDxIIT on April 10, you could still watch the live stream online now, for a limited time. https://livestream.com/TEDx/IIT2016

20 speakers share UnexpecTED ideas worth spreading. A unique platform to spotlight Alumni, Students, Faculties and Community Leaders.

Topics ranged from Nano Liquid Battery, Breakthrough in Kidney Dialysis Treatment to Computational Thinking. A must watch is the 5th grader who received standing ovation.

Sign up TEDxIIT mailing list, http://bit.ly/tximl
HuffPost Article, http://bit.ly/txiithp

TEDxIIT April 10, 2016 (scroll to marker to watch a specific talk)https://livestream.com/TEDx/IIT2016

0:30:21 CERN Physicist Lillian Smestad Antimatter Matters

0:47:37 Faculty Mustafa Bilgic: Transparent & Interactive AI 1:01:02 Faculty Ioan Raicu: The big bang of computing

1:12:00 Freshman Vinesh Kannan: No Code is An Island

1:25:15 Alumni Javid Akherat: Breakthrough in Dialysis Treatment

1:34:50 Faculty John Katsoudas: Nano Liquid Batteries

3:35:31 Provost Frances Bronet: Feel the Force

3:47:28 Medical Doctor Ken Nelson, MD: Volunteer in your backyard

3:54:07 Entrepreneur Maya-Camille Broussard: Ingredients for your calling

4:04:13 Author Haydn Shaw: What We Don’t Get About Millennials

4:15:00 Business Lawyer Laurel Bellows: Human Trafficking

4:34:28 Professional Engineer Garrett Gray: The truth about success

5:24:05 Dancer Jabowen Dixon: UnexpectTAB

5:29:40 BS Arch 2018 San Lae Lae Cho Let’s Get To Know Each Other

5:39:24 IIT Trustee Chris Gladwin: How to store the world’s data

5:57:41 Faculty Mike Gorham: My Heart Attack Saved My Life

6:11:15 Executive Coach Carl Seidman: Why I Retired at

32 6:22:00 Shaman Robert Baittie: Park In The Sun (Parkinson)

6:31:54 Major League Baseball Player Jim Mecir & Improv Ellen Schnur: Being Shy is being selfish

6:48:05 5th Grader Kate Cesari

UnexpecTED Speakers from a 5th Grader to a CERN Physicist


The 6th annual TEDxIIT is the longest running independently organized TED event in Chicago. The theme this year highlights the UnexpecTED factors in life: from Technology, Entertainment to Design. The event showcases the ideas worth spreading.

The must watch is at the video marker at 6:48:05 when the 5th Grader Kate Cesario bought the house down with her spoken words: Everything Country.Details, http://bit.ly/txi16lsvmarker

To watch the live stream, https://livestream.com/TEDx/IIT2016