Colorful Leadership

Harnessing the Power
of Human Ingenuity

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Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity

Every day the game changes because somebody, somewhere, is inventing the next new thing. People are naturally clever and adaptive but our need for order and control can shut down any human ingenuity. There is a way to have it both ways.  You can have order and you can have ingenuity.

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Video: Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity

Keynote Content Summary: Harnessing the Power of Human Ingenuity

Book: Colorful Leadership

About this keynote presentation

People and process are the two basic building blocks of management leadership. The trouble is, you can have happy people doing a great job, and still go out of business because the world keeps changing. Careers and organizations come to an abrupt end when traditional skills no longer matter. There is a third discipline that is very different from the first two. Human ingenuity adapts to a changing world and invents the next new thing. Without ingenuity every organization, and every career, is in a death spiral of diminishing returns. How do you build an environment where human ingenuity flourishes, and still maintain the world of quality process and human dignity? The answer is to do all three well.

In this presentation, each of the three disciplines, people, process and human ingenuity, are explored and validated through historical studies. There is a standard academic body of knowledge supporting the people and process disciplines. This is traced forward from the early twentieth century when scientific management delivered gains in productivity that lifted the wages and standard of living for people at all levels of society. The Hawthorne studies are used to demonstrate the shift of management studies into the human relations era. Through these studies researchers learned that there was a great deal more to productivity than finding the one best way to do each task. People could mysteriously become more or less productive regardless of the physical conditions. The ingenuity discipline in our model traces its history back to Edward Lorenzís explanation of the butterfly effect which brought in the era of complexity theory, also known as chaos science.

Our proposal is to master all three disciplines, so you can think in three dimensions and act strategically in any situation.


Respect, feedback, and team engagement are explored from the three perspectives of process, people, and ingenuity. Each perspective takes the leader in a different direction and the art of successful project management is to do all three, even when they appear to be in conflict. We will offer specific techniques for doing all three in any situation.

This material will work both as a keynote talk and as a breakout workshop. Steve Wille is an experienced conference speaker, as well as a workshop facilitator.

"You have an absolutely unique view and approach to the dilemmas of leadership called Colorful Leadership. I will tell you that in 12 years of featuring a broad array of leaders, I have never come across anything remotely like your approach."

Linda Hatcher, Editor, Leadership Guide Magazine  

Read the recent interview with Leadership Guide Magazine

Colorful Leaders take a disciplined look at situations from three perspectives, one at a time, and then act appropriately based on the complete picture.  It is based on the additive color process that makes every color television work.  Red, green, and blue lights combine to create white light, and a full spectrum of colors, forming a beautiful high definition image.

Steve Wille, author of Colorful Leadership, is a senior applications manager at a large insurance company with U.S. headquarters in Colorado. He has over 25 years experience in corporate information technology management. His article on Constructive Conflict has been published internationally. Steve is a PMP (Project Management Professional) and has developed multiple large information technology systems from the ground up. Steve's MBA degree is from Regis University in Denver, and his BSBA degree is from the University of Denver.


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