Creative Emergence in DC and the Shenandoah Mountains

Shenandoah Mountains Retreat

Panel on creative leadership #cibc11 on Twitpic

This has been a fantastic week where my personal investment of time and money has led to discovery, co-creating and new relationships, as well as deepening existing friendships, many of whom had their genesis in Twitter, Facebook or Ning community discussions.

I arrived into Washington DC late Saturday 22 Oct after a cramped cold and hungry but fascinating daytime flight from Beijing across Siberia and Alaska. Oddly enough, I had not revisited DC since university days about 3 centuries ago and was thrilled to have an opportunity to visit and connect with other Amplify Festival friends too who are based here.

I was to join John Hagel, Robbie Richmond and Rita King as speakers on a panel led by Stephen Dahlberg on Creative Leadership at the Creativity in Business Conference (#cibc11) organized by the effervescent Michelle James of fame. The above image summarizes that session.

Ever on the hunt for messengers of wisdom to lure back to Australia for Amplify, I scurried from session to session to uncover as much as possible- my only regret being that 4 concurrent streams forced trade-offs and I couldn’t experience all. But, in the spirit of trusting that the wisdom of the universe will lead you to what you need, I was delighted to come away with much resonance for existing ideas, and the splendid gift of 3 brand-new Eureka moments, thanks to
– a model for the design of work for optimal performance from Carol Sanford,
– the concept of a “memory palace” to memorize large amounts of data with as shared by James Jorasch, and
– a framework called Polarity Thinking to understand duel tensions that are inherently present in most scenarios, as shared by Cliff Kayser who hosted the post-conference retreat. This took place at the intimate and spectacular Kayser Ridge- an awesome timber home sleeping 14 in the Shenandoah Mountains of West Virginia. Cliff Kayser, our host and executive coach, Polarity Thinking facilitator, Tao Master, yoga practitioner, artist and poet built this with love and his own two hands. It is a sanctuary for replenishing mind, body and spirit….and I need to add, Cliff is also an amazing cook and host. A truly beautiful human being and the embodiment of what he teaches.

More images of who joined the retreat and brief bios at and more on the Retreat here….highly recommended;

Thank you both Michelle James, aka @CreatvEmergence for organizing this wonderful gathering of minds and Cliff for your hospitality! A special thanks also to the wonderful new people I got to meet and make deep connections with; Carol Sanford, Gregg Fraley, Jack Richiutto, George Por, Bruce Waltuck at the retreat, and others at the conference and dinners.

I look forward to keeping in touch and hopefully working with many of you in future.



  1. Annalie, what a delicious time with you. Creating and evolving thinking on how humans work when they are whole and complete. I so look forward to more long conversations and who knows what else.Thanks for the post.

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