Rex Miller

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MindShift is a proven process for organizations and industries to solve their WICKED problems. Our unique methodology assembles diverse stakeholders to create a safe environment to actively explore and dismantle our collective assumptions. This frees us to look for that mind shifting question to open a door to experiment and create new possibilities – new realities.

Turning Thought Leadership into Market Leadership

What is your frustration or constraint? In the past ten years we have used this approach with more than 300 leaders and more than 150 organizations turning thought leadership into market leadership.

We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes. Joseph Campbell

It May Be A Wicked Problem If…

  • You have made more than three attempts to solve a problem with little or no results.
  • There is a collective frustration around a common constraint.
  • No one person, organization or entity has the power or resources to resolve it.
  • When the problem occurs there is a ready list of the usual suspects to blame.
  • The issue feels like a pebble in your shoe that you have to put up with.
  • Margins steadily decline and costs steadily increase.

The MindShift Way

  1. A MindShift project begins with a “wicked problem” that effects a domain essential to society – like the quality of our work experience, education or the state of our health and wellness.
  2. It naturally attracts knowledgeable leaders commonly frustrated by a broken record of failed attempts to untie the knot that preserves entrenched thinking and obsolete ways. We find a cohort willing to come together without answers but committed to a journey to uncover deeper questions.
  3. It is at this point we enter the fog that hides the root issues. We circle the common narratives, myths and assumption that energize and polarize the debate but lead to nowhere. Once identified we intentionally set these aside.
  4. At this point we ask two questions, “So, what’s the problem?” and “What keeps the issue stuck and resistant to change?”
  5. We then begin to identify those who have broken lose, who are breaking the rules with superior results.
  6. We then go to see and ask, “Just how did you overcome the barriers?” and “What price did you pay challenging the established norms?”
  7. We connect the dots and synthesize our lessons into commonly applicable and scalable principles, habits and tools.
  8. We create prototypes that will shift out thinking and test the principles and tools.
  9. We distill the lessons – written in accessible marketplace language – for leaders.
  10. Finally, we create a platform for sharing the story and shifting the conversation toward adopting the new possibilities.

Quotes that Guide MindShift

  • The narrow gauge mindset of the past is insufficient for today’s wicked problems. We can no longer play the music as written. Instead, we have to invent a whole new scale. Marty Neumeier
  • We thought we had the answers. It’s the questions we had wrong. Bono
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
  • Don’t fix problems, copy success. Dan and Chip Heath
  • Everyone in a complex system has a slightly different interpretation. The more interpretations we gather, the easier it becomes to gain a sense of the whole. Margaret J. Wheatley
  • The future is already here it is not evenly distributed. William Gibson
  • It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting. Jerry Sternim

Trophies

Where MindShift Began

The original inspiration for MindShift began in 2006 to solve a personal wicked problem. “How can I, as a subcontractor, overcome the resistance to prefabricated walls and raised flooring, just because it doesn’t fit neatly into traditional construction?”

I found myself stuck between estimators who added a premium to our cost because they did not understand the product. I was stuck between developers and tenants who did know if it was a product owned by the tenant or a permanent fixture owned by the landlord. I was stuck between architects who did not know how to specify a item fabricated off-site vs. assembled by different trades onsite. I was stuck with contractors who had loyalties to their sub-contractors and my solution took money out of their pockets. I was also struggling after the tech-bubble burst and then soon after our nation and economy was impacted by 9-11. I had a family to feed.

In order to solve my problem I had to solve a bigger problem – an outdated, fragmented and adversarial construction system and culture. No small feat.

I was fortunate. My manufacturer seeded an effort which allowed me to see if other stakeholders in this supply chain had similar frustrations. I soon learned that my frustration and the shackles I experienced were a microcosm of the entire system. Every person I talked to inside this universe expressed similar levels of frustration but each sounded like a unique set of constraints.

Was there something beneath it all, a common driver? The only way to find out was to get everyone I talked to in the same room together. Here again, I was fortunate. My manufacturer underwrote a meeting of the minds. Eighteen leaders assembled in the Spring of 2007 to share what the problem looked like from their seat on the bus.

That meeting, told in The Commercial Real Estate Revolution, resulted in a life-changing and industry changing initiative. We met quarterly for two-years over seven summits to discover that question that changed all of our assumptions and opened a new world of possibilities. The work we did and wrote about became a catalyst for a movement called Integrated Project Delivery.

The education we and our organizations received turned us into thought leaders unlike any others in the industry. We went from experts in our single domains to experts on how the whole system worked. Knowing the relationship between all of the pieces freed us to rethink our own businesses and practices. We could solve the bigger problem, the problem of a system designed to create distrust and conflict. We have since been able to share, show and execute a trust-based approach that consistently produces superior results. We published a book and won an international award for innovation.

We journeyed from subject matter experts, to thought leaders, to expert practitioners of a new way and to market leaders.

We have been able to use the same process with similar success to tackle workplace disengagement, employee resistance to change, our failing education system and soon, the toxic effects of the modern workplace.

Rex Miller

Engaging Speaker, Futurist, Author, Consultant

mindSHIFT was born out of frustration. The disfunction of the construction industry seemed to consistently thwart the natural desire to create trust and partner for better project outcomes.