Center for Innovative Cultures

Helping organizations thrive by unleashing the talent, passion, and potential of people at work

Summer Inquiry 2017 - Light a Fire?

This event may affect you whether you were able to join us not!  Even though our lives are busy, as the dust settles and we return to our daily lives, our thoughts turn to the time that we were able to spend with a unique group of individuals just a mere ten days ago. 

Our Summer Inquiry (formerly known as "Summer Conference") is an annual gathering which brings together academics, business leaders, practitioners, and thought leaders for a time of idea-exploration.  The goal of the Center for Innovative Cultures is to help organizations thrive by unleashing the talent, passion and potential of people at work.  The Summer Inquiry is a time to analyze and discuss what this truly means.

Each year, while the Center’s main goal is the focus, the in-depth theme slightly differs.  The mix of participants also varies and this creates much opportunity for new thought and collaboration.

This year our gathering was held June 14th through 16th at the Lodges at Deer Valley.  We had sessions such as “Leadership in an Uncertain World” led by Charlie Rudd & Michael Hamman, “Leadership as the ‘Space Between’” with our own Michael Pacanowsky and “Compassion & Change” with Monica Worline

Many of our attendees expressed common thoughts on what they found most valuable during this time of exploration.  Networking with others on similar journeys, meeting experienced and like-minded individuals, connecting with other experiences and perspectives and a shared commitment to learning were just some of them. 

One individual said that what was most valuable to them was “learning that the battles we face are not unique, and [that] we can draw strength and learn from others”.  Perhaps this is what is most poignant when we have gatherings like these.  Forward-thinking, mindful individuals realizing they are not an island but part of a greater body of like-minded individuals.

It is safe to say we all walked away with some new perspective and many provocative ideas to ruminate upon.  These ideas are part of what continue to formulate and direct what we do as a Center.  We would like to conclude this post with a very fitting comment made by one of our attendees, Hani Nagati, during casual dinner conversation. “Do not light a fire under me; light a fire in my heart”.

Yes, this is what we want to help organizations do!  We look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming Collaborative Culture Summit this September where we will look at practical applications that will help “light a fire” in hearts within your organizations.

Please send questions or comments to