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Bootstrap solutions to complex challenges.

I help forward thinking leaders

liberate trapped value

You get thrown the thorny problems that no one quite knows how to solve. And those problems seem to come faster every day.

You weren’t trained for this. And the familiar experts with their off-the-shelf answers and processes weren’t trained for it either. You know that times are changing and that you and your peers need a more adaptive way of working.  

Let's talk about a new approach. One that liberates the trapped knowledge, passion and assets scattered throughout your organization, and empowers your teams to solve complex problems every time; one that purposely emphasizes sustainable and regenerative approaches to work.


This is the essence of bootstrapping: unlocking exponential value together.


I help leaders like you and your teams find straightforward, bootstrapped solutions and hidden paths through knotty problems associated with transformation or change.


Through 1:1 or Team Programs, I'll help you design a consistent, collaborative, regenerative approach that builds a unique style of problem solving that is explicit and repeatable, without fuss.

Here's what we can do together:

Bust Through Organizational Gridlock
Supercharge Employee Engagement
Complexity with Confidence

Innovation is about solving problems! I'll help you innovate your way beyond expectations especially within tight constraints.

Harness the energy of diverse perspectives. I'll help you bust through gridlock to accelerate powerful change.

Ignite the highest employee engagement every time. I'll help you align the aspirations of individuals and the organization to achieve flow.

We're not going "back to normal." I'll help you and your teams thrive in a world of constant change.


Sample Use Cases and Outcomes

The 'Design for Complexity' framework is agile and fully customizable to solve a wide range of  complex challenges.

Bootstrapping Innovation


Collaborative sense-making with customer-facing teams to design and deliver a new technology market category and the products that defined it.

Busting Gridlock

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Building internal value creation networks to help leaders unlock hidden resources, amplify employee engagement and deliver brand new value.

Managing Complexity


Changing the perspective on collaborative engagements from ‘least worst compromises’ to ‘best best’ opportunities to help a BU merger succeed quickly.

Employee Engagement


Establishing trust and shared aspirations between a corporation and its new acquisitions resulting in net new business.

Services Innovation

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Fixing a broken go-to-market strategy by understanding, and then aligning the different perspectives on the nature of the challenge.

Product Innovation


Aligning multiple teams with diverse points of view to design and bring a new product to market quickly.

Field Innovation


Facilitating sense-making of a complex system for a Data Science and Design team to come together and deliver new business services.

Sales Enablement


Building value-centric selling approaches to exponentially grow cross-sell/ up-sell while delivering value for the company, the customers and the partners.

Working with me

Work with me 1:1
Thought Partner

I'll partner with you to make sense of the complex challenges you face and help you consider innovative ways to solve them.

It takes a tribe to solve messy, multi-sided problems. I'll help you identify the right people to help solve testing challenges.

Create a Team Program
Outcome-Based Consulting
Training & Capacity Building

I have been on this journey. I can jump in and supplement your team, as you consider or plan to deliver live projects.

I can build a custom curriculum for you, your teams or your organization to develop the skills to tackle wicked problems at scale.

Curious about working together?

Curious to know more? Send me a note!

Let's clarify your challenge and see if I can help.

Working with me

What people say

"Every once in a while you meet a colleague that has popped out of the rut and brings an entirely new experience to the business. John is full of vision, a risk taker, and most importantly able to out execute the strategy he creates. It has been a pleasure to work with John where together our teams have taken the predictable, to the spectacular on several occasions. This was largely because of John's talents, and our customers are better off because of his passion."

Andy, CEO (Virginia)

"John brings deep yet pragmatic knowledge of an array of innovation techniques, that when coupled with his resilient demeanor, helped our organization move from the "Least Worst" option to the "Best Best" option when wrestling with our most challenging technology and organizational decisions. There was no one on my team who taught me more about the importance of the human factor when dealing with the application of technology…no one."

Bill Schmarzo, Chief Innovation Officer, Author

"John is one of the brightest collaborative partners I've had the pleasure of working with. John rebuilt the marketing, branding, and go-to-market capacity at a technology partner of ours. He designed an innovative program to completely revamp and take the messaging and engagement into the new world of cloud and social media by using advanced analytics and other mechanisms to identify areas of growth, achieve scale, and automate old world tasks. John is truly an "out of the box" thinker. He always gets my creativity going and helps me achieve more from myself. I very much enjoy working with John and would recommend him as a disruptive innovator for any business."

Jason Monden, Product Management Leader

"An inspiring leader, an individual that has this amazing ability to connect people together when it's needed the most. John is a masterful networker simply because caring about individuals is embedded in his core. From the outpour of compassion comes a magnetic management style he uses to problem solve in a unique and innovative way. A true Catalyst to the core, in all the best ways."

Aly Gillen, Education Developer, Catalyst

You can find me here


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From the Catalyst Constellations Podcast Series, November 2020

"Process and Organizational Design Philosophy"

From the Sarbjeet Johal Tech Talks Podcast Series, October 2020

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Features or Contributions

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"Move Fast. Break Shit. Burn Out."

Shannon Lucas & Tracey Lovejoy of Catalyst Constellations.

(c) 2020

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"The Economics of Data, Analytics & Digital Transformation."

Bill Schmarzo

Dean of Big (c) 2020

About me

About me

Reframe, Remix, Repurpose, Regenerate


Since the mid-2000’s I have been repeatedly asked - as an intrapreneur, program leader or consultant - to lead or support ‘bootstrapped’ innovation projects where the goals are ambitious, the challenges are complex, and resources are extremely limited.


Projects have ranged from leadership, to strategy, product and service design, complex collaboration and organizational design in both public and private sectors, for large and small organizations alike. My work has taken me all over the world.


We achieve extraordinary results through the power of authentic connection.  In every complex challenge I'm engaged on, without fail the solutions lie in finding people with adaptive mindsets, who tap into their creativity and are willing to come together to collaborate in networks, “where nobody gets to tell anyone else what to do.” The outcomes are transformative, inspiring, empowering and regenerative. 

How do we build shared purpose and trust and lead with intent?  How do we create exponential value, together?  How do we engage the people and resources we're already investing in to come up with new and fresh solutions?  How do we liberate our collective potential to achieve amazing things? How do we build a business the world actually needs?


I love solving these challenges.  Let's chat and unleash the hidden value in your organization together.

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We work best together when we share purpose! Here are some of the key principles I strive to apply in my approach to work:


Lead with Intent -

~ Start with Intent, methods will follow.

~ Knowledge and continuous learning are at the core of innovation.


Focus on People -

~ Manifest both individual and organizational aspirations as outcomes.

~ Seek and embrace diversity - of people and perspectives


Embrace Creativity -

~ Resource constraints do not constrain creativity or adaptive thinking.

~ We are all creative.  Let's find ours and embrace it.


Find Value for Everyone -

~ In an adaptive world full of complex change, everyone is innovating.

~ Everyone needs to derive value from the initiative.


Sense the System -

~ Everything is connected. Find the connections and explore them passionately.

~ It's easy to see systems in hindsight. Find new knowledge, new paths: be "always exploring!"

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