Bank on the Boulder Mall
looking 20 years later just as it was when we first moved there
early January 1979 Gail told me that she wanted
to leave Kansas City. At the time she was running
the Learning Exchange and I was directing the Renascence
Project - both organizations which we had, respectively,
founded. Gail set her target for a June migration.
We started meeting on Sundays and keeping notebooks
on what we might do.
was working on a book [link] and was far from finished with the Renascence
Project. Gail had lived all her life in Kansas City
and had decided that she had to leave and
explore new options.
of us had achieved some reputation in certain networks
interested in alternative views of creativity,
education, health, architecture, organization, life-work
styles and future options.Outside of Gails
connections in Kansas City, however, we had few friends
and associates and almost none in established organizations.
|INSTEAD under construction.
followed a number of events that birthed a project
that had enormous appeal to us. Things accererated
until we were certain of its success and then, suddenly
- late in the summer - eveything collapsed leaving
a vacuum - out of which - MG Taylor was born.
thought we were moving to California - instead we
moved to Colorado. We thought we were going to set
up a foundation with a number of well known, creative
people - instead we started a for-profit business
by ourselves. We thought we were going to build a
small secular monestrary on a large track
of land outside of Yosemenity - instead we built
a a 3,500 square foot Anticipatory Management
Center off the Boulder Mall and a small
two family homestead named Instead.
had no idea that we had launched an enterprise that
would take over 22
years [link] (
and now, as of 2005, 26 years) [link] to
go full cycle and reach a measure of success. In
our own Model of the Creative
we at Intent. We were clear with our
vision and what we wanted to accomplish. We did not
know how we were going to accomplish it nor what
it would take. It was a curious mixture of being
right on target and almost totally blind - a prerequsite,
I think, for starting an enterprise. It became a
proper heuristic search.
were staying with Barbara Hubbard for the summer,
in Washington DC, when all of our plans collapsed.
In a matter of a few days, everyone who was to be
a part of of the project had a crisis/opportunity
that altered both their priorities and capacity to
invest in the project. Gail and I were to be the
designer builder/operators of the project and the
others investors and participants. We were able,
with a few hours to spare, stop everything we owned
from leaving Kansas City by truck to be deposited
on 880 empty acres of sloping foothills just outside
Yosemity National Forest.
the time that this happened, Lief Smith, who ran
the Denver Open Network, visited us in DC. Come
to Colorado he said, there are three
projects that are run by people who will like your
work. We went to Colorado. It turned out that
nothing happened with the three projects. It also
turned out that Boulder, Colorado, in 1979, was the
perfect incubation environment for what we wanted
went to work as a landscape designer/builder and
Gail started to network. In a few months
we had a contract from the City of Boulder to design
and facilitate an Affordable Housing Project. We
built the Anticipatory Management Center in which
to do it, invented the DesignShop process, and were
on our way.
knows more than anybody I know about networks and
network theory. He and Pat Wagner did pioneering
work on the concept of free order and open network.
He is a great wizard. Here is a paper of his about wizards.
He and Pat are
still at it and can be found at Pattern
Research. We are forever in his debt for guiding
us to Colorado - although the specifics did not work
out, the idea was right.
were crazy in those years. Full of ideas and great
plans. We were happy. We took big bites. Despite
the fact we both had 20 plus years of work experience
behind us, we were naive. I often wonder if we had
known, at the beginning, what it would take - if
we would have done it. Innovation is
a curious combination of knowing - and not. Of having
what it takes - and having nothing. Of being certain
of your ground and completely recreating the problem.
We recreated the workplace and launched ourselves,
in one leap, 20 years into the future. Nearly 7,500
days later (going on 9,000), we are just catching
up with what we did.
is interesting is that, as we get closer to success,
it seems less fun than when we began. I do not know
if this results from the accumulated fatigue of the
years, the long effort, the inevitable disappointments
and the fact of being 20 (25) years older - or, if
there is another cause. If there is another cause,
like to find it.
do believe that a necessary part of a protracted
startup process is going back to the beginning and
seeking that starting energy and naive point of view.
This is a vital aspect of renewing. It is not that
the experience and attitude of either poles, 20 years
apart, are the right one - it is how
they co-mingle in the mind that is important. It
is important to both remember what you
started out to do and mix that memory with the reality of
where you are today. Both vantage points have value.
Each informs the other.
the Boulder days, I did extensive journaling. Today,
these web pagescadd to that of pen and paper which
are also web-published along with past materials
from our Archives. The
advantage of the www
is that it is a great instant publishing method.
I can share with those of like mind on a real-time
basis. In many ways, I consider this documentation
the most important aspect of my work. Organizations
come and go, buildings rise and fall, ideas
go on forever.
Index - part one of two
Index - part two of two
March 31, 1999
voice of this document:
INSIGHT POLICY PROGRAM
July 23, 2005
• 20050723.191109.mt •
this document is about 70% finished)
Taylor 1999, 2000, 2005