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Never Coming Back

  Never Coming Back This ad popped up in my feed and made me laugh out loud. For those of us who remember this era, and even for those who … Continued

Look for The Helpers

Look for The Helpers I’ve never been the greatest at asking for help. I suppose it’s a combination of my classic midwestern “I don’t want to bother anybody”, a little … Continued

What a Mess

What a Mess What’s your relationship with messiness? When I was a kid, this was defined by whether you were more of a Bert or more of an Ernie*. I … Continued

The Shape Of Us

The Shape of Us   A decade is a pretty good chunk of time. Most of them seem to go by pretty fast, but they are still significant markers in life. Ten … Continued

Learning To See

Learning to See   You’ve seen this image before, right? Did you see the duck or the rabbit first? This image has been floating around for a long time – … Continued


Break Time   Confession: I like to get things done. I grew up in the 60’s/70’s, raised by Early Boomer parents in the Midwest. I have a strong case of … Continued

Bouncing Back

Bouncing Back (With a Little Help From My Friends!)   I bounce back with a little help from my friends. Last September, a category 4 hurricane blew through our town. … Continued

Ten Years Ago – Taking The Risk!

Ten Years Ago – Taking The Risk I’m doing it. Ten years ago today I woke up saying these words aloud to myself. I had been planning, dreaming, and debating almost daily … Continued

Conditions Matter

Conditions Matter   I’m a pretty good driver. Well, most of the time. A few mornings ago, I wasn’t so good. I was driving before dawn on an unfamiliar road. … Continued

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome   “My impostor syndrome is at an all-time high” Those were the words that spilled out of Daniel Kwan’s mouth at this year’s Oscars as he accepted his … Continued


  Reflections   Have you ever noticed how seeing something with its reflection amps up the “wow” factor? In this incredible image of the Milky Way, it’s gorgeous on its own, … Continued

The Earth Spinned Again

  The Earf Spinned Again   I have a bit of a sunset addiction. My husband would tell you I have a sunset photo addiction. We went out for a … Continued

The Courage to Stop

  “If you were ten times bolder than you feel, what would you do in the next year?” My question was met with energy, curiosity and nervousness by the members … Continued

Running on empty

One of the big differences between my husband and I is how we manage our fuel tanks. He’s a “run it to the last drop” kind of guy. It’s a … Continued

I’ve Got You.

This photo of a Delta flight attendant comforting a distressed passenger went viral last week. It was taken by another passenger who observed the flight attendant calmly explaining every noise during a … Continued

23 Quick Ways to Increase Psychological Safety

Here we are, a month into the new year! New opportunities, new challenges, and a new invitation to create the kind of conditions that bring the very best out of … Continued


In the universe, there are things that are known and things that are unknown. In between, there are doors. ~ William Blake We are getting to the part of the year … Continued

Your Gratitude Rate

This cool little paddle lives in my Dad’s car. After getting some feedback from certain family members about his tendency to get aggravated by other drivers, he decided he was … Continued

The Gateway to Learning

One of the (many) post-it notes on the wall above my desk says   “Curiosity = the prolonged holding of being wrong”. Curiosity is, in my view, absolutely the most … Continued

Looking Inward

Getting a tour of my house is like reading a short story. I have quotes, inspirational sayings, and mantras all over the place. But this painting is by far my … Continued

Three Ways to Achieve More Harmony in 2023

Did “Improve work life balance” make your New Year’s Resolution this year? “Work life balance”  has become such a buzzword. We hear it all the time. Employees expect their employers … Continued

Can you see the horizon?

Here we are again – creeping up to the edge of another year and transitioning to another. In so many ways, the transition is arbitrary. Will January 1 really be … Continued

Who is the next version of you?

Each week we offer you a peek into some of the things we are filling our heads and hearts and ears with. This week we wanted to offer you a … Continued

How do you hold the idea of learning?

Leaders who thrive in today’s world are agile in their thinking and are able to choose their response to their complex environment. They understand their own strengths and where they … Continued

How do you hold the idea of learning?

We do a lot of thinking and talking about how to create cultures where it’s psychologically safe for people to learn. Even with our good intentions, it can be tough. … Continued

How are you showing up in the world?

A few years back, I got my first (and only – because it really hurt!) tattoo: the phrase “be the change” on my wrist.  At that point, I had been … Continued

How to Become the Conductor of Your Life

I can’t believe there are only 6 weeks left of this year. It feels like time is moving so quickly!  Have you accomplished all you set out to do in … Continued

My 5 Favorite Questions

Questions are powerful. Asking the right question at the right time is a masterful way to navigate the challenges and surprises life brings. Asking a bad question or the wrong … Continued

What does it take to be a CEO in today’s world?

Harvard Business Review published an article recently entitled The C-Suite Skills That Matter that generates a juicy question: What skills does it take for a leader in the C-Suite to … Continued

Sometimes, it is more complex than you first thought…

The Colosseum in Rome. From my days in Latin class in high school, I’ve had a picture in my mind of what it looked like and stories about the things … Continued

Learning Safety

  A few weeks ago, my niece and I took a pottery wheel class.  Neither of us had ever done anything like this before so we were both a little … Continued

Am I Getting the Feedback I Need?

  Am I getting the feedback I need… in time to integrate it?   Most of us don’t get enough feedback (which is really just gathering more perspective than we … Continued

Food For Thought

      Never underestimate what a good culture can help you do.   What are you able to do because of the culture that you live or work in … Continued

Celebrate With the People You Love at Thought Design

What’s a better way to show someone you love them than spending some quality time together while bonding over a new learning experience? Infuse some love into your life by … Continued

Do you ever feel like an impostor?

I might be in over my head.   If they only knew…   How is everyone else so much more at ease in their job than I am?   Recognize … Continued

Give More Memorable Gifts this Holiday Season The holiday season is here – which means the hunt for the perfect gift is here too!  Make your gifts more memorable this … Continued

What Provides the Infrastructure in Your Life?

Infrastructure. Have you noticed that you are hearing that word a bit more often lately? Of course, it’s one of the things at the top of the list for our … Continued

Why we feel the need to agree and the brain science behind the pain when we don’t

Our brains are hardwired to connect to others for our survival. We like to create a tribe of like-minded people around us who share common ground about our opinions and … Continued

Leaders: Break-Free From These 5 Thinking Traps You Don’t Even Know You Have

The way the world operates today is testing your abilities as a leader. Within your organization, there’s more unknown and less certainty. Your team is expected to do more with … Continued

Valentines Day Cooking Classes in Grand Rapids, MI

Food Love Valentines Day Cooking Classes at Thought Design What’s a better way to show someone you love them than spending some quality time together while bonding over a new … Continued

Want to keep your New Year’s resolution? Don’t go it alone. Here are 3 vital requirements for accountability that works.

We humans don’t like to be alone; at least, not for very long. We crowd around cities and big screens and tables. We form companies and families and teams. Something … Continued

Celebrate Your Team’s Milestones and Accomplishments with a Culinary Team Building Experience

Your team works hard. Together, you bring an ideal collective of experience and skills. You’ve collaborated on dream projects, and you’ve supported each other when things don’t go exactly as … Continued

5 Signs Winter is Sinking its Teeth Into Your Team + 1 Surefire Way to Fight Back

Gift your team with a cooking challenge holiday party! First Winter is upon us here in West Michigan. Answer these five questions to see if it’s nipping at your team: … Continued

Holiday Office Partying Done Right: All the Joy. None of the Dread. (You can skip the hangover, too.)

Oh, ye olde office holiday party. Few other experiences provide the same opportunity for excitement and dread. On the upside, the picture on your desk doesn’t do your SO justice. … Continued

How to Have an Actually Fun Company Holiday Party

Your “Company Holiday Party Idea” Google Search Stops Here. We hear you’re on your company’s holiday party planning committee. Yay for you! What’s that? OH…you ARE the committee. Well, even … Continued

10 Questions to Ask Before You Plan the Best Holiday Work Party Ever

Guest lists, holiday decorations, venue, menus, entertainment, invitations… there’s a LOT that goes into planning a holiday work party. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday work party … Continued

3 Critical Components to Engaging a Virtual Team

According to Gallup research, workforces that are highly engaged outperform other companies in earnings per share by 147 percent. If your team works remotely 100 percent of the time, you … Continued

New Manager in Grand Rapids? Up the Delicious Factor of Your First Team Building Activity. Start Things Off With a Sizzle.

So, you’re a new manager. Congratulations! You have a unique team of adult humans waiting for you to make your first move. As a team leader, your job is to … Continued

Bias, Empathy and SCARF Model: A Look Into the Mind of a Student Workshop

“Mind of a Student” is a workshop for education professionals, custom-designed to enhance your team’s ability to think differently, engage with each other and connect with their students in ways … Continued

Fill Up Your Brain’s Fuel Tank with the 50 Best Brain Foods

Do you ever have that moment when you’re really in the flow… you’re getting stuff done, feeling kind of sharp, you’re on it, maybe even really creative, and then the … Continued

Benefits of a Culinary Team Building Experience

Preparing a meal together in our kitchen is a fun, engaging way to practice all of the important things teams do together in the workplace: decision-making, problem-solving, collaborating, innovating, giving … Continued

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Serves 8-10 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1 small garlic clove, finely grated 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper Combination of greens: kale, spinach and … Continued

(Non) Random Acts of Kindness

Give a genuine compliment. Tell someone you love them. Smile at everyone you see. Do something nice for a stranger. Donate to a charity you believe in. Volunteer in a … Continued

Can You Relate?

You’ve probably heard that if you want to truly master a skill, you need to spend 10,000 hours on it. According to Matt Leiberman, author of Social, Why our Brains are … Continued

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