I have not felt very creative this pandemic season. Not writing much, not coming up with new ideas or new frameworks. Blinking into the world, locked down in my London flat.

It wasn’t until a conversation with some lovely companions last week that I discovered one of the places my creativity had been active, quietly, with no fanfare: in the creative act of relationship-ing. Excuse my clumsy wording-even as an ex-English teacher, I want to use this made up term to exactly describe an action I have never noticed before: the act of creatively, thoughtfully, crafting, and nurturing relationships.

Here’s…

Some of you will know that I’m now on the quest for the next book project. One idea I keep returning to is this one: We know that there are ways we humans are not well wired for complexity (see Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps and other books like that). I’ve spent most of my career helping us overcome our leanings towards oversimplification, control, and our bias for being right. And wow in these COVID days we see a lot of that reaction. But it’s also got to be true that there are ways humans are incredibly well wired for complexity-ways we…

Here in London, it is the season of hope. The curves are dipping after nearly four months of lockdown. The vaccines are coming; the protection of our most vulnerable a relief I can feel in my (perhaps less vulnerable) body. Yesterday there were crocuses in Saint James’s Park and the first set of goslings, tiny and fuzzy nestled under their mother’s body. I can begin to feel buoyed by this and catch a glimpse of the future-hugging my parents, sitting in a circle with friends, watching live theater again.

And then there’s an article about a new variant, or the…

screen shot of a Zoom room with smiling faces
screen shot of a Zoom room with smiling faces

I’ve been writing about diversity, inclusion, and belonging and the lessons this season is teaching me. Today let’s look at the last ingredient, the one I can really feel into. Pat Wadors, the CHRO of ServiceNow, is credited with adding “belonging” to the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) space. As she says, “D&I may capture your head, but belonging captures your heart.”

I’m learning about this in great measure by being a student in a workshop called Leading Inclusively. The first half of that program was more about opening my eyes to diversity and inclusion, and I’ve written blogs about those…

I had a zoom coffee with a new colleague last week, and it was the kind of initial conversation that made me hope that in ten years I’ll be talking about that as the first meeting of a dear friend. We were talking about diversity, inclusion, and belonging, a trio that I spend a lot of my waking hours (and some of my dreaming hours) contemplating. “If you are going to invite me to your party,” this Black American man told me, “you need to care about what my preferences are. If I walk in and hear ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’…

I feel a little tingle of nerves as I settle into my chair while the Zoom screen loads and the faces begin to pop up. It’s weird because it’s not like I’m teaching this workshop. I guess the message my body is sending is that growing brings its own anxieties.

We are together for Leading Inclusively, a workshop designed to help me, well, lead more inclusively. …

sunlight filtered through trees
sunlight filtered through trees

These last few weeks, I have been sensing a need for an intervention-with myself and with those around me. While some people have lost profoundly more than others-family members, their own good health, their livelihood-all of us are rocked by losses in this coronaseason. I have seen so many of us try to put off grieving these losses with the story that this is just temporary. We can work twice as many hours or binge watch Netflix or have virtual coffee hours on Zoom and try to ignore that the conditions of our lives have materially changed.

I think it’s…

A woman looking out at a stone wall covered in vines
A woman looking out at a stone wall covered in vines

I have fallen quiet. You wouldn’t know that if you heard me on a podcast or a webinar (or even my first radio morning show), where I jabber away with abandon. You wouldn’t know it if you sat at the dinner table with me as we took our nightly round of gratitude or talked about our days. But you’d know it if you watched me participate silently in a webinar I’m not teaching. You’d know it if you looked at the looping doodles that pass for words in my journal. …

In July of 2016, we took a family holiday to New York City. Aidan was into photography in a big way, so the old Nikon was our constant companion, a beast that ate all the film we could feed it. On our last day, touring the World Trade Center memorial, we realized that we needed to pick up the photos that awaited us in Midtown. We hopped on the subway and raced to the closest stop, pressed together on the full train. …

a hooded figure looks out a window at the New York night sky
a hooded figure looks out a window at the New York night sky

In July of 2016, we took a family holiday to New York City. Aidan was into photography in a big way, so the old Nikon was our constant companion, a beast that ate all the film we could feed it. On our last day, touring the World Trade Center memorial, we realized that we needed to pick up the photos that awaited us in Midtown. We hopped on the subway and raced to the closest stop, pressed together on the full train. …

Jennifer Garvey Berger

Supporting leaders to thrive in complexity.

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