what you’ll find in the ‘creative’ section

“Limits are negotiable.”

James L. Adams


Created by: the (re) institute llc                All Rights Reserved 2011-2015


  1. Bullet (re)value

  2. Bullet (re)source

  3. Bullet (re)view

  4. Bullet (re)focus

  5. Bullet (re)organize

the creative framework

that makes (re) work

(re)’s points of distinction

(re)’s value equation

our view on return

at (re) we ‘flip’ the typical view of value on its head.

here’s how and why that makes all the difference.

how (re) looks  at creative thought

pursuing intersections

as important as ‘where’ you source intelligence and ideas is how you view what you find. (re) links our unique sourcing method with a distinct way of examining the patterns across creative thought and human progress. in short, we look through many different lenses, allowing us to expand access to creative thought and experiment with how to take it further.

(re)’s unwavering focus

avoiding distraction while maximizing value

(re)’s primary focus on exploring, expanding, and experimenting creative thought  - as well as why and how that focus distinguishes (re) and increases its value - is explained.

(re)’s approach to structure & growth

lean, adaptive, learning

(re) is structured to be a lean, adaptive, learning organization. we consider these characteristics vital to creative thought and to our focus.

this section shares how we will ensure that goal is met.


(re) is creative, unique, and valuable.

how we value, source, view, focus, and organize makes us that way.

in short

1. (re)value

3. (re)view

4. (re)focus

5. (re)organize

to understand how we see ‘return’ - on any investment made in (re), as a measure of the progress of our work, in general - there are two things you need to know:

  1. 1.how we look at value and

  2. 2.where that takes us.

let’s begin with the first:

our view of value.

it’s really as simple as stated in the graphic above: we ‘flip’ the value equation. first let us tell you why.

traditionally, we speak of value as being equivalent to the most common measure of value: money. but they are not the same. evaluating return in dollars and cents is a single, important way to get an indication of return on investment. yet as any good entrepreneur, investor, or anyone who has tried to build something of value knows, many other things lead to, and make possible financial return, and many other forms of value result from a good investment.

when value becomes equated with money alone, two things get lost or severely limited: a) the potential for expanding and maximizing value and b) creative thinking.

this is why (re) thinks it’s crucial to flip the value equation, to give value and creative thought priority and amplify them. we believe that...

  1. Bulletrather than looking at $ alone, value needs to be seen and measured in many ways if value is to be maximized

  2. Bulletinstead of seeking to ‘own’ a process for creating value or the end product, the knowledge of how to do so should be shared - openly and broadly

  3. Bulletcreative thought and value seeking should become a point of view and a mindset and no longer limited to a single application of that point of view: a product, a service, or similar...

where that view takes us.

think of (re) at the center of the image directly above. this image represents the universe of value (re) can ‘start’.

beginning immediately around (re), the most tangible return come from what (re) explores, expands, and experiments with every single day: combining and sharing knowledge in uncommon intersections of people, problems, industries, and environments. gathering such insights, stories, and data in a single repository is in and of itself enormously valuable. identifying and revealing the patterns across this knowledge is even more so, regardless of where and how such knowledge is applied by (re)’s audiences.

the return potential only increases from there. by offering broad access to the knowledge and understanding explored by (re), new ideas and innovations will naturally emerge. some of those could logically include a direct role for (re). but that isn’t the main thrust. the real value is in seeding and catalyzing an ever-increasing pool of catalysts for new ideas and new value and helping them to increase their odds of realizing that value, whether or not (re) plays an ongoing role. the true potential, in which we all share, is the the potential for human progress.

(re)’s sources of intelligence & insights

where and how we learn

creative thought doesn’t limit itself to one place. neither do we. to gain new intelligence and insights into creative thought and how it links to value, (re) sources across industries, functions, ways of thinking, and forms of value, leading us to the new and unexpected.

this is the universe we explore.

2. (re)source

what you know depends of where you look

pause for just a moment and consider this: no matter who you are or to what profession or passion you devote your time, chances are you can think of something valuable that impacts your world every day which can be traced back to someone who looked at the world differently, first to conceive it and then to create it. it could be a remarkable product (like the computer or smartphone on which you are reading this) or a service (like the browser you used to get to this site). it might take the form of a piece of knowledge you take for granted (the fact that our planet rotates around the sun and not the other way, for example). or perhaps it’s a social or political movement that shaped your world, your view, even your rights in ways unimaginable a decade or so ago.

stopping to notice such examples of how creative thought continuously shapes our progress isn’t our habit as a society. being aware of examples far beyond our day-to-day world is even less common.

yet creative thought takes places not just in the world you know but everywhere. and to really understand it as well as to understand the patterns across creative thought and how it materializes into the tangible forms of value that shape our lives we need to source our knowledge more broadly and deeply than ever before.

one of the things that makes (re) so unique is that we explore creative thought in every corner of human existence. we look broadly by market, sector, and discipline. we explore the different environments and circumstances contributing to creative thought and the ability to turn it into value. and we explore the broad range of forms and measures of value sought, reached, and contributing to human progress. in total, we seek a more complete picture of creative thought in order to gain a deeper understanding and increase the effectiveness of its use.

what’s remarkable are both the similarities and the important differences that reveal themselves when you take the time to really look. what’s valuable are the patterns that emerge and how awareness of both the patterns and the specific examples can inform our ability to apply creative thinking more often and to raise the odds of extracting value from creative thought. most remarkable of all may be that until (re) no one place has ever made sourcing, exploring, and sharing theses stories of human progress their focus. 

imagine if the people you brought together to explore, expand, and experiment with creative thought were as diverse as the way you sourced it.

more than just imagining it, ask yourself: why wouldn’t you do that?

more than three decades ago, Harvard researcher and psychologist Howard Gardner and his colleagues awakened us to the reality that each of us has multiple intelligence or ways we view and interact with the world - visual, verbal, kinesthetic, etc. most of the paths we take in life however, ultimately encourage and entice us to focus on one primary way of ‘looking’. the fields of study and professional pursuit we choose tend to reinforce and reward this narrow perspective.

image: nicole lindsay green

yet we progress as a result of a looking at the world through multiple lenses. the biggest break throughs in thinking and innovation most often come from stepping outside our practiced view to intersect with another view. this drives the unique way (re) chooses to look at the world and is organized to do so.

(re)’s unique, multi-perspective view is reached by a number of means. the core (re) team is designed to be drawn from diverse sectors - in other words, not just science, or business, or academia, or the arts but

a combination. in addition, the core team will be supplemented by what we call a change team that is equally diverse and also distinct from the core team - think of smart minds on loan or sabbatical from outside (re), bringing to the (re) institute their unique knowledge, lenses, opportunities, and challenges, to both learn from and help shape (re). beyond the teams, the very interactive and open nature of (re), including its significant virtual format, allows users of (re)’s resources to contribute and shape the learnings as well. in total, it’s a very different way to look.

for more about how (re) organizes and looks, visit the ‘look’ section of the website.

the challenge of a truly good opportunity is that it reveals other good opportunities. to maximize value, you have to stay focused. better still, you must stay focused on what’s core - to your ability to generate value, to your area of uniqueness and expertise.

by focusing on exploring, expanding, and experimenting with creative thought, (re) becomes a place capable of generating any number of ‘specific’ ideas where creative thought could be applied in order to create value. while that’s wonderful, to realize the fullest value of (re) we must do the following two things:

  1. 1.stay true to our mission and not dilute resources chasing any one potential expression of any one idea

  2. 2.share what we know with as many people, organizations, and thought leaders as possible so they can chase those ideas

(re) isn’t meant to grow much physically or with regard to its budget. the idea is to stay lean, adaptive, and focused on our core. we believe that allows us to be both an exception and exceptional -

  1. Bulletan exception, by making the pursuit of creative thought and greater access to it our focus, and

  1. Bulletexceptional, by allowing (re) to remain a place always at the cutting edge of understanding creative thought and its application to produce value.

see the ‘look’ section to get a deeper understanding of our organizational model

who we are as an organization isn’t nearly as important as what we can help others to become - be they organizations or people. we believe the way that we organize and grow should reflect that.

(re) is a gathering place both physical and virtual.

and each format is important in its own way.

therefore (re) will always have a ‘place’ you can visit and touch, a space in which true exploration and experimentation can take place.

that said, we don’t believe our physical space should be the only physical space in which creative thought dominates. that’s why the open environment in which (re) is evolving is designed to be ‘portable’ and useable in other environments - think of it as enabling you to take the parts of (re) that work best for you and create your own version somewhere else.

our virtual space is an important bridge - to you as our audience, to our change team, and to our sources of intelligence and insights. our virtual world expands the opportunity to create more ‘purposeful accidents’, those opportunities to ‘bump into’ ideas, people, and tools that provide an insight or catalyze something new and better. since it’s difficult to bring the world together physically, and because (re) wants to offer access as broadly as possible, our virtual space is critically important.

physical? or  virtual?     yes.

for more about the physical see the ‘look’ section

for more about the virtual see the ‘look’ section