Exploring the KOAN method: A Bolder Vision

Exploring the KOAN method: A Bolder Vision

Feb 16, 2024

Today’s challenges require solutions that our current systems and organizations are not designed to produce repeatedly or reliably. Creating conditions where purpose-driven, authentic leaders can thrive requires us to cultivate a new approach — one that is both possible and within reach.

In her book, the KOAN method: Breakthrough Leadership for a Divided World, Integrated Work CEO Jennifer Lyn Simpson calls for a shift to create Kind, Open, Adaptive Networks that foster and promote the kind of inclusion from which genuine creativity and innovation are born.

To help visionary leaders collectively explore her book’s changemaking concepts and case studies, Jen is launching KOAN Conversations, a community and content series designed for leaders ready to connect, innovate and inspire.

Throughout each month, Jen will release articles highlighting concepts from the KOAN method, providing new ideas for leadership, team-building, conflict resolution, and more. Each concept will provide building blocks to help shape environments where creativity and innovation thrive.

Sign up to follow Jen and get the latest articles directly in your inbox — and find a library of published articles below.

The First Step: How to Change Anything (Even When It’s Hard)
Join the conversation among changemakers seeking creative solutions to the big problems in front of us.   

Why Did I Begin? How I Decided to Write a Book
The KOAN method incorporates creative and artistic inspiration, case studies and examples, and other resources for individual leaders and others looking to transform systems.  

The Courage to Go First: When You Don’t Have a Map, Find Fellow Travelers
Going first is hard. Going it alone is harder. Explore who may be at your side as you build a better future. 

Now, You’re In Motion. (In a Divided World)
In a world as divided as ours, it’s easy to feel stuck in the daily noise. But you don’t have to stay there.

More Joy
What if the conflict we are feeling is the problem? What if joy were meant to be the solution, not just the outcome? 

Begin Your Journey with a HIKE
We can move from resistance to eager interest when we start with curiosity. Explore a mantra to help you begin any learning journey.

Nature as Teacher
Time spent immersed in nature can provide valuable lessons both in life and in leadership.

The Power of Poetry
Art, poetry, and inner listening can be a powerful tool to invite transformation and “loosen up” otherwise rigid ways of thinking.

Why the KOAN method?
the KOAN method offers a roadmap for navigating the complexities of modern leadership grounded in ancient wisdom.

A KOAN Love Letter
What would you love to have more of at work? Can you bring that spirit to anything you are called to lead?

A Different Way
What if work was rooted in kindness, empathy, connection, and care?

What is a KOAN Conversation?
A KOAN Conversation helps us find our way to breakthroughs by asking different and better questions.

A KOAN Conversation
Explore a far-ranging conversation on empathy as a leadership imperative and what it takes to build breakthrough teams in today’s rapidly evolving world.

Why Kind Cultures?
In today’s interconnected and fast-paced world, fostering kindness within organizations is not just a nicety but a strategic imperative for success.

The Leader’s Secret
Dive into the power of creating containers of CARE.

Building a Beyond Bullying World
Explore how to build common good solutions that go beyond “winning the day” to build a beyond-bullying world.

Fantastic Things
Read an original poem that invites leaning into curiosity, welcoming uncertainty, and exploring all manner of fantastic things.

Empathy Heals
In today’s world, characterized by division and strife across cultures and communities, cultivating empathy and healing trauma are essential for building a future where we all can thrive.


the KOAN method Fundamentals 

Learn more about each element of the KOAN method — Kind, Open, Adaptive Networks — in these excerpts from the book:

Image by Alondra Kingman