Work Life Integrity Self-assessment - Coming Soon

The Work Life Integrity Think Tank has been working overtime throughout the summer to imagine and test frameworks, processes and tools that will help you THRIVE. 

We're proud to announce that we've developed a personalized measurement system to help you gain insight into your personal, family and career vision and growth.

Work Life Integrity Self-Assessment App

Work Life Integrity Self-Assessment App

It's called the Work Life Integrity Self-Assessment and we're making this app available to you for FREE! This simple application can be used over and over throughout your life model journey to assess your current state against your vision for the future. Participants in the Work Life Integrity Experience have been using it for months and have reported amazing results about it's ability to help them pinpoint, target and increase their focus and results.

Want to be updated when the Self-assessment tool is launched? Sign-up here.


Speak up then shut up, shut up then speak up.

Ever feel like the people who speak up in meetings all the time need to shut up? Okay, seriously though, no offense intended especially since I sometimes pretend to be a "Type A" person, but I genuinely feel that if the people who tend to speak up in meetings would allow for some uncomfortable silence then the people who are rarely heard will speak up more often and the results will be incredible.

Oh you thought there were action items? Nah, it's already done...

Oh you thought there were action items? Nah, it's already done...

There are few people who I respect greater than that person who sits quietly in the meeting, intently observing while everyone else is talking, debating and posturing… That person who is taking in all the ideas and discussions- who just before the end of the meeting (before the PM decides to dish out action items and be all commanding and shit), turns their computer around, and says “hey, is this what you all are looking for?”. Then everyone is like… “uhm, yeah that’s what we’ve been talking about this whole time, where’d you find that?” and the quite genius is like “I just built it”, and everyone is like “What?! When?! How?! Just now?” and the silent observer is all calm and not smug at all and says something like “Yeah, I made it just now, while you all were talking.” These people rock. They take the people’s problems, merge it with the feasibility of technology in real time, they don’t waste time bickering or posturing, and they get shit done, I love these people. They are amazing and we SEE their work all the time, but rarely know who was behind it because we HEAR them so infrequently. These people are the thinkers, they also tend to be the doers, the makers, the ones who know how to execute. So why is it so rare that we hear them speak up?

Some people say introverts don't speak up because they don't like the attention, other's say they are too shy or afraid to speak up in a room full of people. I don't think either of those answers are correct- I think we don't hear from introverts enough because introverts just need a little more silence in the room in which to build up the inner inertia to speak up and articulately demonstrate their ideas. In the world of work the most enlightening ideas are often whispered quietly among the room initiated from some gifted introspective genius before finally reaching someone who will take the onus of announcing the brilliance to the room. Rarely have I seen a concept shared publicly by the person who actually came up with the insights - this is everything that is wrong with the world. All meritocracy debates set aside, it simply isn't fair that someone else can get up and share an idea with the room that wasn't even their insight and take the credit. It shatters my heart how often this happens- not because I am upset that someone else is taking credit for another's insight (I've already given up on meritocracy if you couldn't tell) rather it upsets me because the fountain of insight from brilliant people gets cut off from the rest of the world we we don't know the source of the insight.  

If you look closely and you'll notice that most of the time people who are speaking up in the meetings tend to be the same people over and over, they are often attractive, tall, have great teeth and they have a few very powerful gift - they aren't afraid to embarrass themselves in front of a group if their idea is not good enough and they don't cave under the pressure of group think. This makes me think that the problem isn't that introverts don't care to talk, the problem is we need more silence and less pressure in meetings.

One thing I love about Design Thinking is the variety of ways in which people are empowered to share their ideas and brainstorm. For example putting sticky notes on the wall with my ideas have always been easier for me than standing up, commanding the room to pay attention to what I have to say and stating an idea to everyone at once. To be brutally honest, the more time I spend in women's groups the more I find most women (I'm generalizing) tend to hold back on whatever they have to say unless they are absolutely sure it's the "right way", or the "right time", while more aggressive individuals leap for the chance to persuade the room. The problem isn't that men or extroverts or type A's are more aggressive, the problem also isn't with women or introverts being more passive- the problem is that the engagement models we use to communicate ideas tend to favor alpha personas. 

My message to organizations that really want to increase innovation from the very top and increase diversity among their leadership is simple: Make it easier for extroverts to listen, and make it easier for introverts to speak up by introducing more variety in the engagement styles among leadership and throughout your organization. Take a lesson from agile best practices which have proven to increase success among development teams by introducing more democratic ways to accommodate diverse communication styles i.e. Slack and innovate the way you engage from the very top. Encouraging changes in communication and engagement models throughout your business and finding ways to accommodate silence within informal groups so introverts feel included and empowered to speak up is a good start. 

INFOGRAPHIC: Work Life Integrity Manifesto

A lot of the discussions being had in the Work Life Integrity Think Tank are philosophical and we've been challenging ourselves to push the limits of these debates by introducing real life scenarios of challenges and work/life obstacles from Life Model Canvas customers. This has produced some interesting insights, strategies and methods which will ultimately find it's way into the open source life strategy library (coming soon). As we dig deeper we're also challenging ourselves to go wider with work life integrity. We mean making work life integrity an easier discussion to have, simplifying it's definition, and making it fully accessible to those in all walks of work and life.

As the think tank continues to do it's work I'll be releasing small bits of media, concepts and ideas that we develop with the hope of making it easier for everyone to be on the same page as more people join the movement for work life integrity. The first bit? INFOGRAPHIC! Looking to go deeper on the manifesto? Read and share the 13 Principles of Work Life Integrity.

INFOGRAPHIC: Work Life Integrity Manifesto

INFOGRAPHIC: Work Life Integrity Manifesto

13 Principles of Work/Life Integrity

Principles behind the Work/Life Integrity Manifesto

We follow these principles:

Our highest priority is to live by and develop a set of values that we extend from our personal core, heart, mind and body to our family, community, customers, partners and stakeholders through continuous learning, personal development and growth. 

Welcome changing values, even late in life. Integrity enables personal change and the transformation and development of values overtime to enable a better life and overall world.

Practice mindfulness and awareness of ideas as they align or contradict with our values. 

Actively control our thoughts to bring them in alignment with our values daily in life and in work.

Actively control our actions and illustrate our values in work and life through our behavior. Represent our values through our actions and speech and be the change we want to see. 

Devote our purpose to living the best life, being present and aware of the value our life brings to the world. 

Commitment to reasoning about our values. Functional values that are proven with data science to sustain life, environment, cooperation and peace is a measure of progress. 

Values have an intuitive aspect to them, therefore we listen to our gut. Our values cannot always be explained, we may have unreasonable faith in something and live our life in discovery of the reason. In this way we allow new values to live and thrive alongside well established and reasonable values.

Continuous attention to the impact that our values have on the design of the world. 

Strength of mind and heart to bare the danger that living our values may cause us to face. We have mental strength and courage to stand up for what we value. 

We are free of resentment toward those who challenge our values. In fact we; welcome the challenge with mental strength, venture and engage those who’s values differ from our own.  

We cultivate our ability to distinguish between justice and injustice, the right and the wrong. We regularly reflect on how to be more just, then we tune and adjust our behavior accordingly. 

We are committed to develop our sense of value ability to distinguish between what is real versus what is imagined, what is assumed versus what is validated, what has been accepted versus what is possible.

Initial Draft: Feb 29th 2016

Design Thinking + Life Strategy for Youth in Oakland

My name is Ayori Selassie, I'm from Oakland, California, I'm african-american, I'm a woman, I'm a single mother and I made it out the trap. I made it out the hood. This is my story. My mission in life is to change the world so that every young person facing low opportunities can develop the resourcefulness to enable them to overcome their environmental circumstances and create value in their life that produces a sustainable impact in the world through innovation & problem solving.  

"I'm african-american, I'm a woman, I'm a single mother and I made it out the trap."

As an Oakland native I've seen the best and the worst our city has to offer. I've faced the frustration of limited opportunity, layoffs, and the devastation of losing loved ones to violence when my brother lost his life to gun violence by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite these heart numbing and life crippling challenges, I've rededicated myself to honoring his memory by making an impact in the world through helping others. You see, I believe that those sad individuals who create pain and destruction in the world through violence are missing an important factor from their life - values. 

A man carries a young girl who was injured in a reported barrel-bomb attack by government forces in Aleppo / June 3rd 2014 /  BARAA AL-HALABI / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

A man carries a young girl who was injured in a reported barrel-bomb attack by government forces in Aleppo / June 3rd 2014 / BARAA AL-HALABI / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

The Destruction of Values

"Their actions are first and foremost a reflection of how they feel about themselves."

Those who harm themselves and others have lost a sense of value for their life, and as a result have limited capacity to value the lives of others. I'm talking about the type of people who are perpetrators of human trafficking, drug dealing, the wayward officers of the peace who abuse their power and harm the citizens they are sworn to protect, and murderers -people who take the lives of others in the cruelty of violence- their actions are not simply a reflection of their hated for the world. Their actions are first and foremost a reflection of how they feel about themselves. Their depravity is a direct result of their inability to love and value themselves. I imagine that if those people who inflict so much injustice and pain onto the world had been touched by intervention soon enough, they may never have gone down that wrong path of pain and destruction. If these poor souls can find support and resources to guide them to the values that resonate deeply within their hearts, they would learn to see the beauty within themselves, and see their inner beauty reflected back to them when they look upon the world. 

There Must Be A Solution

" enduring, scalable and affordable method to enable young people to learn the aspects of design thinking"

With my whole heart, I believe that our young people would not stray down the path of pain if only they had the right support. It is with this belief in mind that I've taken all the lessons I've learned throughout my years on this earth, growing up in the trap and clawing my way out, along with the best business development methodologies and frameworks that produce success in work/life and joined them into one holistic framework that combines design thinking with life strategy to guide individuals and groups to focus, collaborate and create incredible value in their communities and in the world. The framework is called the Life Model Canvas. The Life Model Canvas is not another code camp, it's an enduring, scalable and affordable method to enable young people to learn the aspects of design thinking that goes into the creation of the technology they know and love by exercising key aspects of imagination, strategy & collaboration to benefit their everyday life.

Design Thinking Matters

"...young people become easier to support throughout the rest of their life."

As an engineer I spent my entire life working on business problems , and solving problems for Fortune 500 businesses with technology, process and design thinking. I've lead workshops on development, startups, I've spoken at conferences around the world and I've been a trusted advisor and consultant for CEOs, CTOs, & CIOs solving some of the toughest business challenges out there. Now I have taken all my lessons learned in technology, business, process and most importantly people and transformed them into the concept of Life Modeling  that enables anyone, adults and youth alike to discover their values and connect it to a vision in life that gives them great meaning and inspiration. 

Learning the concepts of design thinking at a young age will forever change how they think about problems and solution development.  Many of these young people will be experiencing the ability to correlate complex ideas about themselves outside their head for the first time, increasing their self-awareness. The design thinking approach also facilitates the process of communication, making it easier to articulate their ideas, needs and challenges to others. As a result these young people become easier to support throughout the rest of their life.
The legacy of my brother (who was an avid chess player, keen problem solver, and incredibly loving person) has inspired me to take this framework on the road to evangelize it with as many young people as I can, with the belief that this work will encourage them to reach higher and multiply the values within them back into society through education and entrepreneurship. 

How Your Donations Will Help

The support you lend to this cause will enable the Life Model Canvas and related life strategy curriculum to be spread free of charge to all the high school students in Oakland, CA and then eventually, throughout the world. When you support this initiative, you are not only teaching young people in undeveloped areas how to fish, you are teaching them how to take an axe to the frozen sea within so that they may unearth their greatest values and potential onto the world. These young people will learn about values, goal setting, vision crafting, key activities and forming healthy habits, how to develop and engage their support systems of family members, mentors, counselors, programs, how to map and overcome obstacles in life (whether they be situations or people) and how to stay inspired.

Take Action & GIVE NOW

I wake up practically every morning and wonder if I had started sharing the Life Model Canvas with young people sooner, then maybe my brother would still be alive. Maybe the young kid who took his life would be in college right now. Maybe the blood bath of 2015 would not have cut so many lives so tragicly short... You need to know that if even one life gets transformed with this framework as a result from your action then it would literally mean the world, not only for me and not only form the person transformed, but for everyone that person touches in their life as well. When a person discovers their life model they become a multiplier and a beacon of light for all those around them. That is why gaining your support for this mission means so much- it's really more than words can say... What I can say is that if you support this initiative you will make a huge difference in the lives of many people, and that's more thanks than I can ever give you- that's real actual value in the world, reflecting back on you.


Ayori Selassie
Inventor of the Life Model Canvas