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Contacts: The Founding Principals

Mrs. Reut Schwartz-Hebron
Contributing Principal
San Diego, California

I consider myself a positive pessimist.

The powers at play in life are very strong and the strength-interest structure (the few "powerful" are running the game without anyone having much chance of rocking their boat) has been around forever.

I am an atheist (which means that fundamentally I believe that there is no "reason" for anything). I have also worked in some of the most infamous (and for good reason) industries including the pharmaceuticals that has politicians held prisoner. I can go on, but you get the picture.

Serving as a lieutenant in the Israeli military (before starting my civilian consulting career) and being raised in a country in which death is more a part of life than statistically recommended I'm hardly naïve.

With all that, I still believe in making the world better. As a mother of two I am fully committed to do my part and more.

I believe in change. I think that this world can at some point be more "happiness" oriented than "fear" oriented, but to do that we have to reshuffle all the cards. We can start by redefining what works—and we should not be naïve about it—what works should serve the interests of all involved.

Take priorities for example, companies used to operate based on the definition that "businesses exist to make money." Due to the development of technology and the resulting competition for top talent a few corporations have changed their baseline definition to "businesses exist to make money but since making money depends on attracting and retaining top talent the values of the business should be appealing to top talent." It is a small change in definition, but a huge change in application and results for all involved.

Definitions can work for us or against us. The ability to embrace effective definitions can save a marriage; help you retire at an early age; provide your children with better chances of success than you had growing up; and even help you get promoted or manage your business to better results.

As far as my personal involvement with Open4Definition is concerned, sometimes we find gold when we wash laundry by the river. The search for effective definitions dictates a non-judgmental interaction. To locate the definition that would best lead a system to desired results we need to focus on what we want and let go of petty disagreements and a sense that one is "right" while the other is "wrong."

To identify effective definitions we truly need each other. This dictates a process in which people, by definition, are working together with respect and openness. As we search for effective results, a new way of engaging with the world creeps up on us, and us and society as a whole change.

With genuine friendship,


January, 2009

Click here for an article by Reut that describes how Self-Help is not limited to just individual interventions. She outlines a unique business-to-business model emphasizing "giving" in a novel story that centers on a reapplication of both the definition and customs surrounding Halloween (500 words). Other definitions: KindExcellence; Trick-or-Treat.

Click here It takes a rare mind to define a strategy of excellence based on achieving "Second Place". Matt (Boom) Daniel shares a story from his U. S. Marine Corps days through the lens of Reut who is both an ex-officer in the Israeli Army and a devoted mother. Bottom-line; they challenge America’s infatuation with all things First Place. (600 words) Other definitions: First Place; excellence.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world;
indeed it's the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead
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