This is an interim site.

We are using this site to show our process as we move from what we were to what we are becoming. 

Recent Posts

Whyte on Rilke’s “The Swan”

Rettig keynote at UX Advantage

Machado: There is no path

Recent Work

For the last few years Fit has been slowly moving away from what had been the core of our client work: conducting strategic design research and helping organizations build healthy cultures of collaboration. 

Meanwhile, society, business, and government faces challenges that will not yield to the usual approaches, and we have a burning desire to be part of the great societal shift toward healthy, resilient ways of life and work. We have been equipping ourselves to work systemically, to move from dependence on expertise and decision-making to approaches that embrace experimentation and emergence in complexity. We have been learning what it means to work with the full depth of people and culture, in all its wiggly dark uncertainty.

We are ready for the next step.

For the Summer of 2015, Fit Associates has shut down business as usual (except for a few workshops and keynote talks). This site is a place where you can see where we’ve been,where we can share announcements and provide our past talks and publications, and most importantly, where we can document our process of Becoming the Next Thing.

Leaving the old behind…

One morning in late May, the day before pitching to a room full of vice presidents for work that would have kept us solvent for a year, we sent out emails withdrawing all of our outstanding proposals. We withdrew from five conversations with both new and familiar clients, big and small. We closed business as usual.

We realized that finally, after years of growing our capacity and desire, we’ve had enough of shaping our business and its offerings to conform to the current market, and to appeal to its priorities. That left too little attention for the things we most deeply believe in, which have been calling us, and which we firmly believe to be ripe for practical application.

We are not closing Fit. But we are stopping our old story without a definite picture of what the new story is like. The heart and soul of the new story are clear, but its form is not. We can feel it, but we cannot yet tell it.

…to make room for something new 

We’ll be working through the summer in a way that makes room for many kinds of creation, tapping the poetic, intuitive side of ourselves, the strategic, figure-it-out side, and the iterative, learn-by-making side. We’re excited to see what kind of boat we wind up building. Building while sailing, without losing the wonder of the sea: that’s the skill we’re practicing.

We’ll use this site to share the process, describe our thoughts, pass along the sources that inform and inspire us, and maybe even test some concepts.

It’s not comfortable, but it’s satisfying

We know this experience is not unusual. This is the feeling, documented by humans for millennia, of leaving your port of belonging and heading for the open water. We feel disoriented because we have suddenly shed tons of ballast and scraped a layer of barnacles from our identity–the questions, promises, accomplishments, intentions, and possibilities which we accumulated and carried over the last ten years. Having granted ourselves permission to see past the veil of our old identity, we now see many new directions we could steer toward.

We are at sea.

Being at sea is not the same as being lost. We are not lost. We have cut ourmoorings to the work that has defined our days for a long time. We chose to leave that harbor. But as the poet Machado says, the only path from here is the wake we leave by our going. And, gladly, we are aligned in our taste in vessels and destinations.