Articles & Publications

By Julie Anxiterr |
Published: July 4, 2013


The following is an excerpt.

What creates lasting liberty? A constitution that allows us to govern. As we watch the events in Egypt today this is especially poignant. What did our founding fathers have to do and find within themselves to sit for 100 days of debate to come together to revise the Articles of Confederation and then decide to (unconstitutionally) abandon them in favor of creating a new US constitution. Oh to be a fly on that wall, to have listened to them argue and draft the words that gave birth to our Constitution.  My friend, the author and communications guru Judith E. Glaser has, for the last few years, been deconstructing the US Constitution through the lens of Conversational Intelligence. Working with historians, neuroscientists, and the National Constitution Center, she has developed a thesis:

America’s Founders had a hundred day conversation in which they embodied an unnervingly high degree of interpersonal intelligence, civility, and intentional commitment in their conversations: they passionately spoke their hearts and minds, and then they listened to each other. They built trust, handled conflict, engaged in negotiation and compromise, and ultimately created a new form of government, one that eerily paralleled the constitution of the Iriquois Federation, and created centuries of political stability that, while imperfect, is a beacon.

That kind of intelligence is conversational intelligence, and it transformed history. Judith’s work on this is just beginning and we will be sharing more of it in the months to come because we see the direct relationship between conversation, innovation, and yes, liberty. It’s worth noting that the first book in our Books as Tools series, How Stella Saved the Farm, is also about gaining mastery in the innovation conversation.   It is an article of faith for us at IX that the capacity to have the right conversations about innovation, no matter where you are on the path, is the first, critical competency of leadership.

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