An Intergral View of Currency: Money, Love & Virtue


(with permission Simon Business School Panel Cliff Smith, David Primo, Maria Jose Pereira, Ed Deci)

Globalization, digitization, democratization — oh my.

The hardest part about being me is that everything is so integral it is difficult to take a section and make meaning out of it without including the whole. The whole, however, is too complex and needs to be simplified. I have been sitting on a post for three weeks waiting for brilliance to land. It hasn’t landed. I feel compelled however to let out what clarity is here at this moment.

Recently I was lucky enough to meet and learn from Maria Jose Pereira. Maria wrote the book Money, Love and Virtue by my publisher Triarchy Press. Maria was a guest speaker in Rochester for Simon School. Part history, part philosophy, part economics I can see the value of this book being woven into curriculum across the globe that foster comparative and integral programs. As Maria writes in her forward:

I have come to believe that money, love, and virtue are not alien, nor even opposed to one another, but intertwined. They thrive together.  Money permits our material welfare and well-being. Love fulfills our emotional and spiritual needs. And love inspires virtue, which allows the person to live in harmony with the world.

Trade and reciprocity have always been a part of the economy. We are moving much more into a collaborative economy as we learn from Michel Bauwens @MBauwens, a platform economy as we learn from Haydn Shaughnessy @haydn1701 and an attention economy as we learn from Michael H. Goldhaber. Collaborative, platform and attention economy frameworks all involve an exchange of value and a community. How value is determined and the currency utilized is dynamic and changes. What stays the same, however, are the needs of the community such as the need for confidence, trust, transparency and communication.

Business today is at the speed of social and all social networks accelerate and amplify the need for transparency. Transparency either strengthens or weakens our confidence – which ultimately impacts who/what we trust. More than anything else in this dynamic economy is our need to trust ourselves. Money, Love and Virtue asks the hard questions that cause a mirror. Are our choices in what we value and who we trust representative of our highest selves? Might we need to look more reflectively into our own spending? Do we know about the ecosystems of the brands we admire and support? Each person has the right to answer these questions very personally; however, consumption becomes autobiographical in big data narratives due to the internet of things. We need more self-respect. We need more contextual intelligence. We need more self-confidence. We need to be more proud of who we are and what we stand for. We need to care more deeply for a larger vision of the ecosystem we are participating in.

Thank you, Maria for your generous time and thoughtful insight. We will be chewing on these very important concepts for a very, very long time.



In earnest,

Jennifer Sertl

Co-author Triarchy’s Strategy Leadership & the Soul

(with permission Jennifer Sertl & Maria Jose Pereira at Victoire)

2016 – Sharpening Discernment & Celebrating World Book Day


The purpose of a book is to serve as an axe for the frozen sea within us. ~Franz Kafka

The audience I most frequently serve are individuals within a business environment who are working to create more impact from the inside out. So my comments are directed to you. I am an advocate of leaders being readers. As a design it is important that people keep three books in circulation at all times. One book should be a non-fiction book about leadership, business or globalization. One book should be about philosophy – or written by a leader in the past (over 100 years). Finally, one book should be fiction.

The idea here is to be immersed in past, present and metaphor. There is something about critical thinking that requires we put in our minds’ rigor and robust content.

I believe your competitive advantage is not what you do or where you work. Your competitive advantage is the accuracy of your macro scan and the way you choose to articulate your life experience. By infusing your mind with robust stimulation regarding current context, past context, and a novel of some sort – your own life will begin to have a more robust vocabulary in which to express itself. .

I understand the question was about the rub between exposure and action. Yes, being exposed to content doesn’t ensure integration.

Integration of wisdom from reading comes when there are two things:

  1. An explicit declaration of a desire to be better
  2. A commitment to the discipline of practice or routine

An explicit declaration can be either a prayer or a simple statement.

As I continue to contribute at work, may I ______________.
As I lead this team, I desire to _______________________.

Some examples include:

As I contribute at work, may I be more insightful regarding trade-offs and their long term impact. . .

As I contribute at work, may I be more articulate in expressing my concerns regarding _______.

As I contribute at work, may I be wiser and more appreciative of complexity.

As I lead this team, I desire to be brave enough to hear the truth even if it is difficult.

As I lead this team, I desire to be fair-minded.

As I lead this team, I desire to know when to lead and when to follow.

These statements are very personal and they have power. Written down in a private journal – they get even more traction.

The commitment to a routine regarding rigor and critical thinking is important.

As we know:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~Aristotle

Creating space for both reading and reflection should be capacity designs included in any project maps – be they for personal or professional use. What we value is most seen in the P & L and our personal schedules. It isn’t what we say; it is where we spend our money and our time that truly clarifies our priorities.

Clearly in a book,



You will know me by my lists


The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book. ~Northrop Frye


Here are some links that affirm the importance of reading as well as some personal recommendations . . .

1) #worldbookday: Thank you Project Gutenberg  via Twitter: @gutenberg_org “like a new star it shall … cause a light”

2) #worldbookday:“Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship~-Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-Generalnd celebrating @RoomtoRead  and the commitment to help children read books in their native language preserving native metaphors.

3) #worldbookday:  We all remember this brilliant line from Good Will Hunting, “you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library.” It turns our that you truly can get an ivy league education through reading.

4) #worldbookday: Word of mouth rules when kids age 7 to 12 pick a book to read. See what titles kids are reading.

5) #worldbookday: Reading Literary Fiction (can) Improve Empathy via Twitter: @sciam

6) #worldbookday: As a matter of fact, robots are learning ethical behavior by exposure to children’s stories and the #AI of #ethics
7) #worldbookday: Until #wisewear becomes an app that I can download, I will continue to build my character by reading a page at a time. Here are some books that will ask you hard questions- the kind of questions that cause the kind of pressure bones need for strength.
8) #worldbookday: One of my sources for increasing discernment and critical thinking is Twitter: @farnamstreet – here is their recommendation on How To Read A Book.
9) #worldbookday: I was a freshman at CU Boulder (shout out class ’91) when  Allan Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind came out. Required reading shapes identities, communities, and countries – that is why it is so important there be healthy debate on what should be read and why. Here is healthy debate on what college freshmen should read as well as What A Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us.
10) #worldbookday: Leaving you with a project I participated in with Strategy & Business Magazine, a treasure trove of management theory 20 Questions for Business Leaders.

In Celebration of Learning


Today is the last day of school for students in the Pittsford School District in which I have three children. However, my eldest is graduating this weekend from Mendon High School and is headed to Michigan State University ( go Spartans!)


How quickly time has gone.


from this ———————–>   to this!


I”d like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers who have contributed to my children’s journey. We have been very lucky to work with kind, passionate and committed educators.


Teachers are Artists

Teachers are artists.

The art they practice is awareness. The canvas they use is the curriculum upon which they bring forth an effervescent picture for the world. The students arrive at the canvas, each bringing a unique and vibrant color.

The mixture of the student population gives beauty to the canvas. The more diverse the population, the more colorful the painting.

The artist’s strokes are the skillful, gentle questions that she asks her students. Some strokes are broad, confirming understanding. Some strokes are playful, discovering student’s current knowledge to find a benchmark to begin the lesson. Other strokes are so delicate that they barely touch the canvas. These strokes are the questions that stretch the student’s imagination and foster sensitivity.

Bloom’s taxonomy provides hue to the masterpiece.

The artist adds perspective to the painting by facilitating meaningful discussions and sharing observations. Once all the color has made its mark on the canvas and the painter has cultivated a glorious picture of a “spot in time,” with bittersweet emotion the artist gently places the work of art on the wall of life.

It is now time to stretch and prepare yet another canvas.

Jennifer Sertl

Here are the links that keep my learning edge sharp:


  1. #learning : Teaching Smart People How to Learn (Argyris classic) | un-learn to learn ∞ #a3r
  2. #learning : Data-> Information -> Knowledge ->Understanding -> Wisdom insight by Russell Ackoff with a deeper dive into systems thinking via @TriarchyPress
  3. #learning: Why do smart people underperform? Overloaded Circuits
  4. #learning : Building personal capacity for #reflection – my point of view with @dramitinspires
  5. #learning : How serious are we about learning?  … sober view @cdnorman #a3r
  6. #learning : Passion & Flow by @jhagel
  7. #learning : TQ vs. IQ in a Digitized Landscape by Michael Schrage | Trainability Quotient
  8. #learning : I had the opportunity to meet @CameronHerold recently. I appreciate his commitment to building strength based learning environments fostering curiosity and passion.
  9. #learning : How reading can increase critical thinking – my POV with @dramitinspires
  10. #learning:  To support the commitment to reading – here is a wonderful portal Project Gutenberg offering over 49,000 free ebooks. Many thanks @gutenberg_org

Dear graduates ALL, wishing you all the best on your next choices and may your curiosity be inflamed as you navigate this next era.



Jennifer #a3r


PS – You Will Know Me By My Lists