Reflected Knowledge Consulting: ABOUT US

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Reflected Knowledge offers consulting services related to knowledge management, organizational learning, and strategic communications. Current areas of focus include economic development (primarily microfinance) and international peace and security (primarily peacekeeping).

Reflected Knowledge has earned a reputation for taking unconventional but highly effective approaches to engagements. Our work emphasizes cultural context by blending the anthropological, sociological and technological cutting-edge with evolved traditions of learning, communications, decision-making and effective action. These traditions include evocative artifacts and storytelling, narrative and expository journalism, publications and conferences, facilitation of intuitive expertise, emotional and political intelligence, leadership and citizenship, etc. We use, whenever possible, the existing social structures and cultural traditions in any organization.


Our consultants share an abiding interest in the applications of complexity science to organizational dynamics, learning and strategy. Complexity is not a synonym for “complicated” but a recognition that there are different contexts in which analysis, control and even existing knowledge are more or less relevant. Patterns of learning, networking, cultural change and organizational outcomes are all ways in which any social system behaves as a complex adaptive system and must be managed for emerging patterns instead of attempting to engineer mechanical fixes for organic phenomena that may or may not actually be broken.

Individually and collectively, our consultants have discovered and enabled breakthrough results for public and private sector organizations around the world.


Steve Barth consults to international government, NGO, academic and corporate clients. Recent work focuses on organizational learning and knowledge management strategies in economic development and peace and security.

In particular, Steve focuses on the dynamic relationships between individual knowledge workers and their peers, teams, organizations and communities. He applies insights into learning, innovation, networks and sense-making to international security, economic development, competitive intelligence and other fields. His work emphasizes cultural context by blending the anthropological, sociological and technological cutting-edge of KM with evolved traditions of learning, communications, decision-making and effective action. These traditions include evocative artifacts and storytelling, narrative and expository journalism, publications and conferences, facilitation of intuitive expertise, emotional and political intelligence, leadership and citizenship, etc.

An award-winning journalist for more than 25 years, Steve has published hundreds of articles on KM, business strategy, information technology and other topics. Steve was a founding editor of Knowledge Management, editor/publisher of, a columnist for KMWorld, editorial director for the IBM Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity and senior editor of World Trade magazine. He directed development or redesign of publications such as Emergence: Complexity and Organisation; Asia Pacific Economic Review; US-China Business; and US Japan Business Review.

Recent articles or book chapters include “The Tao of Disruptive Innovation" with David Snowden; Intuition’s Role in Making Decisions" with Richard Marrs, and “The Role of Typographic Design in Effective Content Delivery.”

Steve was a 2002 Visiting Scholar to Harvard University’s Learning Innovations Lab.



RichardRichard Marrs is President and Founder of Altamont Consulting Group LLC, based in the San Francisco Bay Area focused on issues of innovation, collaboration, strategy and organizational effectiveness in private and public sectors such as technology, manufacturing, energy, mining and government. (any non profits, etc?). He has managed knowledge from Silicon Valley to the Congo and earned extensive business experience in Asia, Africa, South and North America as a corporate development executive for Fortune 500 companies Magma and BHP. At BHP, Richard laid the groundwork for its pioneering knowledge management function. He served as president of knOwhere Inc., a consultancy specializing in collaborative work processes and creative problem-solving for clients such as Hewlett Packard, Lucent Technologies, Electronic Arts, and other leading Silicon Valley firms. He also served as Managing Director at The Warren Company—the acknowledged world leader in strategic alliance systems architecture.

Richard co-founded Coemergence Inc., which took a revolutionary approach to knowledge management software by focusing on contextualization and demand-driven creation and accessibility of knowledge through user-defined alerts and search (playing key roles in core product design and client configuration).

Richard’s current work with government ministries and economic development agencies is stimulating business growth and value creation through goal-driven collaborative knowledge and innovation communities and networks. He frequently publishes on cutting-edge management and strategy topics and blogs at

Cynthia KurtzCynthia Kurtz is an action researcher, software developer and consultant focusing on organizational applications of complexity and narrative. At IBM she worked with the Knowledge Socialization group at IBM Research, Institute for Knowledge Management, and IBM Global Services’ Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity. When the latter spun off from IBM as Cognitive Edge, she served as Director of Research.

Cynthia has undertaken research and software development projects for organizations as diverse as IBM, DARPA, Smithsonian Institution, and Principal Financial Group, including two multiyear government-funded research projects to use narrative and complexity approaches to reveal and analyze weak signals and consider diverse perspectives in complex situations in the social, environmental, economic and security spheres (papers available). Other projects taken from concept to prototype to production focused on KM, payroll services, telephone interviewing, biological research, environmental education, graphic design, story authoring, decision support, public policy analysis, global warming detection and organic farming. She has also developed several open-source social networking applications on her own initiative. Recently she released Rakontu (, a web-based application to collect and collaborate around stories for sense-making or goal achievement.

AliceAlice MacGillivray is a scholar-practitioner emphasizing the application of complexity principles to organizations because knowledge is so deeply embedded in larger social, cultural, economic and political systems. For three Canadian universities she has served as program director, instructor and associate faculty member. These appointments included designing and running a distance learning Master’s Program in KM at Royal Roads University and curriculum development for dozens of training courses and university credit courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. She has extensive experience with problem-based learning, which enables transferable learning for participants, and can help sponsors to solve intractable problems.

Alice became interested in different forms of knowledge and how to optimize their development and use when engaged with diverse stakeholder groups in the 1990s, such as environmental NGOs, motorized recreation advocates and Aboriginal groups. Since then, she has become increasingly involved with the generation and flow of knowledge within and across boundaries. She has published journal articles and book chapters and has presented her organizational research at many international conferences including the World Congress on Intellectual Capital at McMaster University,

As an internal consultant, she led a participatory action research project to develop a major knowledge and risk management process for priority-setting in a government department. The project used approaches ranging from narrative gathering to business intelligence technologies. She would like to build on the work she has done with Indigenous Peoples in Canada (First Nations and Inuit) and elsewhere (Sherpa, Aborigine) as she believes these groups have developed valuable and distinctive approaches to working with knowledge.

BellWilliam L. White, president and founder of William L. White Co, has 40 years of consulting experience. He has held major leadership positions with nationally recognized strategic consulting and Big-Five firms including Price Waterhouse Coopers; Ernst & Young; Towers Perrin; The Hay Group; Watson-Wyatt; and Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He has, at various times, held national or regional leadership positions in strategic planning, performance measurement and management, reengineering, organization effectiveness, change management, and compensation practices. He has worked in a wide variety of public sector and private organizations, counseling with top management and the Board of Directors He has been the Chief Executive Officer of a software development company, a bio-tech company, a knowledge management company, and his own strategy-to-implementation company.  He has been on the boards of Associated Securities, Digital World, Novantus Corporation, Pacific Life and Strike Force Solutions.

Bill has a Level IV Change Management Certificate, has been cited in Knowledge Management magazine for his KM work with Daimler-Chrysler, and is currently writing a book entitled Collaborative Network Management: Managing Internally and Externally for Improved Performance and Profit.

Bill’s experience in project management includes leading fully integrated projects (strategy, operations, systems integration, organization effectiveness, knowledge management, change management, performance management and compensation) with companies such as Bank of America, British Airways, Congress of Micronesia, Daimler-Chrysler, France Telecom, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Riyadh Bank, Samsung Electronics and Xerox Corporation.