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Rolf C. Smith, Jr.

MY MISSION: Guide! Continually explore the unknown with Thinking Expeditions, trailblaze. Lead people on high-energy, exciting adventures with their minds to discover who they really are. Stay out in 3-Sigma as much and as long as possible and take other people there with me. Teach others my skills and grow them past me.

MY VISION: On Expedition! Transform people into who they are through self-discovery. Make my life extraordinary.

OCCUPATION (WHAT I REALLY DO): I Guide. I mindshift, energize and teach through Thinking Expeditions and the School for Innovators.

SPECIAL SKILLS/ABILITIES: I "see" and create new connections between things and use lots of metaphors and visual representations to explain and understand things. I believe in what Iím doing. I can write. Iím a graphoanlayst. High energy, and when Iím connected to something, I really get into flow. Pretty good at being mischievous and sometimes devious (diffferent) in how I go about making things happen. I create and invent stuff. Iím a pretty fair shot. Also, Iím lucky.

Fluent in German. Smattering of Spanish and African French. Limited Latin. Old Fortran.

EXPEDITIONS & ADVENTURES: My first BIG expedition was to the Borrego Desert (1957) on Senior Ditch Day in high school with three good buddies and a 1929 model A Ford. I later followed that with three months up and down the east coast with the Air Force National Rifle Team (1965), shooting in long-range rifle matches, and culminating in winning the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. Launching innovation as a corporate strategy in the Air Force (1986-1987) also turned into a major expedition.

Africa: Across Zaire (1983) by land rover and light aircraft with the Camel Trophy, following Stanleyís route in search of Livingston; took me 41 days to get rid of a bad case of amoebic dysentery. On safari in Kenya East Africa (1995), tented camps. On safari in Zimbabwe (1995) for cape buffalo, kudu and plains game.

The Great White Notrh: Two-stage Thinking Expedition (1993-1994) focused on optimizing Arctic operations on Alaskaís North Slope with a joint Exxon, Arco, and Britsih Petroleum team. Large-scale Canadian Thinking Expedition (170+ team members) focused on the reinvention of Cadillac Fairview (1996) and the exploration of a new vision, mission and values built around the 7 Levels of Change.

Asia: Eleven months in Thailand (1969) from Bangkok to U-Tapao to Chaing Mai. Across most of Turkey (1978) as head of an Air Force team looking for re-basing locations. Led a small team (1987) to the South Pacific, Japan, Korea and the Orient to set up Innovation Centers in Air Force units.

Europe: Ten years in Europe (1973-1983), primarily with NATO; led (chairman) a formal 14-nation Working Group for four years that explored and developed standard interoperability protocols (operational and procedural) to interface all Allied Air Force computer systems in NATOís Central region. Operation Nordmuecke (1978), a month of camping across the woods, forests and fjords of Sweden and Norway with my family and some German friends. Chamois hunting in Austrian Alpine region (1991) with old friends.

Australia & New Zealand: Ran series of Schools for Innovators in Australia (1992) and New Zealand (1993) for KFC; scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and mountaineering in Queensland. Major Thinking Expedition in New Zealand (1996) focused on the recreation of a major manufacturing division of a large company.

DISCOVERIES I'VE MADE ON EXPEDITION: Life is a continuous expedition. Learning never ends. You can always do much more than you thought you could providing you take time to think different first. Good friends are worth a lot and hard to come by. My wife is also my best friend. Thereís a lot I donít know that other people think they do know. Iím not sure I fully understand everything I know about stuff. Similarly, Iím never sure how much of what I say is true. Iím me and Iím a bit diffferent, and Iím an innovation. Whatever happens on expedition is whatís supposed to happen. Focus on the one square inch. Donít forget to periodically look back down the trail youíve traveled, take stock of your accomplishments. A decision isnít a decision. If itís stoopid and it works itís not stoopid. A lot of things that happen are highly predictable.

MY PRINCIPLES AND BELIEFS: Family. You can make a difference. Donít be history, make history. Work only with the best. Work with people I like. Create fun in all that I do. Change is vital. Situational ethics - the end generally justifies the means. Value-add to anyone I touch. Constantly double-check your promises and make promises sparingly - an officerís word is his bond. People really want to do the very best they can. Make stuff happen.

MY VALUES: Family. Fun in all that I do. Love what I do. Constantly break new ground. Change often and frequently. New stuff. Work only with people I like. Urgency - the now. Be me.

KAI [1994]: 143 (O:65; E:21; R:56)


LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Born in Montgomery, Alabama on September 15th

SECOND LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I was on a continuous, life-forming, mindshifting expedition exploring change and thinking diffferent for 24 years with the Air Force; 23 years and 5 months of it were great. 7 months of it were interesting.

ONE BIG WISH: Iíd like to make a first attempt at summiting a big, challengingly unknown mountain.

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