Malcolm and Benjamin have worked together for years on a research project called the Upstart Collaboratory exploring how to transcend wasteful conflict in human collaboration. During that time, Malcolm had been working solo on Complice as a personal growth & passive income project. In late 2016, the duo decided to apply their unique experience within a business context, so Benjamin joined Complice, transforming it into a Deliberately Developmental Organization.
Being a DDO means committing to a different kind of relationship with moments of conflict. Even in the face of differences in perspectives or values, we don't lose touch with our individual goals and shared purposes. This same-sidedness allows those differences to be looked at and leveraged without undermining relationships via blame or judgment.
Focusing on not just short-term output but on high-quality working flow enables DDOs to take their people seriously as centers of experience, understanding, and agency, which translates not just into personal growth but higher organizational performance as well.
Malcolm had been reading productivity blogs and books since high school, but really got into goal-setting in 2012 when he set a goal of recording an album of original music by the end of the year. He succeeded, and the process of tracking his daily progress inspired him to create a goal system for others: Complice.
Malcolm also shares his techniques and models with others via 1-on-1 coaching and on his blog malcolmocean.com—this business context offers a chance to dig deeper into the "systems" and "design" components of his undergrad degree Systems Design Engineering, which had unfortunately been overfocused on the "engineering" piece.
Complice is just one part of Malcolm's larger plan to help humanity care for what it cares about. He's working to increase individual and collective agency by creating and spreading software tools like Complice and mindware tools like those he learned at the Center for Applied Rationality.
Benjamin has been geeking out over self-improvement since his childhood. He once went an entire year without eating any sweets (Benjamin loves sweets) because he wanted to develop the willpower to do so. He was 12.
Benjamin was going to do a business degree from McGill, but then he fell in love with a program called Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo. The program gave Benjamin the opportunity to design a 4-year undergraduate experience around the question “how might we create social and organizational contexts that enable individuals and teams to thrive?”
Since then, Benjamin has continued to explore individual and team performance as a coach and facilitator in the areas of leadership and mindfulness meditation with MaRS, and as a director and manager with CatalystsX.
Benjamin loves working with Complice because he gets to be in touch with the product making people’s lives better every day.