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“Partnering” by Jean Oelwang

Tangible lessons from 65+ of the world's most remarkable partnerships.


Spouses and partners in designing better lives

Tim and Gaynor Brown


Tim Brown spent 19 years leading Ideo, the global innovation and design consultancy known for its human-centered approach and remains its chairman. He has known his wife Gaynor, an advisor to Ideo with a passion for education, since they were in high school together in Britain.

“I think that in many ways our relationship is highly compatible with IDEO because IDEO was set up around the concept of a bunch of friends working together I mean, when it was founded, that’s what it was, what it still is, and so we have quite a large number of people actually here who have long relationships and I think that our relationship is as much a friendship as it is a romantic relationship and it’s substantiated by IDEO and it substantiates IDEO.”

Tim Brown

“Along the lines of, you know, encourage wild ideas, build on the ideas of others, defer judgement… that’s my favorite one.”

Gaynor Brown

“And so having mechanisms… literally mechanisms for diffusing the tension is really helpful because if you let it continue to build, there’s nowhere for it to go other than ultimately for it to explode and so that’s certainly something that’s been important for us.”

Tim Brown

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