Monthly Archives May 2015

Creating a paradigm shift

The other day a colleague of mine sent me an inspiring reminder, a timeless contribution that I believe needs to be unearthed again. It was Donella Meadows’ article: Leverage Points – Places to Intervene in a System. If we look at the state of the world, humankind’s many attempts and mediocre results to take us on the road to sustainability, this is an article that makes you think – and hopefully act. You will recognize how many aspects of sustainability initiatives are stuck in regulatory approaches that – according to her – are very low on the list of effectiveness of
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Fostering commitment for change is an art one can learn

Collective action for sustainability must be guided by a leadership paradigm that is inspirational, fosters commitment by various actors and acknowledges the role of collective contributions to decision-making. Leading, here, can be seen as a co-creative process that often begins with a small group of people and aims at profound collective change. Overcoming the challenges that lie ahead of us requires building teams within our organization, action groups across several institutions or even networks for change. We need to integrate different organizational cultures into joint initiatives and foster collaboration between actors that are often not even used to communicating with
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Invigorating the quality of collaborative change initiatives

In my last blog I wrote about the importance to shift from focusing on events to processes. With such shifting attention, events become milestones in a process and are carefully designed to serve a larger purpose – only then can we create a spirit of collective leadership. Events need to be seen in the context of good process architecture (e.g. for better water management, energy efficiency, or responsible supply chains) where it is the ability of differing stakeholders to think together and lead collectively that counts. How can we use the Compass as a check for the quality of change
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Moving from events to high quality process architecture

I know many people who are determined to make the world a better place, by analysing the status quo, recommending and reminding of what needs to be done, or by pushing new agendas. But what startles me is how many of them tend to be locked in a strange paradigm – our habit of believing that it is events that change the world. Packed with key note speeches, panel discussions and so-called break-out sessions (breaking-out from what?) these publically noticeable events are built on the assumption that if the audience listens to new or convincing thoughts they get inspired and
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