Archives for Leading future possibilities

A pattern of human competences in interaction

Over my years of working in complex collaboration projects and institutional change management, I took notice of what shifted actors into a more collaborative space. Shifts tended to occur around personal competences. People brought these competences in or they developed them jointly with their collaborators. Although, nothing I noticed was radically new – what was new was the uniquely unfolding combinations of these competences, forming a constantly changing pattern of mutually supportive ingredients . And it was the aliveness of this  presence that made a difference. In a stuffy room in Salvador de Bahia all the ingredients were there. Each participant had a very valid reason for
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Business leaders as catalysts for change

Wanting to make a difference for a better world is probably the most widely suppressed desire in organizations and among senior leaders. Beneath the surface of many high performing top executives is a vague disappointment with the competitiveness of the corporate world, and an unexpressed deep desire to create more meaning, more connectedness, and more relatedness. A senior manager from a multinational company told me “What I feel is that every person actually has a core that wants to serve … and it is more about uncovering it, because this gets silenced, cut off, nobody is asking for it, nobody
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Creating a paradigm shift

Donella Meadows’ article: Leverage Points – Places to Intervene in a System is  an inspiring reminder, a timeless contribution that makes one think – and hopefully act. Reading it you might recognize how many aspects of sustainability initiatives are still stuck in regulatory approaches that – according to Donella – are lowdown on the list of effective leverage points. The second highest effective leverage point, she suggests, is the power to create a paradigm shift. This is what she says about how to create a paradigm shift: “You keep pointing at the anomalies and failures of the old paradigm, you keep speaking louder and
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Empowerment

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three subcategories to FUTURE POSSIBILITIES. These are Future orientation, Empowerment and Decisiveness. This post will focus on Empowerment. It is not possible to create sustainability if we hold back our opinion, our expertise or our experience. Finding ways to empower ourselves is a prerequisite for empowering others. Therefore, once we have developed trust in our ability to make a difference, we need to claim the power to do so. At the same time, in order to create FUTURE POSSIBILITIES, we also need to pay attention to how we disempower ourselves. A habit of disempowerment –
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Future orientation

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three subcategories which together open up FUTURE POSSIBILITIES. These are Future orientation, Empowerment and Decisiveness. This post will focus on Future orientation. “Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams. Much more is required to bring it to reality; but the dream must be there first.” Robert Greenleaf Future Orientation turns our faces away from the past and towards the future. In this way we are prevented from habitually dwelling in the past and this in turn enables us to see new innovative solutions and approaches.   When we are able to shift our
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TUNING INTO THE FUTURE

Grace Lee Blogs reminds us that “We have the power within us to create the world anew” (p.78). She then adds that we “must have the courage to challenge ourselves to engage in activities that build a new and better world, by improving the physical, psychological, political and spiritual health of ourselves, our families, our communities, our cities, our world and our planet (p. 72).” “The Next American Revolution”, by Grace Lee Boggs. Let’s begin our journey with the COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS by looking at FUTURE POSSIBILITIES. No mater how structured the task of fulfilling the 17 Sustainable Development Goals might appear to
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ENGAGING WITH FUTURE POSSIBILITIES IS A WAY OF LIFE

What would you expect from a book written by a 95 year old lady? If you are like me, you would expect her to look back at her life. But what if  you read her book and, apart from a few analyses on what she had learned from life, you read about what she is looking forward to? How could this inspire you to engage with your own future possibilities? The book I am talking about is “The Next American Revolution”, by Grace Lee Boggs. It is a fascinating account by a person who has seen it all – born just after
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Biodiversity, Complexity and Collaboration

You may have sensed that the challenges of sustainability are complex. Take biodiversity loss as an example. This problem has so many multi-level causes that we are often unsure where to even start. A good place to start is to gather a variety of stakeholders in order to combine our expertise and make better decisions. Yet, these collaborations in turn create whole new systems of complexity. No wonder we get confused. Complexity, however, is the future normality so we might as well learn to enjoy it, rather than struggle in order to reduce it. Just as maintaining the complexity of biodiversity could
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Collective leaders create new pathways

Whenever I have experienced a group’s commitment to collective action for sustainability, there was an insight palpable in the room: Leading for sustainability is not an act in isolation. It requires leadership by various individuals towards a similar goal on a collective scale, trust in a common goal that everybody will contribute to differently, yet in alignment cross-sector collaboration without hierarchy or central coordination a preparedness to join a collective learning journey. I believe the capacity for leading, initiating, facilitating and sustaining the construction of meaningful futures is enfolded in all of us. In that way collective leaders
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What is your contribution?

A couple of years ago I had a visitor staying in my home in South Africa. He was a businessman from India who for most of his career was very successfully involved in the construction industry in India. He himself meditated and taught in his tradition in India and other parts of the world. When he sat in my living room he explained to me: “The first half of your life you spend exploring the world and yourself. You take in and take in; the world serves your own growth. The second half of your life you spend giving back
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