Our world is complex, not just complicated.
We move through it, immersed in our experience, and making our own sense of it along the way.
It is like a river, we can’t stop it, but we can change course. We can move towards one bank or the other. We may bump into other swimmers, then continue on our way.
It’s a river of conversation – both verbal and non-verbal, formal and informal.
So what does this mean for leaders? What new skills do we need to learn?
We need to notice more of what is happening around us, and pay attention to our own psychological contribution to the situations we are in. This is easily said, but much harder done – especially in a world which rewards and promotes self-confidence and self-importance, externally-measured success, and above all superficiality.
We need to slow down a bit, and give ourselves space to reflect.
As everyone fights for more room – for more power – we need to find new ways to lead. It may seem paradoxical but to lead effectively we probably have to give up ‘leading’ from in front and become more of a ‘follower’ – sensing and supporting the will of the group.
Practically, this often means learning new facilitative skills such as:
- empathy and atunement with oneself and others;
- promoting enquiry as least as much as advocacy, to bring in useful information including emotion;
- speaking up openly and honestly about our own needs, without trampling on other’s;
- including and integrating differences of all kinds;
- adopting an ‘agile mindset’ which promotes learning by doing.
This is the way to help turn your organisation ‘upside-down’ – moving decision-making and power to the coal-face, where value is created for customers.
This site is a collection of new (and some very old) ideas and thinking about how to practice differently, gathered from people I know (thank you!), and people I don’t know (thank you!).
My hope is that by sharing these brief quotes, I’ll encourage you to explore these voices more, and maybe pickup some practical ideas to try, and experiment with. Practical things that have may have worked in the past, and things that might just work, if you try them, in the future.
If you would like to get in touch, you can at LinkedIn.com/in/peteburden where I also occasionally post my thoughts.