What leadership is needed now?

In my experience of learning about change and leadership – one of the things that really stands out is the importance of CONTEXT.   Context is what helps to orientate, to inform and to act with intelligence.

Complex Systems

What is the context of now?     We exist as part of a complex living system.   All of our human sub-systems within the wider complex system of life are made up of a web of diverse relationships.   These relationships interact and learn, create, adapt and evolve.   They are dynamic which means we can never fully predict what will come about or emerge.  Their interacting parts make up patterns that then shape and create the whole.


Strategies To Navigate Complex Systems

If we better understand complex systems, we can create more relevant strategies to help us navigate our constantly evolving world.

This includes strategies that:

·      Cultivate diverse perspectives

·      Create a shared purpose

·      Develop communities of practice & learning that work together over time

·      Spur innovation and experimentation

·      Support and resource energetic niches who do things differently

·      Find ‘acupuncture points’ in the system for collective action

·      Amplify the new through connecting and inspiring narratives 


Leadership that Embraces Complex Systems

The leadership that is needed to embrace complex systems is multi-faceted. It is about different ways of thinking, perceiving, feeling, being, relating and doing.  This includes:

·      Seeing the whole and its interconnected parts – and locating one’s own relationship to that whole

·      Having a higher purpose that is beyond the small self

·      Orientating oneself in a long term time horizon

·      Suspending judgment and being open to diverse perspectives

·      Able to hold polarities in oneself, others and society – including ecological crisis and the seeds of hope

·      Thinking critically about assumptions that need to be tested or problems that need to be analyzed

·      Feeling, imagining and expressing a vision that inspires others

·      Creating space that enables others to open up to their greatest potential

·      Willing to try things out and to experiment through action

·      Being open to continuously learn and evolve

·      Sensing the energy in the field and tuning into openings of potential