Leadership Development for a Changing World
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Leadership Development for a Changing World
Inspiring examples, thought provoking research and the latest thinking on leadership development and the skills needed to lead in an increasingly complex, fast-changing and interconnected world.
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Innovation and Growth: Understanding the Power of Design Thinking | by Owen Jones | Batten Briefings — Temporary

Innovation and Growth: Understanding the Power of Design Thinking | by Owen Jones | Batten Briefings — Temporary | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

“A recipe for innovation isn’t ‘add genius and stir,’” Liedtka said.
Her research suggests that to improve their odds of success, business leaders need to learn how to help everyone in the organization to think creatively. As she put it, “Innovation happens when you treat it as an outcome—an outcome that takes effort, expertiseand new behaviors and problem-solving skills.”

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

Now more than ever before, the world is in need of innovative solutions to the pressing and evolving issues of our time. This interesting article looks at the impact of DesignThinking and Growth Mindset on powering innovation across the organisation and the importance of practice inorder to see the desired results. Read on...

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Today’s CEOs Don’t Just Lead Companies. They Lead Within Ecosystems.

Today’s CEOs Don’t Just Lead Companies. They Lead Within Ecosystems. | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Today’s CEOs are operating in a new landscape, with society and business becoming more intertwined and a broader group of stakeholders registering their expectations and demands.

 

In order to succeed, they must become a different kind of leader, looking beyond the company they steward to shape the ecosystem in which they operate. After talking to 105 board directors (many of whom are also CEOs) from 311 North American companies in 11 industries, the authors identified five steps today’s leaders must take:

1) Know the players in your ecosystem in order to unite around a shared objective

2) Empower your senior leaders to be thought partners, surrogates, and successors who an hold their own with investors, board members, and employees

3) Cultivate an enterprise mindset and an ecosystem skillset that will enable you to act beyond your typical sphere of influence

4) Build the infrastructure of industry coalitions, public-private partnerships, and other organizations who can connect the ecosystem

5) Anticipate the risk that comes from navigating a messy set of social and political interests. While the risks are real, so is the potential for upside.

Emerging World's insight:

Taking a broader 'ecosystem' perspective is vital important for today's business leaders.  As this HBR article based on some Korn Ferry research outlines, the world in which we operate is more obviously interconnected and intertwined than ever and leaders need to see and operate beyond the traditional boundaries of their organization to be successful.

 

The article provides some interesting and helpful ideas on the steps that leaders can take to be more successful when operating in this way.  However, headlines can be dangerous. If leaders try to control the ecosystem in which they operate using the same thinking they may be conditioned to when leading their own departments, functions and organizations, they are doomed to fail.  You can lead within an ecosystem and you can influence how ecosystems function and behave but if you think you can be the leader of the ecosystem that's not new thinking.  That's just trying to control a bigger empire. 

 

Good ecosystem thinking means understanding that you are shaped by the system as well as having a role in shaping it, and that thriving systems have power distributed in different places.

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

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Measurement has never mattered more

Measurement has never mattered more | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Measuring learning has always been important, but in today’s remote and hybrid workplaces, it’s essential. You can develop, design and deliver the best training programs, but if you can’t show stakeholders across the organization that it actually “worked,” then you’re missing a crucial part of the story.

Sally Brownbill's insight:

Through the work that we do at Emerging World, we know that Immersive learning programmes create a deeply emotional response, but it is also vital to assess their impact through effective measurement and evaluation. This article that takes a look at 5 best practices of Leadership Development measurement for remote and hybrid work.

 

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Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research

Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it
You always knew demonstrating empathy is positive for people, but new research demonstrates its importance for everything from innovation to retention.
Sally Brownbill's insight:

We hear about empathetic leadership more and more. This article provides some interesting insights. It features a new study of 889 employees by Catalyst and details some significant findings on the  outcomes of empathetic leadership.

 

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Forget the Office—Salesforce Is Making a Wellness Retreat for Workers

Forget the Office—Salesforce Is Making a Wellness Retreat for Workers | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it
Salesforce.com is creating a corporate culture epicenter at a California retreat where thousands of workers will connect in person and get training.
Emerging World's insight:

As Salesforce's investment in this new 'cultural epicenter' shows, great Hybrid working is not just about the flexibility to work from home' or ''the office'.  Instead, it incorporates the notion that work can take place anywhere and that when bringing people together physically, being intentional about the objectives for doing so, the experience and the outcomes is really important.

 

Matthew

Emerging World

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The Unanticipated Consequences of a Potential Baby Bust

The Unanticipated Consequences of a Potential Baby Bust | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Demographics are a great exception to this rule of unpredictability. After all, every single 20-year-old of the year 2030 exists right now, today, and they are all ten.  So for someone trying to take a peek into the future, demographics offers one of the few variables that have a teeny bit of absolute predictability to them.

Emerging World's insight:

Predicting the future is notoriously difficult but scanning the horizon and looking weak signals of what may come to pass is an important skill that helps people and businesses prepare for upcoming change.

 

Demographic indicators are far more reliable that many other signals and it seems that the pandemic has led to a sharp decline in the birth rate (in many countries at least).

 

In this article Rita McGrath, professor at Columbia Business School and author of 'Seeing Around Corners' takes a look at the impact this might have socially and economically.  While there are challenges, there are also a number of potential positives including perhaps most tantalisingly, the prospect of an increase in worker rights and a change in the prevailing social contract.  

 

Matthew

Emerging World

 

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Personal Knowledge Mastery & the Cynefin Framework

Personal Knowledge Mastery & the Cynefin Framework | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Harold Jarche maps Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) against Dave Snowden's Cynefin Framework.  In this he looks at things from the perspective of structure and abstraction and concludes that in the more complex domains the teams, communities nd networks that form need to be less permanent and more flexible.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

The concept of Personal Knowledge Mastery is growing in popularity as we all seek to make sense of what our best next step should be in this incredibly complex world.  PKM offers an approach that connects work with learning and at its heart is a principle of seeking information, making sense of it and sharing it in a reciprocal manner with others that broadens understanding and can lead to new insights and action.

 

In this article Harold Jarche (the leading author on PKM) argues that in more complex realms the groups (teams, communities and networks) that form to address knowledge areas need to be more open, informal and transient to be able to deal with the issues at hand.  This suggests that the kind of leadership qualities that need to be developed to be successful in these complex times are those associated with being open, humble, curious, flexible and trustworthy.

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'I monitor my staff with software that takes screenshots'

'I monitor my staff with software that takes screenshots' | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Article from BBC on the use of surveillance software to manage the productivity of remote workers.  It askes the question, 'Many have struggled to get to grips with working from home, but would surveillance technology help?'

Matthew Farmer's insight:

Employee surveillance software seems like an archaic way to deal with the productivity of remote teams.  It suggests that the humans that work for your company are in fact machines,  that they have no sense of intrinsic motivation, that your team or company has no sense of purpose with which to inspire people, that you don't trust the people you work and that you have no personal influence as a manager or leader.

 

I would suggest that any company looking at this kind of approach should take a look at itself and answer these much more deep rooted questions - Why do we exist?  Why do we have people doing these jobs and not machines? How can we equip our managers to lead in a more human way?  What is it that motivates people?

 

Part of the problem is that people have grown up in a system where humans have been treated like machines and we have been taught to measure and reward people as if they are machines encouraged by terms like 'human capital' and 'staff productivity'.  But the world is changing fast an this kind of thinking will not work over the longer term.  If I worked for a company that adopted these practices, I think it's a great to get out.  Not just because my company didn't trust me but also because the writing is on the wall for the company itself - it's not sustainable and it totally lacks imagination.

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Opportunity from The Edge of Chaos - Complexity & The Stacey matrix

Opportunity from The Edge of Chaos - Complexity & The Stacey matrix | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

The Stacey Matrix is a useful framework for considering how to make decisions in a complex adaptive system.

 

It uses two main dimensions - level of certainty and level of agreement.  Traditional management training focuses most of its effort on the bottom left hand quadrant but in today's world many more of the challenges are not in that corner - they are in the complex zone or as Robert Stacey (the creator of the matrix) often referred at 'edge of chaos'.

 

Source: Stacey RD. Strategic management and organisational dynamics: the challenge of complexity. 3rd ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall, 2002. »

Emerging World's insight:

The Stacey matrix provides a useful way to determine what kind of leadership and decision-making approaches make sense in a complex adaptive world.

 

More and more of the decisions we are making currently are made in the zone that Ralph Stacey (the matrix's creator) calls 'the edge of chaos'.

 

In this zone traditional management approaches are not very effective but it is the zone of high creativity, innovation, and breaking with the past to create new modes of operating.  The edge of chaos can therefore be an opportunity. 

 

Sound appropriate for the times we live in?

 

Matthew

Emerging World

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The future of learning is now

The future of learning is now | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

This article from Donna Johnston focuses on the potential of digital learning In the past few years we have seen where the global workforce has been continually evolving and continues to do so. Organisations are facing increased competition, complexity as well as digital modernisation which is reshaping the mixture of our employees.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

During previous recessions learning budgets have usually been cut.  In this fast moving world we're in right now to do so again would be a massive mistake.  

 

It is only through learning that we will be able to get out of the messy situations that we find ourselves in.  As this article from Donna Johnston outlines, the future of #Learning should be bright and it's future now.

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Emotions should be in the heart of complex political debates | Psyche Ideas

Emotions should be in the heart of complex political debates | Psyche Ideas | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it
Emotionally charged capacities such as imagination can play an important role in thinking about future scenarios
David Tsipenyuk's insight:

Emotions play a very significant role in our working environment, in which we often spend a lot of time. Yet companies continue to primarily focus on the rational side with emotions being an inconvenience that needs to be tamed. Given the volatility and uncertainty, we are all experiencing due to the impact of the pandemic companies should embrace the anger, excitement. frustration and pride felt by employees as a vital part in having deeper conversations around engagement, creativity, values and risk-taking. 

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Change Leadership: The Real HR Challenge —

Change Leadership: The Real HR Challenge — | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

How can Human Resources lead change? Simple approaches informed by systems complexity, community engagement and digital networks help evolve the practice of Human Resources and dramatically increase its positive impact on collective performance. Celine Schillinger, Engagement Leadership expert.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

Too often, argues Céline Schillinger, HR ends up being a barrier in the Change Leadership process and reinforcing old ways of doing things.  She provides some helpful insights based on her 30 years of experience of corporate change activism on how to go about shifting things.

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In Memoriam Clayton Christensen: Storyteller Extraordinaire

In Memoriam Clayton Christensen: Storyteller Extraordinaire | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

"Clayton Christensen succeeded as the world's most influential business thinker principally through leadership storytelling"

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

More and more leaders are using storytelling quite intentionally as a leadership tool. Whether it’s during the quarterly a townhall meeting, team meeting workshops or CEO speech, leaders are harnessing the power of great stories to build an emotional connection and deliver information that is memorable.

 

Dan Schwabel, author of “Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince and Inspire” describes five most commonly used instances where leaders can use storytelling: inspiring the organization, setting a vision, teaching important lessons, defining culture and values, and explaining who you are and what you believe. Authentic story telling builds trust, engages people and enhances stickiness.

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

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The Four Shifts Shaping Leadership Development

The Four Shifts Shaping Leadership Development | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

The Pandemic has changed the Leadership Development landscape forever, but are corporate leaders ready to accept the new realities?

Sally Brownbill's insight:

How has the Pandemic has changed the face of Leadership Development? In this Emerging World blog, our in-house expert, David Tsipenyuk, discusses what is currently shaping and influencing the Leadership Development landscape.

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Sensemaking - The Advantage of Non Routine Leaders™ —

Sensemaking - The Advantage of Non Routine Leaders™ — | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Today's most effective leaders have transitioned from a 'problem-solver,' to a 'problem-sensemaker.' Have you?

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

Jeff Dickson argues that “sensemaking is the most powerful skill a leader can leverage and improve in today's non routine context".This article looks at what sensemaking looks like for today's leaders and how this leadership capability differs from other characteristics.

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The Power of Empathy in Times of Crisis and Beyond (Report)

The Power of Empathy in Times of Crisis and Beyond (Report) | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it
Our research shows that in challenging times, empathy can be particularly essential. Learn how your organization can benefit from it.
Sally Brownbill's insight:

It comes as no surprise to me that The Power of Empathy in Times of Crisis and Beyond Study found that empathic leadership contributes to more inclusive workplace experiences. The Power of Empathy in Times of Crisis and Beyond is the full report from Catalyst on their study of Empathic leaders. A very interesting read. 

 

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"It changed the way I saw the world": Emerging World boss shares the story behind his business | The Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland

"It changed the way I saw the world": Emerging World boss shares the story behind his business | The Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it
Appearing on The Leaders Council Podcast, entrepreneur Matthew Farmer shares the story of how a volunteering experience back in 2001 culminated in a chain of events that would lead him to establish his own business, Emerging World, two years later.
Sally Brownbill's insight:

Emerging World was founded in 2003 from an insight that great shifts come from seeing things from different perspectives. A decade and a half later, the company still has this purpose at its core. 

 

In this podcast by The Leader's Council, Matthew Farmer, Emerging World's Founder and Managing Director, talks about how the company came to be and the work that we do.

 

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VUCA is dead.  Long live BANI - a New Acronym to Describe the World

VUCA is dead.  Long live BANI - a New Acronym to Describe the World | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

The VUCA acronym seemed to hit the nail on the head in describing the nature of the world we live in.   'But no more'!' argues Stephan Grabmeier. He proposes that we adopt a different way of seeing things  characterised by the acronym BANI, which was proposed a few years ago by Jamais Cascio in an article, 'Facing the Age of Chaos'.

 

The meaning of each component of this new word – B:rittle, A:nxious, N:on-linear and I:ncomprehensible – makes more sense in the face of today’s challenges and in this article, he explains what it means, why it's more appropriate and offers a great infographic that sums it up.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

For a long time, the VUCA acronym has been used as a helpful way to characterise the world in which we live.  However, it's probably time to re-consider it's usefulness given how fast the world is changing and the fact that it was originally coined by the US military to describe the post-Cold War geo-political context.

 

To replace VUCA, thinkers like Jamais Cascio consider a new acronym 'BANI' to be much more appropriate .  A BANI world is Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear and Incomprehensible and in this article the designer Stephan Grabmeier offers some good explanation and a great infographic that explains more.

 

However, perhaps the most valuable thing is not the acronym itself but rather the qualities it implies are required to successfully lead and operate in the world it describes.

 

Brittleness might require resilience but also some slack (think about the global supply chain challenges created by the Suez canal blockage last year).  Anxiety can supported with empathy and mindfulness.  Non-linearity requires systems thinking, an understanding of context and the flexibility to change paths while Incomprehensibility suggests that judgment guided by intuition and transparency would be very helpful.

 

Looking at things in this way can help us think about how to develop the individual behaviours and organisational capacities to ensure a BANI world does not break us.

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

 

 

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On Being Open-minded

On Being Open-minded | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Dara Goldberg summarises 5 mindsets that will help people truly live with an open mind based on her own readings and reflections:

 

  1. Adopt a Growth Mindset
  2. Employ a Curiosity Mindset
  3. Know How to Distinguish Your Fears & Negative Assumptions From the Facts
  4. Identify & Capitalize on Your ‘Free-Brain’ Spaces
  5. Embrace a Mutuality Mindset
Matthew Farmer's insight:

We often hear and use the term ' keeping an open-mind' but was does it actually mean?

 

To me it's an important quality to hold in a time of complexity, division and ambiguousness.

 

In this piece Dara Goldberg summarises 5 different mindsets and values that it's helpful to adopt if we want to be truly open-minded.

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

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How 21st Century Management Is Being Redefined

How 21st Century Management Is Being Redefined | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

The closing remarks from the World Agility Forum 2020 were made by Steve Denning.  The forum brought together diverse groups of people interested in Agility and Agile as a management approach and a agreed on a A unified vision that they could all agree on that organizations should be about people creating value for other people.

Emerging World's insight:

I love the illustration that compares management in the complicated world of 20th century with complex world of the 21st, which is taken from the opening key note of the World Agility Forum that was held at the end of last month. 

 

But what I find particularly interesting is that the Forum agreed on a vision that would bring the diverse practitioners in the world of Agile together.  This was that 'organizations should be about people creating value for other people' - something they do not feel is the current norm.

 

It leads me on to a question - to what extent do you feel that your organization behaves as though the most important thing is about people creating value for other people?

 

Matthew

Emerging World

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The Impact of Feeling you Belong in the Workplace

The Impact of Feeling you Belong in the Workplace | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

This report from Coqual (formerly the Centre for Talent Innovation) dives into different elements of what constitutes belonging and how different sectors of the workforce experience belonging in the workplace.  They identify 4 key elements of belonging:

 

  • Being seen
  • Being connected
  • Being supported
  • Being proud

 

They note different experiences of belonging from different groups.  For example, within the American companies included in the survey, on average white men have the highest belonging and Asian women the lowest.

 

Amongst other interesting findings, they  also analyse the payoffs that a greater sense of belonging brings such as loyalty, advocacy, engagement and perhaps most critically for those concerned with maintaining diverse workplaces - retention.

Emerging World's insight:

The concept of belonging has become a major issue of concern in recent years for a variety of reasons.  Those focused on diversity and inclusion have noted that groups who do not feel they belong leave workplaces quickly despite the efforts of recruitment teams to reach out to under-represented communities. 

 

While those concerned with employee engagement note that people that feel they belong are more engaged, productive and willing to carry a positive culture.

 

This study starts to explore the concept of belonging, how it can be measured, how different groups experience it (e.g. white men vs Asian women, leaders, vs managers vs rank and file etc.), the business impact of belonging etc.  It's an interesting summary of an ongoing study that looks to be able to shed light on a topic of growing interest and gives a different lens to be able to understand how we work and why we work.

 

Matthew

Emerging World

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The Five Levels of Remote Work — where are you right now?

The Five Levels of Remote Work — where are you right now? | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Steve Glaveski outlines 5 different levels of remote work and make the observation that in the early days of the pandemic, most companies were at level 2.

 

Matthew Farmer's insight:

In the early days of the pandemic as companies all around the world closed offices and started to work remotely, Steve Glaveski made the observation that most companies were at Level 2.

 

Now we're 6 months in, and the office still proves to be an elusive destination for many, where do you feel your team and your company are right now?

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Snow Melts From the Edges

Snow Melts From the Edges | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Insights from Rita McGrath - When spring comes, snow melts first at the periphery, because that is where it is most exposed” Andy Grove, Intel’s fabled former CEO and author of Only the Paranoid Survive observed that “When spring comes, snow melts first at the periphery, because that is where it is most exposed”.

Emerging World's insight:

This post from Rita McGrath is from a couple of years ago but is more relevant now than ever.

The longer that we spend working virtually, the more effort we need to make to connect ourselves to the parts of the business where change happens - the edges.

Emerging World's INmersion experiences are designed to help companies do this by bringing the outside IN to the virtual learning experiences in imaginative and engaging ways that help participants see things from new perspectives.

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

 

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Three Creative Leadership Modes Business Leaders are Embracing in China’s Recovery

Three Creative Leadership Modes Business Leaders are Embracing in China’s Recovery | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

Great companies are the children of winter.”

 

How might we leverage these newfound constraints as fertile ground to unleash an unprecedented level of creativity?

 

3 different mindsets that Chinese companies have been adopting during the path to recovery.

 

  • The Accelerator“This crisis has forced us to (finally) work on things that we have been procrastinating on.”
  • The Explorer"No one really knows what the future holds, industry norms change in times of crisis. People have lived differently over the past couple of months, new needs and desires are emerging from this new way of living. We are running the risk of our business being fundamentally disconnected from the market and workforce we are trying to serve. We need a renewed focus that has to start with the needs of the market.”
  • The Optimizer"Those who can survive this crisis will inherit a new market with fewer competitors and more customers. Now is the time for us to build on our strengths and find creative ways to scale and improve our existing business."

 

Emerging World's insight:

'Great Companies are the children of Winter'

 

In conversation with Chinese business leaders, IDEO identified three different mindsets (or creative leadership modes) that companies are adopting in their path to recovery - the Accelerator, the Explorer and the Optimizer.

 

Which one seems right for you?

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Developing Conscious Leaders for a Fast-Changing World

Developing Conscious Leaders for a Fast-Changing World | Leadership Development for a Changing World | Scoop.it

"The primary qualities of conscious leaders make them highly suited to leading in a world that is interconnected, where ripple effects caused by organizations have far-reaching effects on other parts of the world, where collective intelligence is needed to crack some of the bigger problems we face by using our combined resources and innovation, and where leaders are required to be authentic and transparent in their being and actions, because business is conducted in the public eye.."

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

Climate change, disrupted economies, social unrest and other global crises may not be the biggest threat to the world today but rather, as John Renesch a writer on matters of social and organizational change argues, the lack of effective (conscious) leadership. Conscious leadership embraces a growing sense of self-awareness, systems thinking and leading with purpose. This article by Gina Hayden suggests a great starting point for conscious leadership: leaders have to be ready to make a shift in how they think about themselves and how they view the world.

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

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