Pulse of the Planet: Leadership models in the global village

Global government is on the rise, and with it a devolution of power to the grassroots. Subjugating nature is out of fashion and ecological living is the new imperative. The next generation of leaders will emerge not from the political class but from ordinary communities, bringing with them new modes of learning and new definitions of intelligence.

» Read the paper in PDF


Beyond Strategy: Leadership, Futures and Ethics in a Complex World

The basic premise of the "Beyond Strategy" approach is that in business we put up fantasy measures that we call business planning, such as budget planning and strategic planning, which Stacey claims is a political process, primarily as social defences against anxiety. This distorts what we are actually doing and distracts us from the actual direct experiences we are having of each other as what happens through conversation.

Another premise is that the most important things we do can't be measured. These are open ended conversations around identity of "who are we?" or "What are we doing together?" This is the actual strategy we are involved in and is emergent strategy where we are endlessly searching for enough agreement to take the next steps. The next steps are iterative temporal processes, which are basic patterns of interactions moving recursively through time, of what we are doing together.

"Beyond Strategy" can be described as "Leadership, Futures and Ethics in a Complex World". Leadership because ultimately this is where courage and will resonates, Futures because of its epistemic challenges and Ethics because we are here talking about moral philosophy and its consequences on organisations and individuals. Complex, but not necessarily complicated, because complexity, by its very nature, is the consequence of human existence and behaviour experienced in the world.

» Read the paper in PDF


Organisational Future Sense: Action Learning and Futures

In this article, I make the following arguments: 

  1. Strategic planning needs to transform.
  2. Planning for the future should be anchored by action learning, making it anticipatory action learning.
  3. Planning for the future should use the quadruple bottom line approach.
  4. Planning for the future should be inclusive of multiple ways of knowing.
  5. Planning the future leads to organisational transformation.
  6. Leadership is central in effective futures planning.


» Read the paper in PDF


Leadership Update - May 2009

Managers need to pay attention

Managers often have trouble paying attention to reality because their views are distracted and distorted. The financial crisis has exacerbated this tendency as their stress levels are rising in the face of the bigger challenges and tougher choices such as retrenchments and budget cuts.

Managers need to effect change, influence their teams to work more effectively and assist staff to be more creative and innovative about the future, but they have to pay attention first.

"Leadership involves influencing change, but in the absence of true attention to others and reality, our efforts at influencing often degenerate into being reactive and coercive. To be truly effective and innovative a symbiosis of attention and influence or ‘Attfluence’ is needed," says Richard Searle, Program Director, Mt Eliza Executive Education, part of Melbourne Business School.

» Read this article in PDF


Leadership Update - March 2010

What impact does our leadership development have?

I keep seeing on the TV news how special Islamic schools from Yemen to Pakistan, Indonesia to Sudan and even in London are radicalising portions of the young population and turning many towards violence and even suicide missions.

Wow! What a powerful, though disturbing example of education having a really big impact on participants!

It makes me wonder what impact our own leadership development work has with individuals and within corporations?

» Read this article in PDF