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short news from ebbf members
Alain Gauthier, Executive Director at Core Leadership Development, offered his keynote about evolutionary co-leadership, addressing four questions: 1. Why are new forms of leadership needed? 2. What characterizes evolutionary co-leadership? 3. Which integral practices enable this embodiment? 4. How to develop it and scale it up? During the keynote he explored the first two.
Starting to talk about the new forms of leadership, he explained that co-enterpreneurship, located in the middle of the curve between entrepreneuship and plutocracy leading to disintegration could generate chaos, so that another form of leadership is needed in order to overcome it.
We can identify four domains of human experience from the combination of the individual / collective and interior / exterior variables and two dimension of evolution, from the combinatiin of the I / We and interior / exterior variables. We can also distinguish between evolutionists, limited to the externally observable aspects, and evolutionists, who appreciate borth exterior and interior aspects.
A domination paradigm creates authoritarian and punitive social structures, which are causing the current polycrisis like ethnic/religious conflicts, ecological threats, economic disoarities, erosion of solidarity, etc. If we turn to a partnership paradigm we find equality as intrisic value, mutual trust and flat structures and what has to be built are some stories and myths honoring partnership as normal.The paradigm shift we need is from machines to living systems: from command and control ro collaborative dynamics. Which are the forms of collaborative leadership? Learning, sharing, distributing, distributing, rotating, complementary, co-creative, consultative, accompanying, collegial, cooperative, etc.
Moving to the second question he explored the characteristics of co-leadership. Lead comes from the indo-eropean word “leath”, which means “going forward, “crosseing threshold” or even “dying”. The practice of co-leadership invite other to cross a threshold, venture together into the unknown, sense together what is trying to eme rge and open up a space whwre individual creativity and collective wisdon can be combined. Examples of co-leadership can be found in sports, art (jazz ensemble, theatre improvisation), movies (Lord of rings, Star Wars, Matrix,…) and economy.
An evolutionary discenrs deep patterns and integrates disciplines theat have been separated, in reflection as in action; look At reality with a sense of long, deep time; trusts the life process and show profound faith in the future and, last but not least, experiences co-creating and being co-responsible for evolution.
Evolutionary co-leadership is the synthesis between indivisual heroic leadership (thesis) and collective / cooperative leadership (antithesis): it’s the application of the moderation value. Evolutionary co-leadership can be seen as dances: the inner dance of personal practiced on one side, the interpersonal and systemic practices on the other one and the evolutionary dance as metasystemic practice.
Which are the possible next steps? He suggested individual and collective inquiry, experimentation, feedback and sharing; identifying and supporting other co-evolutionary experiments and the participation to communities of pratice.
Luis Monteiro, Head of Professional Services at Unit 4, told his personal story to introduce his keynote. He is a people centric person, believing in people-centric organizations. A people centric organization is open and trustworthy, it shares the vision and the plan, explain the reasons, provide autonomy, promote transparency and authenticity. Building realtionship is another important thing, including inclusion, sense of belonging, collaboration, communication, nature of the relations and friendship. He is still in contact with is former collegue from the previous company he worked for, Altran: he is a friend to them. Last, but not least, courage is needed: always learining, experiment, be assertive, accept differences and assume risks. What are the boundaries of people-centric organization? He prefer not to establish boundaries and believes that a people-centric organization is possible.
Vafa Akhavan, CEO of CEO Forum, opened the Ebbf conference in Lisbon with a keynote presenting his journey through organizational theory and personal transformation. His thesis is that people can improve organizations by becoming seekers. Seekership is the genoma of organizations and where it’s present it will transform the organization. In his personal journey he learned that back-biting is a cancer, prejudice is a virus, he is nothing but he is everything and many other things. Human capital is the greatest capital and has multiple relationships with many aspects of the business, it expresses itself with organizational structure. He reached the conclusion that the person is the most common denominator in all things. His struggle was between being the center of the universe and not being even dust. He told that his learinings came from the Writings of the Baha’i Faith: the trasformative experience was the Tablet of the True Seeker, describing the Seven Valleys. The true seker “hunteth naught but the object of his quest”. Are some unique attributes that trasform what we do? They are the qualities of the seeker: answers, profitability, integrity, justice, trutth, fair, and many more. The Tablet of the True Seeker is the catalyst that impact every aspect of life. The ideal qualities are rely upon and trust in God, detachment from the world of dust, never seek to exalt self above others, don’t promise what you can’t deliver, cleanse the channel of human soul. Perfect cleanliness of the heart, poor in material wealth, douts and misgiving dissipated, enveloped with knowledge, and, last but not least, a news eye, a new ear, a new heart and a new mind. The seeker impact the organization and the organization impact the seeker: interdepence is created. One seeker can change the world.
ebbf member Elisa Mallis recently won the opportunity to fly into space, as part of an astronaut training project relating to the XCOR Space Expeditions.
What struck us was how clearly she expressed her values and her way of applying spirituality even in this kind of workplace. You can read below just a few of the phrases she used in a longer interview she gave for the astronaut program.
“I believe that as more leaders take a truly global perspective we will finally be ‘solving for the world’ and we will have a real opportunity to tackle some of the biggest challenges that threaten our planet and our existence.” and “having worked and lived in 16 countries … I explored many cultures, religions and spiritual traditions. What I continuously noticed was that although there are so many differences, the similarities are astounding and in many ways more important … appreciating the many ways to nurture the human spirit in the workplace across all cultures and religions … creating in me a ‘one world’ perspective.
You can read here the full interview introducing you to her current work, her future ambitious and the values that sustain her life.
UnityWorks recently launched a pilot training program with four schools in Yakima, Washington State, US. The program covered issues of race, gender, language, social class, prejudice, stereotyping and other diversity topics. In February, UnityWorks completed its first intensive 40-hour diversity training for staff and students. During the training, the participants put together their “Diversity Action Plans” for the remainder of the academic year.
Founded September 2013, UnityWorks also offers workshop materials, presentations and a curriculum for school children. The Foundation’s current focus is to multiply the programs across US, teaching thousands of teachers and students about unity in diversity.