In Over Our Heads
My mentoring programs are for senior change makers who are working in very difficult situations - often on big economic, social and environmental issues - where very stuck, complex and polarised issues lead to slow, incremental change, or none at all.
These situations leave behind an enormous waste of effort and capital. Worst of all, we remain stuck with the biggest issues affecting the future of industry, humanity and life on Earth.
Mind The Gap
There are hidden flaws and blindspots that sit behind each leader's "theory of change;" a collection of mental models which inform how to best influence maximum change at all scales and all types of contexts.
Leaders usually only operate from one dominant stage of adult development (a ladder of meaning making, purpose and action)..., and that particular vantage point profoundly shapes (and limits) how they perceive and respond to complexity, ambiguity, paradox, difference and polarisation.
Less then 4 percent of leaders are operating from the latest (highest) stages of meaning making and creative capacity. The rest are operating in overwhelm, seeing only limited options for action.
Leaders are also very often limited by a small repertoire of change models acquired within a narrow range of experiences. And they don't adapt their models particularly well for different contexts.
In my experience, most leaders are not aware at just how big these gaps are in their theory of change; they are genuine blindspots. Therefore, it creates at least two additional dilemmas.
First, these blindspots mean that leaders fail to actively seek out helpful solutions; so they unwittingly operate for decades in a limited capacity. Second, because most leaders experience change as such hard work with marginal gain, they lower their vision and minimise expectations for what is possible next in the world.
It is no wonder we have arrived in an era with so many perplexing dilemmas in front of humanity.
Yet, when change makers learn how to examine, expand and evolve their theory of change, they learn how to leap forward every day in many different and difficult contexts. This requires developing high performance practices for rigorous inquiry, reflection, dialogue and creative action.
(Warning: this is not the "Land of 10 Simple Steps," nor one more pet theory of change, nor one more leadership model. But this terrain can be learned through a process of Action Inquiry and it reliably reveals fresh possibilities for breakthroughs in the stuck situations that pervade our modern world).
Build Your Capacity
Listen below to find out how you can leap forward with your agenda for progressive change in the world. In this podcast I also explain how I work alongside senior change makers to expand their capacity for fostering change in difficult contexts.
This 30minute podcast will be available here in October. Stay tuned.
If you have a visionary agenda for a challenging situation in industry or society..., which is systemically complex..., where there is a stuck cycle of slow and incremental change..., and (probably) involves many stakeholders with clashing perspectives, interests and positions..., then evolving your models for change will be vital.
Discover how to grow your capacity to be more effective and get better results on the issues that matter most.
I hope you choose to join me in developing a generation of wise, visionary and highly effective change makers who can cut through the gridlocks and navigate humanity through the difficult transitions ahead of us all.
Elon Musk may take us to Mars, but we also need similar visionary leaders to take "change making" into entirely new realms.