reinventing government/governance

Friday, October 9th, 2009 | Uncategorized

one thing new for me this year is to start working with governments/ministries, something i didnt have the opportunity to do previously. over the last few days i attended a Leadership Round Table in D.C. hosted by the World Bank Institute on reinventing leadership capacity building for governments and societies in fragile states, and a Round Table on Reinventing Capitalism that i hosted at MIT, that was attended, among others, by Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and Jeffrey Hollender, founder and chair of Seventh Generation.  What struck me in those meetings is something very simple: that we cannot solve 3.0 problems (that require eco-system wide awareness and innovation) with 2.0 responses (that are limited by the ego-awareness of special interest groups that drive the legislative process). i have put my thoughts on reinventing the leadership capacity building in ten propositions: leadership capacity building is not about filling a gap but about igniting fields of inspired connection and action… Jeffrey wrote a nice account on the Roundtable in his blog.

5 Comments to reinventing government/governance

Thomas Dyer
October 10, 2009

Are these Round Tables scheduled in advance and open to the public? It sounds like great work is being done in them and wonderful ideas are being discussed. I know I would love to be a fly on the wall during one of them . . .

Julie Cramer
October 12, 2009

The suggestion for a new paradigm of leadership development is intriguing to me… words such as igniting, inspired connection, and action certainly point to a new way of viewing this phenomenon. However, it is difficult for me to shift my view when the language continues to be center in the dualism of “leader”ship (leader/follower). Somehow it feels as if a truly new paradigm would find a word for the process that encompasses AND goes beyond what we now call the act of “leader”ship. Are we held back by the very word that defines our discipline?

Aileen Gibb
October 14, 2009

Otto – you mention there are few people at the edge of this new form of “leadership development”. Can you signpost me to who you think are working towards this and away from conventional approaches to L&D?

Michael Bischoff
October 17, 2009

This blog post, and the “ten propositions” link inspired me to notice and acknowledge some local leadership in my area that has moved from ego-centric to eco-centric leadership and coalition-building:

Karsten Zacher
November 21, 2009

A reply to Julie Cramer’s comment on the term leadership: We conceive with the concepts we grew up with including the concept of leadership, so you have a point. How can a new paradigm of leadership ever come to reality, if most of us are ‘passive’ in that process? (if I understand you right).
I like to think of leadership as including ‘self’-leadership corresponding to Otto’s micro sphere ‘system level’. Moreover, as systems of his four spheres interact, your self-leadership might get others follow you. Hence, leadership is not necessarily restricted to organizational leadership. That’s the idea behind the phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ supported by NGOs in particular.
That said, I believe there is also a need to influence the ‘formal’ leaders of the world, simply because they have power to prevent an evolution from 2.0 to 3.0 from happening.
A new thinking probably implies new concepts to raise the level of comprension and communication of that thinking. I feel that Theory U is a ladder for lifting our consciousness about leadership in the general sense. It takes time for us to climb the ladder and (both intellectually and emotionally) understand the depth of Otto’s theory U – consequently to reach an extended/revised understanding of leadership.

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