Indonesia: the power of a tri-sector leadership journey

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A few days ago I returned from a workshop in Jakarta with an amazing group of leaders from all sectors of society (government, business, civil society). The same group came to MIT earlier this year at the launch of this nine months U process program. The group includes CEOs of medium-sized companies, founders of social justice organizations, deans and professors from the University of Indonesia, editors of major newspapers and news channels, senior civil servants from several ministries, members of the national parliament, the governor of a provincial district, and others. Here are a few highlights of what the group reported and reflected on during our concluding workshop last week:

(1) Each participant had experienced transformational change both individually and also as a group. They had discovered deeper ground and a deeper “source of being” within themselves. They also reported receiving multiple positive feedback from others about being better listeners.
(2) The process they went through as a group was described with these words: “We went from mistrust to trust, from trust to love, from love to knowledge, and from knowledge to action.”
(3) Several of them have made significant organizational progress toward transforming their organizations, although that journey is still early stage.
(4) Every team had accomplished two things with its prototype projects: some real impact and some hands-on learning. For example, one team that focuses on corruption went to a particular region far outside of Jakarta. On this learning journey they found that most of their assumptions about corruption in that place were wrong. They had to change their assumptions about corruption and its main drivers, and change their ideas about what needed to be done to improve the situation. They involved all stakeholders in the process of understanding the situation and inventing better ways of providing government services. The result, as we heard from a stakeholder who is doing business in that community, is a better, faster, more transparent, and more efficient government.
(5) The main takeaway for me has been to see the field of inspired connections that they – that we! – share with each other and that allows everyone who participates in that field to access their better selves.

I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to prototype this country-level tri-sector leadership program in Indonesia over the past three years. Indonesia, with its diversity on so many levels, with its deep spirituality, and with its history that makes it a microcosm of all major global issues, is probably the best possible place to launch a new way of transforming society from ego-system awareness to eco-system awareness. Reflecting on some similar efforts currently under way in other countries, I wonder what this whole web of cross-sector innovation platforms might look like a few years down the road. Can we turn this effort into a globally networked “g.school” that allows young people to join the platform and add more quickly to the global web of prototyping initiatives?

The g.school would be a global action leadership school that convenes, connects, and co-inspires leaders and change makers across sectors, generations, and cultures. More on that later…


Tags: , , ,

seeds of change==>challenges of institutionalization

Friday, November 27th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Last week we convened the Presencing-In-Action Lab in Boston. The meeting gathered 26 change makers across many cultures and continents. It was striking to see how all the small the seed projects of the last years are beginning to blossom and grow together into a rapidly evolving field of change. I wrote some of this story up in a paper that I presented yesterday in a meeting with senior leaders of the South African government in Joberg. Eary this week, visiting the Namibian Health Systems project, I saw some great examples of prototyping in the area of maternal health. In my own learning process I am wrestling more and more with the question of how to move from prototyping to institutionalizing. That’s the challenge in Namibia and in South Africa. And also in other projects I am currently involved in. Looking at the larger landscape of Theory U inspired change initiatives and related movements, you also wonder what type of institutional embodiment would lend the best support structure going forward. What is it? A community of practice? A movement? A global action research school in the making? All the above? How to institutionalize a “g.school” –- a green global action leadership school — for pioneering society 3.0, either on campus at MIT or in some other form?

Tags: , , ,