MindShift

INSIGHT – TRANSFORMATION – LEADERSHIP


Leave a comment

Transformative Processes and Adaptive Pushback

Why are we resisting transformation?

In the global change arena we see more and more the need for leaders to know about what happens in transformative processes inside out in order to play a different game. It is ironic that our best whole systems thinkers are becoming ever more frustrated at the lack of visible change in response to knowledge and evidence about growing threats to sustainability. The problem is more often than not that the intrinsic mechanisms of transformation are still not widely understood nor mastered. Transformative processes that are supposed to respond to adaptive challenges require a fundamental shift in perspective and meaning. In order to be able to design, catalyze, foster or lead such shifts, leaders need to recognize stages, depth and width of the process, need to identify patterns of systemic pushback, know what to do with immunities to change and how to handle the usual resistances and escape mechanisms. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Taking on the Future: Transformation in a Changing Climate

Workshop on Transformative Leadership in a Changing Climate, Saturday 22 June, 2013, Oslo 

If we see transformative change as a necessary response to global climate change, we have to know its processes intimately. Transformations that respond to adaptive challenges involve fundamental shifts in perspective and meaning. In order to be able to design, catalyze, foster or lead such shifts, leaders need to recognize stages, depth and width of the process, identify patterns of systemic pushback, and know what to do with immunities to change, as well as how to handle the usual resistances and escape mechanisms.

For those who are interested in learning more about leadership for change, we offer a one-day intensive workshop directly following the international conference on  “Transformation in a Changing Climate” at the University of Oslo . Continue reading


1 Comment

New Publication: You say you want a revolution?

Karen O’Brien, Jonathan Reams, Anne Caspari et al. (2013): You say you want a revolution? Transforming education and capacity building in response to global change. Environ. Sci.Policy

A b s t r a c t

This paper considers the changes in education and capacity building that are needed in response to environmental and social challenges of the 21st Century. We argue that such changes will require more than adjustments in current educational systems, research funding strategies, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Instead, it calls for a deeper questioning of the assumptions and beliefs that frame both problems and solutions. We first discuss the challenges of transforming education and capacity building within five key arenas: interdisciplinary research; university education systems; primary and secondary education systems; researchers from the developing world; and the public at large and politicians. Our starting point is that any type of revolution that is proposed in response to global change is likely to reflect the educational perspectives and paradigms of those calling for the revolution. We differentiate between a circular revolution (as in the ‘‘plan-do-check- act cycle’’ often used in change management) versus an axial revolution (moving to a different way of thinking about the issues), arguing that the latter is a more appropriate response to the complex transdisciplinary challenges posed by global environmental change. We present some potential tools to promote an axial revolution, and consider the limits to this approach. We conclude that rather than promoting one large and ideologically homogenous revolution in education and capacity building, there is a need for a revolution in the way that leaders working with education and capacity building look at systems and processes of change. From this perspective, transformative learning may not only be desirable, but critical in responding to the challenges posed by global  environmental change.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901112002146 


Leave a comment

Transformative Workshop January 12/13 2013 in Oslo

Transformative Leadership Workshop –  Taking on the Future: Global Transformation, up-close and personal 
“Where the rubber hits the road”
January 11, 2013, 13.00-16.00, Georg Sverdups Hus, Auditorium 2, University of Oslo Followed by a two-day workshop on personal transformation, January 12-13 Continue reading


Leave a comment

Publication – Integral Leadership

Jonathan Reams, Anne Caspari (2012) : “Integral Leadership – Generating Space for Emergence through Quality of Presence”, Journal of Wirtschaftspsychologie 3/12

Abstract:

This article outlines a view of integral leadership as integrity with a quality of presence that opens spaces for what wants to emerge. A focus is on describing Heifetz’s notion of adaptive leadership as creating a holding environment for work to be done. This is framed in terms of how integrity, subtle energies and intuition combine with late stage ego development capacities to create a quality of presence that enable requisite spaces to be opened up and held. This view is contextualized in relation to existing discourse in the field and the authors’ experience in leadership development work. In addition to laying a foundation for the view of leadership used, the concept of integral is examined in relation to integrity. This forms the basis for quality of presence, while intuition is shown to be an essential function in the author’s conception of integral leadership. Intuition is explored in relation to stages of cognitive/ego development, which are also explored in terms of their function and contribution to integral leadership. Future lines of inquiry arising from this conception are presented.

Key words: construct aware, integral, integrity, intuition, leadership

Zeitschrift Wirtschaftspsychologie-3-2012


4 Comments

Working with Resistance – a praxis paper.

Working with Resistance – When Reality hits, use its Force

Follow the intensity of your resistance down to its source and sure enough you will find a treasure.

“The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behavior lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behavior” M. Scott Peck

With transformation work, encountering and overcoming resistances is an intrinsic part of the game. In coaching and facilitating transformative change, people naturally face stages of resistance, fear and confusion. This will inevitably trigger escape and protection mechanisms of the self/Self system that come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and flavours.

Many of these take the form of well-rehearsed identities (e.g.spiritual identities, cynical attitudes, attack of coach or method, sudden shift of priorities) that are designed to ‘protect’the coachee from the suspected pain of re-owning deeper lying disassociated parts (shadows). These defence mechanisms can easily sabotage the transformative process. In many cases, the coachee is not aware of these phenomena, but rather strongly identified with them. Kegan and Lahey (2009) define this as “Immunity to Change”, a “hidden commitment”, with an underlying root cause, that competes and conflicts with a stated commitment to change. It is these hidden commitments that cause people to not change and to fail to realise their best intentions. It takes experience to spot such phenomena and to defuse or utilize any deviating construct arising in the space appropriately, in real time. Continue reading


2 Comments

Shifting Personal Reality

Shifting Personal Reality

The ability to shift personal reality in one’s self and the competency to assist others with their transformation is one of the basic skills for integral mentoring of any kind. This can apply to individual work with leaders, ‘trim tabs’ and change agents, or to collective work with stakeholder groups, organizations  or NGOs. The kind of assistance needed depends on many different factors, such as the unique action logic or kosmic address of everybody involved  (see previous post) and, of course, on the nature of the task ahead.

Yet despite the abundant variables, transformational change follows a very recognizable blueprint that, much like a wave, keeps its pattern integrity. We encounter this archetypal pattern everywhere, a cultural software of the human species. Its epic version is masterfully described in Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.

The more post-modern version is Scharmer’s U Process for collective transformation and prototyping. The smaller day to day or moment to moment encounter with transformation, like changing a destructive habit, overcoming fear or shadow work either go unobserved or are subject to a myriad of self-help books. Continue reading