How can we drive change

THIS MISSION IS DEDICATED TO JOHNFMOORE, MICHEL FILLIPPI (and other Edgeryders participants interested in these issues).

A few days ago, JohhFMoore asked me this question: “HOW CAN WE DRIVE CHANGE?“.

Interestingly, at the same time, I was having a discussion here at Edgeryders with Michel Fillippi, and he answered more or less the same thing I told JohnFMoore, but he used different words, he used philosopher’s words. My answer to John — an intuitionwas to highlight Edgeryders participants, and have them emerge as leaders. Michel Fillippi’s answer is to have the most numerous leaders emerge, and he explained why.

Here is what Michel Fillippi told me, via the following Edgeryders status,

(My translation) “We should seek for various possibilities, different leaderships. Why? The first reason behind (this method) is because it’s systemic. Every leader is to create a world, a system (as defined in the General Systems Theory). A system grows and becomes more unstable. Any system involves a becoming. Several competing systems allow individuals to engage in various futures and this prevents a system to seek its maximum state, therefore, prevents it to reach a maximum instability. Individuals must be taught not to seek unique solutions, not to aim to a state of perfection. We should also know that all creation, any system design, generates violence because a state of energy is being released, or the convening of power to make it work. Nothing is done in calmness, quietness. Therefore, (efforts should focus on) having the most numerous leaders emerge, while preventing one leader in particular from becoming dominant. (When in a process) of structuring, (it is preferable) to avoid convergence and develop even opposed themes. I think – as I have faith in philosophy -, that the debate on “Which people? Which kills, abilities, and so on?” “How the Real in which humans exist?”, “What worlds are better?” What does everybody hate?" “What is a civilization?”,"What does ‘being civilized’ mean? ","For what, for whom, for what world are we willing to suffer, to die ", these are classics philosophical questions, but they are worth to be re-asked, and be explored again.“

Michel Fillippi continues:

“Yesterday, I visited an exhibition about Buckminster Fuller. There, I read a sentence in which I recognized myself, and I also recognized in it one of these blockages that you mentioned, Lyne, regarding the model. As the model is not externalized, it is not yet perceived as (being in the process) of building, therefore, the (implementing of) change is difficult. We must come to understand that our opinions, beliefs, desires, and perhaps even wishes that we consider to be the most real - a truth that comes from the core of being, the substance of our bodies, our essence itself -, are only constructions that we have absorbed without criticism, without us knowing it could become otherwise.

As for convergence, is a problem in innovation design. A trend of engineers and administrators is to converge as quickly as possible. It is a cognitive model that has been “swallowed” as truth, and indisputable as a procedure based on algorithms, mathematical. However, (it is better) at all costs, to converge as late as possible. Specifically, a design method such as C-K designed at by The School of Mines of Paris (Hatchuel), fight against convergence by using the mathematical notion of “forcing”.

Finally, about the “Real”. I believe in the existence of a physical “Real”, that is not fully known by the physical sciences, with whom, as humans part of this “Real”, interact with.”

(Ref: “Real”. This is EXACTLY what I believe too! I am having a really hard time explaining this and applying it to politics and open government models.)

It has been a month since Michel Fillippi, JohnFMoore and myself, we would like to have a discussion about models. Leadership models, and open government models. We set it aside to focus on the Edgeryders augmented ethnography approach’. Now that we’re just a few days before the launch of the upcoming campaign We the people’, I realize that these topics respond to our needs. They can help provide answers to John’s question, HOW CAN WE DRIVE CHANGE?“.

I have a feeling that this will help more than one fellow Edgeryders. While the upcoming campaign will focus on the ‘augmented ethnographic approach’, here, in this mission (thread), we can discuss, create knowledge, that will hopefully help us … drive change.

What is a leader?

I continue sharing my thoughts about ‘HOW TO DRIVE CHANGE’. Over the Holidays, Michel Fillippi and I discussed at Edgeryders about allowing as many leaders to emerge.

What is a leader? How can I identify a leader? What can help me spot leaders? What can help me improve my leadership skills? What are the new models of leadership?

While I pondered these questions, I received a video from Lolly Daskal. It allowed me to see how she puts into practice that she advocates, a heart based model of leadership. She celebrated the New Year with a blog post and a video highlighting all the members of the Lead from within community. She include me in the video (I’m honored).

[You can read all transcripts of Lead from within chats, on Twitter every Tuesday night:]

This reference might be dating a little, but it’s good organizational strategies for new leadership: Cufaude, J. B. (2001). Telling a new leadership story. Association Management.

Also, Joseph Kennedy’s 2010 article, Empowering Future Organizational Leaders for the 21st Century highlighted Mark Popovich‘s High Performance Structures, which encourages organisations to set aside bureaucracies and embrace flexibility and innovation at all levels. Kennedy, J. W. (2010). Empowering future organizational leaders for the 21st century. The International Business & Economics Research Journal.

According to there references, leaders are…

  • CHAOS EMBRACERS. Most humans are conditioned for order, control and predictability. This blinds many from the truth: chaos is healthy, creativity, opportunity. Chaos is life reordering itself. “New” leaders are creators of chaos, just as much as originators of order. They engage the optimists as well as the pessimists. By stirring the pot, leaders stimulate possible breakthroughs in creativity and innovation.

  • WOW! INJECTORS. Leaders create or champion projects that add value and make a difference. When people are involved in these types of projects, they feel rejuvenated, personally challenged. They feel they can accomplish something useful, and they believe that their input matters.

  • FACILITATORS. Leaders ask the obvious and even the un-askable questions. They clarify roles of each teammate, responsibilities, and expectations. They provide closure around decisions. Facilitator are skilled at helping everyone in a group express their leadership qualities. They help things go smoothly without imposing their own ideas upon everyone else. Negotiators are skilled facilitators. These are leaders committed to serve others as servant-leaders and stewards. They adhere to a number of basic qualities, like democracy, responsibility, cooperation, honesty. Facilitators challenge thinking. They help a group create lists of important points. They summarize the issues from time to time. They share ideas when they can help meeting progress. They raise quesions to bring out different viewpoints. They guide discussions, but do not lead them.

  • PARTNERS AND COLLABORATORS. Effective partnership and collaboration requires a set of skills that differ from those traditionnally sought for leadership positions. Partners and collaborators are strong listeners, communication conduits, boundary breakers, possibly thinkers, and honest negociators.

  • TALENT SCOUT AND DEVELOPER. These leaders expect a return on talent. These are alpha scouts who lead the pack. It is the woman or man who people want to work for, and they see an association with this person as pre-path to better opportunities. Over time, as the scout methods evolve from turning over rocks looking for talent, talented resources begin to gravitate with him/her.

  • FUTURISTS. They regularly scan the environment for trends on the immediate and long-term horizons. Leaders are aware that trends might have strong implications for the organization and its members. They understand that the future is something they can contribute to shape as active participants. They utilize the idea that beings help to create their own realities (based on quantum physics theories).

  • CLARITY CREATORS. They are vigilant communicators. They send messages that help bring clarity and order.

  • VALUE CHAMPIONS. Values help build a common focus and set of norms. Leaders help anchor individual and community efforts in the organization’s core values and function. They focus to ensure the organization knows itself as well as possible.

  • PASSIONATE PLAYERS. The Persian poet Rumi wrote, “the longing is the answer”. Leaders that are passionate about their roles and contributions are as interested as learning about the passions that others possess as their own. They effectively match others passions for projects and put them in appropriate leadership positions. “When anything comes from the heart - any energy, any action - it comes with a passion that is unstoppable.” (Anita Roddick, Body Shop founder)

  • STORYTELLERS. Stories and metaphors enhance individual retention and learning. Storytelling is an important element for leaders hoping to create new realities, when they relate their experience to current challenges. A storyteller might reflect on an experience during an earlier stage of his/her career. Effective stories include drama: an incident that challenged ethics for instance, something that explains a need to make tough choices (usually without perfect information, or the complete alignement), etc.

I am sure there are many other skills and qualities that leaders might want to develop. I set my mind to continue to explore.