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Regenerative Leadership – Activating a New Leadership Paradigm

October 26, 2018

Over the last couple of years, I have had the great pleasure of engaging with myriad senior executives, CEOs from quite different organisations agreeing on one thing: they are holding an immense tension in these times of change.

One aspect of this tension is in the here-and-now. Just keeping our head above water in these times of increasing volatile is a real challenge for our leaders.

The other aspect of this tension is in the future. But not some distant future, just three years from now, there is an increasing recognition amongst our leaders that, in order to do more than just survive but to actually thrive in the volatile times ahead, we need to radically transform the ways in which we operate and organise.

To do this, while keep the wheels on the road and our head above water, requires a wholly new approach to leadership and organisational development.

One Global CEO applies the impactful metaphor of flying a plane, and having to retrofit the plane in mid-flight, while going into increasing turbulence, also while keeping all the ground crew, in-flight crew and all the customers on-board happy.

This is the level of systemic interconnected change we face today.

This time of transformation demands that we bring in a new way of being-and-doing into our selves, our team dynamics, and our organisations.  This is what we explore, indeed activate, in this unique one day immersion workshop near Copenhagen 20th November 8.30am-5pm

Laura Storm – the sustainability guru, GreenBiz Worldchanger, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, previous Head of Sustainia, and Founder of Regenerators – and myself, Giles Hutchins, are hosting a special one day Regenerative Leadership immersion, where we dive deep into what is needed to activate this next stage leadership consciousness inside ourselves and across our systems: A day full of practical applications, cases and cutting-edge insights from the future of business.

The day will be a blend of masterclasses, story-telling, knowledge-sharing, embodiment activities, deep listening, silence and journaling. This is all designed to guide participants into a transformative leadership paradigm.

We shall cover the tools, insights from living-systems, and practices required to up-stretch into this next-stage leadership consciousness.  We shall also include specialist domains such as biomimicry, circular economics, Otto Scharmer’s Theory U and Frederic Laloux’s Teal/Evolutionary as key aspects of this next stage consciousness.  All this while engaging with other like-minded pioneers pushing the envelope in today’s time of transformation.

TESTIMONIALS FROM PREVIOUS EVENTS

“Today was something out of the ordinary, refreshing and surprising. I really enjoyed the openness that came from the atmosphere you nurtured.

”Regenerators is an essential journey for anyone looking to grow as a leader. Not only are you welcomed into an inspiring network of amazing people, but you also leave with a wealth of tools, stories and frameworks that you can apply to your work and your life.”

“I will bring a renewed energy into my life and work and faith that change is possible if we work together.”

 “A profound experience, beautifully held. An excellent mix of theory, reflective exercises and peer-to-peer learning, providing me the strength, resilience, direction and clarity I need of my leadership work.”

“Intellectually stimulating AND existentially exhilarating!”

 

See here for more information – if you do wish to attend please book in the next few days as places are filling fast:  https://www.regenerators.co/workshop-on-regenerative-leadership

What a fascinating yet challenging time to be alive. We are in the midst of a metamorphosis, profound shifts are affecting the way we work, how and why we do things, and the purpose and meaning we apply to our organisations, our wider social systems, and our civilisation.

This time of transformation demands that we bring in a new way of being-and-doing into our selves, our team dynamics, and our organisations.  This is what we explore, indeed activate, in this unique one day immersion workshop near Copenhagen 20th November in a wonderful relaxing setting.

The Regenerators is a collective of professionals coming together to aid the emergence of a new thriving paradigm built on regenerative principles. A world where products, services and organizations leave more value than they take. Where our systems, structures and mind-sets provide the foundation for vibrant, invigorating, thriving societies and organizations.

We’re here to help re-design a world where purpose, people, planet and profit can thrive collectively by tapping into the wisdom of nature.

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

To book your place on the Regenerative Leadership immersion visit:

https://www.regenerators.co/workshop-on-regenerative-leadership

 

 

Stepping beyond the veil, sensing beyond illusion – touching Grace within and all around

October 12, 2018

I tentatively share some insights and ramblings that came to me upon sunrise during a 24hr solo in the Scottish Isles last weekend.  These words are as they came to me, not in some poetic flow, but rough and ready.  A skype call late this Friday with a wonderful, beautiful and wise kindred spirit in Portland, US, prompted me to post this before it all becomes a distant memory…   I can still recall the flood of pink sky at night easing into twinkling Milky Way… shooting stars fading by moon-light and then the early morning sunrise… these thoughts came to me during sunrise, in a small open cave, with a Peregrine Falcon sitting next to me on the same sacred rock:

Sunrise, Big Chair

Beauty, synchronicity

Lunar, Aqua

Pulsating rippling

Ebbing flowing

Cacophony, melody

Soul journey

Being-becoming

This quality of attentiveness

Of prehension, perception

Introspection and relation

With self-other-world

Other is no other

In the beginning was the primordial rhythm

In this moment is the Song of Songs

Ebbing, flowing

Receptive, responsive

Yin, Yang

A quality of awareness

Enters this gateway

Into the World

Into the Way of Nature

I profess to a desire

I confess to a method

Not to tie ‘it’ down

Nor objectify the very Nature of this rhythm

But to set Her free

By singing this song

Into the contemporary

With its modes, methods, models and metrics

To quantify the unquantifiable

Silly ‘I’

Yet where there is a ‘will’ there is a ‘way’

And Thy will shall be done

Being Done

We have an extracting eye

For good reason

And good reason need not

Warp into Rationalism

So I persist

My will, in service of

Thy Will Being Done

Not to define Grace

But to honour Grace

So the corridors and conduits

Of power, ego, high-society and communal relationality

Can honour Her once again

For She is Sophia

The Goddess of Wisdom

And society short on Wisdom

Is today’s malaise.

My inquiry, therefore, is twofold

  • Let’s indulge the desire to ‘know’ to feel, embody, intuit, describe, explain and objectify this unobjectifable quality of being and becoming, this liminal Tier 2 consciousness where we are returning home to oneness with Life. Let’s draw on brilliant minds before us – philosophers, poets, explorers, artists, scientists and naturalists – who too have explored and written about this ‘experience’, this ‘shift in consciousness’.
  • Let’s explore how to sensibly bring this into our ways of living and working, our systems, cities and societies, which are fraught with models, methods and metrics. So that Grace can breathe through us more deeply in our midst, our morning midst of metamorphosis.

I speak this with serenity and urgency

With discernment and discipline

With expansiveness and focus

With Yin and Yang

With the fiery Sun in my belly

And the watery Sea in my soul

My will is Thy will.   Amen

As I say these words 18 geese fly past in formation.  My counting rationalising mind is mind-ful that 18 is 9 in numerology – the end and the beginning; the still point where the turning of the wave lies; breakdown into breakthrough.

To drop into Source while ‘doing’ is our becoming.

 The Hour Glass Awakens

Wish-full thinking

Washing the mind

Treading softly

Time a labyrinth

Its ways deceptive

Yet revealing

The point of the journey is not to arrive

To break open

First requires containment

Hermetic Seal that swims deep and dark

We are contained in cages

With doors wide open

Yet the cage, the cave

With its shadows,

Suggestions and projections

Provides introspection

And digestion

For the journey via more caves into

Abysmal liminal spaciousness

Where apertures form

Open windows

For the soul

Open cages

For the creature to evolve

I quote Suzuki the early 20th Century Zen Buddhist, from the Manual of Zen Buddhism

‘And now, having moved through the stage of emptiness, and also having seen God in the world of Nature, the individual can see God in the world of men.  Enlightened mingling in the marketplace with wine-bibbers and butcher, he recognises the inner light or Buddha-Nature in everyone. He doesn’t need to hold himself aloof nor be weighted down by a sense of duty or responsibility, nor to follow a set of patterns of other holy men, nor to imitate the past. He is so in harmony with Life that he is content to be inconspicuous, to be an instrument not a leader.  He simply does what seems to him natural. But though in the market place he seems to be an ordinary man, something happens to the people among whom he mingles. They too become part of the Harmony of the Universe.’

 

To watch a 17min TEDx on the Revolution of Consciousness now required in our society, see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2mUebq5PXU&feature=youtu.be

 

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

The time has come! A new leadership paradigm for future-fit regenerative business

October 11, 2018

Our current times call for a radical new regenerative leadership paradigm. We need leaders who know how to build thriving, regenerative, future-fit organizations where purpose, people, planet and profit can thrive collectively. Leaders who stand strong in themselves and lead from the inside out.

We offer a unique full-day seminar in nature to upgrade your skills, tools and leadership for a new thriving paradigm rooted in the intelligence and wisdom of nature.

The day will be a blend of masterclasses, story-telling, knowledge-sharing, embodiment activities, deep listening, silence and journaling. This is all designed to guide participants into a transformative leadership paradigm.

When: NOVEMBER 20, 8.30am – 6pm

WHERE: HERTHADALEN in Roskilde (30 mins from Copenhagen)

WHAT WE COVER:

  • How to build thriving, resilient organizations in times of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity)
  • The elements of a new regenerative leadership paradigm and how to cultivate thriving future-fit business models and organisational cultures. We cover our own models as well as Theory U (Otto Scharmer), Reinventing Organizations (Fredrick Laloux), New Leadership Paradigm (Richard Barrett) and other key models from pioneering thought leaders at the frontier of leadership development
  • How can organisational culture, processes and leadership learn from nature? We dive deep into living systems-thinking & living systems-being, applied to the next generation of conscious leadership
  • What leaders can learn from the logic of living systems and how to apply this into thriving ways of leading and living
  • The wisdom of nature and how to tap into this to nourish a regenerative mind-set and culture
  • What are the tools and the practices you need to cultivate a workplace where people, projects, services and collaborations can thrive
  • Regenerative Leadership Principles and how to cultivate these in the workplace
  • Cases + concrete business models on leaders and companies that are successfully embracing regenerative leadership, regenerative solutions and services

YOU WILL LEAVE WITH:

  • An overview of the pioneering work within leadership, systems-thinking and new paradigm business models and organisational culture
  • New inspiration, energy, insight and connections to inspire your leadership practice and collaborate in a way that unlocks human potential and creativity
  • Unique insight and understanding into regenerative future-fit leadership that will help you strategically and practically prepare your organization for the future
  • Models and techniques for integrating the intelligence of nature when designing, leading and living a thriving life
  • A deeper awareness of how everything is interconnected, and what this all means for how we lead and operate not just thriving future-fit organizations and teams but also the way we live our lives as purposeful human beings
  • Practical tools to tap into the creative wisdom of nature and apply this to your organization and your life as a thriving human being
  • An embodied understanding of the ‘crossing of the threshold’ required in leadership consciousness 
  • Techniques for shifting consciousness within yourself and your organization

 

TESTIMONIALS FROM RECENT WORKSHOPS:

“Today was something out of the ordinary, refreshing and surprising. I really enjoyed the openness that came from the atmosphere you nurtured.

”Regenerators is an essential journey for anyone looking to grow as a leader. Not only are you welcomed into an inspiring network of amazing people, but you also leave with a wealth of tools, stories and frameworks that you can apply to your work and your life.”

“I will bring a renewed energy into my life and work and faith that change is possible if we work together.”

 “A profound experience, beautifully held. An excellent mix of theory, reflective exercises and peer-to-peer learning, providing me the strength, resilience, direction and clarity I need of my leadership work.”

“Intellectually stimulating AND existentially exhilarating!”

 

THE SEMINAR IS PERFECT FOR:

– Leaders, Academics, middle-managers, entrepreneurs from all walks of life who feel called to understand and explore how to build thriving, regenerative organizations geared for the future.

– Leaders who desire a deeper understanding of how to access and nurture their own inner creativity and life-force, as well as the innate magnificence of life and wisdom of nature.

– Leaders who know in their hearts that a new level of consciousness is now required for the challenges upon us – and that conscious leaders and organizations are the only way forward.

– Senior managers, executives, practitioners, edge-walkers, strategists, thought-leaders, cultural creatives, pioneers, HR-professionals and entrepreneurs who desire a new dimension for their work.

 

The seminar is facilitated by world-leading experts in the new regenerative leadership paradigm Giles Hutchins & Laura Storm

 

For more information and to sign-up:

https://www.regenerators.co/workshop-on-regenerative-leadership

The time has come for a ‘new norm’ of leadership and organisational development.

The time is now.

Equip yourself and your organisation for life-affirming future-fitness.

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

Awakening a way of attending that addresses root causes as well as downstream effects

September 29, 2018

Our dire plight is underpinned, at root bottom, by a sense of separation from Nature which is generating profound problems for ourselves, our psyches, our human relations, and our socio-economic power-plays.

Yet there are healthy and sustained signs of a re-connection – at deep and partly unconscious levels – within our individual and collective psyches, which might just pull us out of our present pickle.

Clare Graves, the originator of Spiral Dynamics, refers to Tier Two consciousness – Teal, Turquoise, Coral – as having an echo of the early Beige and Purple animistic levels of consciousness, and yet being quite different. In fact, Graves went as far as to say that as we move into Tier Two consciousness (our ‘return’ back into inter-connectedness) we become a new human-being as our neurology is substantially different from Tier One – a substantial threshold in consciousness is crossed.

We embody and experience the self-other-world dynamic in a different way, as we are now conscious of our own sense of separation, and so are consciously re-connecting back-in to a participatory worldview.  If we dare, we become conscious co-creators participating in this web of life.

‘Man, at the threshold of the seventh level [Teal] is at the threshold of being human [whereupon there is] recognition of the magnificence of existence and the desire to see that it shall continue to be.’ – Clare Graves, originator of Spiral Dynamics

Crossing this threshold now upon us is no mean feat. It requires every cell and sinew in our bodies to up-stretch into a new way of being-and-doing, a new orientation with ourselves, with who we really are, and all the shadow work and depth psychology, as painful as it may be, that this entails.  One might call it a ‘dark night of the soul’ or ‘the journey towards wholeness’ or, as Jung famously did, ‘individuation’ – it is happening individually in us, if we allow ourselves the chance, or it is forced upon us individually and collectively. We have this conscious choice, in the metamorphic moment in our human history.

 ‘As the world cries out for the shift in perception we know is needed, The Illusion of Separation is a positive response to the deep seated crisis we face… How do we “participate” in creation, rather than seek its control and mere consumption?  Here lie the answers.’ – Ian Skelly, broadcaster and writer, co-author of Harmony by HRH The Prince of Wales

 

‘Giles Hutchins takes us on an amazing tour de force, the intellectual tour of our lives. With ease and incredible clarity, he reveals simultaneously the history and the philosophy and the implications of the dire plight Earth is now within … He does not let us hang there, however, for with equal engaged clarity, he shows us the alternative at hand … Never before, that I know of, has the choice of life, true life, or the path of degradation been put before us with such clear equanimity.’ – Robert Sardello, PhD, Founder of Centre of Spiritual Psychology, author of Love and the Soul: Creating a Future for Earth

 

‘Cutting through habitual denials and academic evasions, Giles Hutchins exposes the delusion at the root of our planetary crisis.  And with a holographic richness of resources and disciplines, he discloses—indeed activates—the attitude that might just provoke our needed evolution. This is a wise and urgent text: may it be heard, and soon!’ – Catherine Keller, Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University, author of On the Mystery

 

‘With clarity and insight Giles Hutchins analyses the roots of our present collective mindset of separation, and yet shows how science and spirituality point to a deeper, inclusive consciousness. Here are signposts for a future that is vitally needed in the present moment.’ – Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD, Sufi teacher and author, Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth

 

 ‘This is a powerful and timely work that asks the most important question of all… Have we evolved from Homo sapiens sapiens (so good we named ourselves twice) into Homo Hubris – the ape that lost its nature.’  – Tim Smit, KBE, founder of The Eden Project

 

 

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

Co-creating a new architecture – regenerative cities

August 22, 2018

 

Contribute to an emerging manifesto designed to challenge and inspire the world’s architects, urban planners, property developers, designers and investors.

 

Today more than ever we find ourselves in a world out of balance. Our planet is hurting. Our institutions are reaching breaking point. Our stress levels are rising, there are escalating levels of social dissonance, depression, anxiety, obesity and political polarisation across our society. However, through the cracks of the old systems comes light. The light of a new era. A new way of living, being and working.

 

Let’s just take a moment to consider the exponential rate of urbanisation. Every week 3 million people move into cities. By 2050 there will be over 10 billion people on our planet and over 70% of us will be living in cities.

 

It is also worth considering that each year 1 million people take their own lives and 300 million suffer from clinical depression. Stress-levels are already dangerously high, and over the next 10 years global stress levels are expected to rise by 30%.

 

One of the great design challenges we have today is to figure out how to design our build environment in a way that activates our humanity and wellbeing rather than undermines it.

 

Given the scale of the social and environmental challenges that we face today, we believe that it is critical to take the conversation surrounding future cities to a much deeper level. It’s time to co-create a new architecture which integrates the wisdom of nature and the science of wellbeing into not only the physical design of our buildings but also the organisational structures and business models that have such a profound impact on how our cities continue to grow and evolve.

 

The new architecture that we propose requires us to think and dream beyond the physical form and inquire about the day-to-day experience of our urban lives. What if we invested more time to explore the architecture of community, organisations, and human relationships? What if we regularly immersed ourselves in nature as a source of inspiration for our work? What if we made an effort to design experiences not just spaces? How would we create a strong feeling of community and trust between neighbours and coworkers?

 

With this shift in mindset a whole new world of investment opportunities and possibilities begin to open up. Rather than thinking of property development as a business of buying and selling physical assets, what if we began to think of property development as being in the business of wellbeing? Now there’s a dream worth contributing to!

 

We would innovate new financial structures and institutional funds that would enable us to facilitate buildings and communal spaces that enhanced life for as long as possible. Sustainability would become a competitive advantage rather than a regulatory burden. The focus for investors and developers would be long-term value-creation for all stakeholders rather than short-term profit maximization for a detached investor.

 

Once this new architecture emerges and proves its value, the capital will flow.

 

What’s needed now is the convergence of the pioneers and disruptors who will lead the way in bringing these ideas into reality at a scale that will create a tipping point in the industry. It is with this broader intention that we wish to host a series of participatory gatherings and discussions with leaders in the field of city development, architecture and the build environment on the following 5 key themes that we deem critical for building a truly resilient, thriving and regenerative world:

 

 

Walkable cities (high density mixed-use development)

We need to design solutions to greatly reduce the time spent in peak time traffic or transit. This can be achieved if cities are built at a human scale through a mixed-use development approach. Once we liberate our high-streets from trucks and cars we can bring back those plazas, squares, lanes and intimate meeting places that somehow always end up being packed full of life and community when the right conditions are created.

 

Co-creation mindset (design for creativity, fun and flexibility)

A co-creation process emerges when we accept our own limitations as individual designers and architects and strive to uncover new perspectives and ideas that challenge our assumptions. It’s about allowing time and space for new thinking to emerge as we deeply reflect and consider the values and vision of each project we work on.

 

Re-connecting with nature (wellbeing, nature and human nature)

The third principle is to ensure that there are plenty of spaces for reconnecting with nature and nourishing our senses, such as intimate parks and communal gardens, and cafes, pubs, libraries, museums and hotel lobbies filled with plants, natural light, cosy furniture and a welcoming community vibe.  Proximity to nature is proven to open up a higher state of consciousness through which we can begin to speak and listen from our open mind-heart-will.

 

 

Cultures of caring (compassionate cities & neighbourhoods)

With the right facilitation and ingredients, we can design collaborative spaces where multi-cultural multi-generational communal conviviality flourishes. We need to become more aware as architects and designers of the special elements and moments that enable people to relax, take off their masks, and feel safe to be themselves.

 

 

Local food production (the power of eating fresh and local)

Our current food system is the leading contributor to climate change and generates ridiculous quantities of waste and illness. It’s a toxic system that needs to be transformed and should be integrated into our discussions around city development, sustainability and communities. How can we enable more local food production and make nutritious, sustainable and fresh food more affordable and accessible for all.

 

Digital enablers (digital catalysing human flourishing)

It’s crucial to think about digital tools and platforms as technological enablers that can bring communities closer together rather than breaking them apart. It’s important to carefully consider the digital dimension of our future cities and to ensure that our buildings are as future-proof as possible. Technology can connect, reduce loneliness, and enable the sharing-economy; however, it has to be used and applied consciously.

 

 

It is with this spirit that we ask interested parties to join us on this co-creative journey.

 

How you can get involved.

 

On Tuesday 18th September, 2018, at the stunning Omved Gardens venue in London we shall be holding a one-day Regenerators gathering.

 

Our intention with this event is to bring together pioneers, disruptors and leaders in the field of city development, architecture and the built environment together with experts in building communities and regenerative business.

 

If you are interested in joining this conversation visit Regenerators here

https://www.regenerators.co/new-regenerative-architecture

 

This article is written by Anton Chernikov, Laura Storm and Giles Hutchins

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

Activating our ‘super-nature’ for Experience Making 2.0

August 14, 2018

There is quite a lot of hype around ‘experience making’ these days.  And perhaps rightly so.

As Experience-Making – creating memorable, lasting, rich experiences – well, that’s the very stuff of life!

Here, we are going to go beyond the superficial and venture into the deep; beyond what we might call Experience-making 1.0 and into the land of Experience-Making 2.0.

And for that I need your help.

I ask you now, as you read this, to pause for a moment, to check inside yourself.  Notice your breathing, your body moving as it breathes.

Notice how deep or shallow you are breathing.

Are you breathing from your chest or deep, from your belly.

Place your hands over your heart and chest area, and sense inward into your body breathing – close your eyes, to switch-off the visual experience and bring your experience inward into the body.

Sense into the heart pumping – beating – like a drum.

As you breathe deep, notice the body moving, and notice the heart beating.

This movement and somatic sensation is going on, all the time, as we talk and walk, as we listen and speak.

It’s a simple shift in our awareness, in our attentiveness to life, that shifts our ability to create and deliver experiences through ourselves, our relationships with others and world.

I would like to share some simple does and don’t about Experience Making.

  • Companies don’t create experiences
  • Logos don’t create experiences
  • Big data, customer analytics, multi-channel consumer transactions, don’t create experiences

We create experiences.

Our humanity, our sensations, emotions and rich social exchanges create experiences.

And…

Deep listening.

Deep listening inside ourselves, deep listening with others, deep listening to the world.

This brings me to Top Tip Number One of Experience-Making 2.0

  • Experience making is first-and-foremost an inner-outer dynamic, a continuous dialogue of self-other-world that is happening all the time. How we show-up shifts this inner-outer dialogue, enriching and deepening it. And first, it starts within.  As Carl Jung famously noted, ‘the one who looks outside dreams, the one who looks inside awakens’.  And that’s what we are in the business of doing, awakening our humanity – nothing more, nothing less. Awakening our humanity activates our super-nature.

This brings me to Top Tip Number 2 of Experience Making

  • Experience-making is not something we can plug-and-play. Its not something we can buy off-the-shelf, to digitise and consumerise our customer relationships with – as much as our mechanistic mind may wish it to be neat and tidy, so we can project manage it to time and budget, delivering it anytime anywhere on-demand.

No. This is about our awakened humanity flowing through our self-other-world relations.  Its the quality of presence we allow to flow through our relationships with all stakeholders (of which customers are an important one, but not to be treated singularly or as a silo. Experience Making 2.0 goes beyond silos and stove-pipes into the real-life of interrelated ecosystems.

To explore this awakened relationality with our stakeholders, we first need to familiarise ourselves with our own inner human repertoire, our natural intelligences, our ‘ways of knowing’, through which we experience life itself and make meaning.

Carl Jung famously referred to our natural intelligences as our four ways of knowing:  intuitive; rational; emotional and somatic

The intuitive way of knowing has often been related to the element fire, and also to SQ or quantum intelligence – its insight and intuition informs us and we bring this insight into our daily awareness, influencing our decisions.  Opening up to this intuitive intelligence requires us to reach beyond the grasping busy-mind of our daily awareness, to quieten, and still ourselves, so we can better cultivate this receptive discernment.

The emotional way of knowing has often been related to the element water, and also to EQ – the feelings always within us, ebbing and flowing, inform and enrich our daily awareness, influencing our decisions.  Opening up to this emotional intelligence requires us to not simply react to feelings but sense-inward, allowing our feelings to have space, so we can consciously respond to these feelings. It is a subtle yet important shift from reactivity to responsiveness, from blind emotional outburst to informed emotional intelligence.

In 1995, Daniel Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence highlighted the importance of emotions and emotional intelligence (EQ) for leadership development and organisational learning. Goleman found that how we cultivate awareness of our own and other’s feelings and consciously respond to these feelings in appropriate ways helps our leadership potential.   Studies show that EQ out-performs IQ as a predictor of job success and performance capability.

Then in 1997, the neuroscientist Candace Pert’s ground-breaking work Molecules of Emotion provided more insight into the integration of body-mind sensations, feelings and thoughts, in what Pert referred to as the ‘psychosomatic network’ – an integrated system of psyche and soma. The psyche comprises the nonmaterial aspects such as mind, emotion and soul, and the soma comprises the material aspects such as the cells, organs and tissues.

This brings us on to another of Carl Jung’s ways of know: somatic intelligence. Our somatic and sensorial way of knowing has often been related to the element earth, and also to PQ.  This is the sensations we have in our body, for instance, gut pangs, or tickle in the throat, hairs on the back of the neck, or chest perturbations. Our soma (as Pert scientifically explored) is full of psychosomatic sensations that inform our psyche. As we allow ourselves to quieten and sense into the somatic intelligence within us, we enrich our conscious awareness and invite in more intelligence into our daily awareness, so as to be better at sensing and responding to changes within and all around us.

And finally, Jung’s fourth way of knowing, is the rational analytic intelligence – which has been related to the element air, and also to IQ.  This tends to be the dominant intelligence we call upon  in today’s busyness. Our head-logic, the analytic mechanisations it creates, is what dominates today’s meetings, conversations and decisions. It is but one intelligence within our human repertoire, yet when it dominates too much, it can suppress our other ways of knowing.

When we allow these 4 ways of knowing – intuitive (fire), rational (air), emotional (water), somatic (earth) – to cohere within us, we allow these 4 elements of nature to integrate in their rightful way within is. As we integrate these 4 elements of nature, we open ourselves us to the 5th element, the Akasha, or what the brilliant British scientist David Bohm referred to as the ‘ground of all being’ – a generative field that permeates space, it is within and all around us all the time, if we so choose to tap into it.

By integrating our 4 ways of knowing, we awaken our deeper nature, and tap into the 5th element: our true nature, and the wisdom of Nature within and all around us, the synchronistic and systemic capacity we need to thrive in times of increased volatility.   We tap into the generative field of life – what the ancient Chinese called the Way of Nature – and we participate in life-affirming regenerative ways of being-and-doing.

This is our super-nature, it is well within our natural capacity, and all it requires is for us to integrate our natural human repertoire within us.

This is the important basis for awakening our humanity, and for dealing with the root cause of our plethora of crises (whether it be climate change through to rampant social inequality – and what lies at root is a flawed way of attending to life, which can only be rectified at source – within ourselves, by awakening our true nature).

While this shift into our true nature is in some regards quite simple – it requires no credit card, no PhD or complex scientific undertaking – it is not necessarily easy in today’s world of dis-ease and distraction.

To make this shift, we have to cross a threshold.

For various reason – which I have written about in detail in the book The Illusion of Separation – our current socio-economic worldview honours the rational analytic way of attending to such an extent that it has come to dominate, to crowd-out and suppress our other ways of knowing.

The rational-analytic way of attending is a powerful tool in our human repertoire. It’s great at getting the job done, doing the to-do list, project managing, engineering solutions. We need it, and it has provided great advancements in medicine, transportation, technology and such like that we all enjoy.

Yet, if we allow it to overly dominate our daily awareness then it undermines our human potential, and it cuts us off from who we truly are. Before we know it, we actually lose touch with our very sense of place and purpose in this world:  enter the contagion of consumerism in our midst, where we seek silo’ed techno-fixes to wicked systemic problems. Our places of work become mechanised cultures where assets (including ‘human resources’ ) are sweated for short-term returns. We spend much of our time in soul-less drudgery working in top-down hierarchic command-and-controlled KPI-obsessed organisations and find ourselves too busy to ask why.

Albert Einstein put his finger right on it, when he said;

Here lies the problem, and the solution – pure genius.

We find ourselves so caught up in the rational-analytic mind that we do not have time to give ourselves the space to really tune-in to our intuitive, emotional and somatic intelligences.

Crossing the Threshold

Interestingly, the root word for Leadership ‘leith’ means to ‘cross the threshold’ to ’die and be reborn’ to ‘let go of old ways of thinking and embrace the new’.

Having hosted space for myriad leaders to cross the threshold, and having taking innumerable cohorts of senior leaders on deep-dive transformative experiences, I would like to share with you this secret.  It’s a very simple secret…

We need do nothing more, nor nothing less that awakening our humanity in order to cross the threshold, and allow our experience of life to be flooded with meaning, purpose, enlivened engagement and rich experience-making potential.

You and me, every one of us, are exquisite experience-makers, we have within us all we need to create and partake in transformative, meaningful and lasting experiences.

Through practices and techniques that help integrate our ways of knowing, while holding space in a way that creates trust for open-mind, open-heart and open-will, we allow our humanity to do its magic, and tap into the 5th element within and all around us. We become super-natural.

It is here, in these generative spaces, that we begin, we sense and respond while calling forth Regenerative Leadership with natural resilience.  Our super-nature is in our very nature.  It’s the stuff of life, and we can unlock it with each breath, each moment, each conversation, if we so choose.

For sure, we need to practice practice practice if we are to re-program our overly grasping rational-analytic mind as we ease back into a more integrated air-water-earth-fire combo amid the stresses and strains of everyday fast-paced living.

But once we realise the root problem, then we can prioritise this practice and give it the attention it surely deserves.

Crossing this threshold from a dis-eased lop-sided way of attending to life, into an integrated awakened, super-natural way of attending can be done time and again throughout the day, each and every conversation providing the crucible for our crossing.

The more we cross the threshold, the more we become self-aware, the more we deepen our systemic perception, the more we open up to the magnificence of life. When coherent, our intuitive, rational, emotional and somatic intelligences guide us into flow: the optimal of human experiences.

‘Attention is a moral act: it creates, brings aspects of things into being, in doing so makes others recede. What a thing is depends on who is attending to it and in what way.’ Iain McGilchrist, neuroscientist

Our brain is a powerful organ of perception, filtering how we perceive the world.

The ground-breaking research of neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist shows how our perception of the world depends upon whether our brain activity is more in our left-brain hemisphere than our right-brain hemisphere.

The right brain hemisphere sees the inter-relationality of life, and integrates our intuitive emotional and somatic intelligences from our bodymind.

The left-hemisphere sees the rational-analytic bits and bytes, it compartmentalises, silo’s, focuses-in and takes specific content out of the lived-in content of the right-brain hemisphere.  It also honours the past habits and routines more than the novel emerging future, and so attempts to mechanise change into predictable step-by-step routines.  It re-presents and compartmentalises our lived-in experience of the world, filtering it into a disembodied independent autonomous sense of self that needs to manage and control its interactions in mechanised ways.  Hence, it goes hand-in-hand with a heightened ego-awareness.

In reality, we need both ways of attending, and we can allow each hemisphere to readily inter-relate like two hands playing the piano, synchronised yet with an element of freedom to differentiate.

From McGilchrist’s and others’ research it seems that over the last few decades we have become more and more orientated towards a left-hemispheric way of attending, which skews us towards the bits and bytes, towards the mechanisation and analytic reductionism of life.  This heightens our sense of self as separate from and in competition with the world. It also exacerbates the view of the organisation as a machine that ought self-maximise through top-down hierarchic control in a dog-eat-dog world of hyper-competition.

Enter the ‘organisation as machine’ metaphor so pervasive in mainstream management theory that has been playing out for the last few decades.

As we more readily integrate the left and right brain hemispheres, we open up our perceptual horizon and allow in our other natural intelligences.  We sense into how the world really is beyond our mechanisations. We sense into how the world really is beyond our mechanisations.

How do we do this?

First, we must realise that a healthy brain calls upon different brain-wave frequencies and neural network patterns.

Naturally, we have alpha, beta, gamma and delta frequencies within our brain, and yet for much of today’s busyness – from the time our alarm-clock jolts us out of bed, into commuter rush, and relentless emails, meetings, conference calls, targets and decisions, to the commuter rush home, before crashing out in front of the TV – our brains spend too much time in a high-beta brain-wave state.

This puts us in a state of fight-flight for too much of our daily awaking life, and overly stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which triggers certain hormone secretion (cortisol, adrenaline, etc.). This further exacerbates the imbalance within ourselves, further closing down our attentiveness to our intuitive, emotional and somatic intelligences.  Our natural capacity for empathy, for deep listening, for creativity and relationality is significantly diminishes.  Then, in this diminished state of heightened anxiety and overly-analytic grasping, we seek solutions ‘out there’ to our problems, we further devise mechanisms, engineered solutions, metrics, digitised channel-communications and Big Data to solve the problems we create with this dis-eased way of attending.

Yes, we need insightful business intelligence, customer analytics and technologies to aid us in solving today’s challenges, and yet as tools serving our deeper humanity.

It’s time to pause, breath-deep, integrate our super-nature, and awaken our true nature, so we can see beyond the symptoms of today’s challenges towards the root problem – ourselves, our jaundice way of attending to life.

‘The ground of all being cannot be lost. Know that simply by opening yourself to ‘it’ again and again your capacity to sustain its natural presence throughout your daily life will increase.’

Elias Amidon, mystic

Open Up Your Heart

Did you know, the heart is not just a pump pumping oxygenated blood to every single cell in our bodies 100,000 times a day without fail… no… its much more than that.

Our heart within us, we can feel pumping now within us, as we reorientate our awareness within our chest, for a brief moment.

Pause…Breathe…Sense the heart pumping within.

This heart is a powerful organ of perception, thousands of times more powerful magnetically than the brain at sensing and responding subtle perturbations in our surrounds all the time, directly updating the brain.

 ‘And now here is my secret, it is a very simple secret, it is only with the heart that one sees rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ – The Little Prince

During the deep-dive immersions I take leaders on, we undertake certain practices that cultivate heart-awareness and enable ‘heart entrainment’ between our three main neurological centres: head, heart, gut.  And with this, our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems cohere and our natural human repertoire coheres. Hormones change, senses liven – we tap into our super-nature, we reorientation our awareness to be co-participating with the generative field of life within and all around us, we re-connect with the ground-of-all-being.

And so to summarise, we are in the midst of a metamorphosis, profound shifts are affecting us at deep and partly unconscious levels, calling in to question our very sense of place and purpose in this world.  How we awakening our awareness of self-other-world is what will enable us to cross the threshold, to shift our consciousness beyond that which creates today’s problems in the first place.

As the French philosopher Marcel Proust who said,

‘The greatest voyage of our lifetimes is not in the seeking of new landscapes, but in the seeing with new eyes.’

 

Giles Hutchins is Chair of The Future Fit Leadership Academy www.ffla.co adviser to a number of leading organisations and co-founder of Regenerators and Biomimicry for Creative Innovation.

 

 

 

Embracing Natural Resilience – Expanding Leadership Capacity for a New Normal

July 13, 2018

A new leadership normal is emerging.

Today’s leaders are facing an unprecedented level and pace of change, with many of the business challenges we face being quite different in their systemic nature from those before. As hot-off-the-press leadership research indicates, our traditional methods and modes of organisational learning and leadership development are inadequate for the business environment we now face.

A new way of learning, adapting and evolving as leaders and organisations is now demanded by our business context.

‘In order to do well in the emerging new business environments, organisations and their leaders have to develop a new cognitive capability, a new learning capacity for sensing, embodying and enacting emerging futures.’ – Peter Senge, et al

Agile Leadership, Systemic Capacity, Systems Thinking, Complexity Thinking, Eco-Intelligence, Regenerative Leadership, call it what you will – leaders able to master this new cognitive ability are the leaders that will be fit for the emerging future.

Thought leaders and practitioners Christopher Cooke and Giles Hutchins pool their decades of leadership and organisational development experience, ground-breaking insights and practical tools for a special two-day deep-dive leadership immersion to equip leaders to embrace this new leadership normal.

This new normal is revealing itself through multi-dimensional change-upon-change blended with systemic ‘wicked problems’. It requires the cultivation of ‘systemic perception’ and holistic sense-making amid diverse views, rich interdependent partner eco-systems, unfolding emergence and fast-paced turbulence. This invites an expansion of awareness within us; a shift that enlivens a latent systemic capacity within us.

 ‘I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.’ Oliver Wendell Holmes

To recognise this places us at the edge of the current discourse; the edge of leadership and organisational development; most of all – the edge of ourselves and our social systems.   It invites us to cross thresholds, within ourselves, our systems and our civilisation.

This two-day, nature-led experience, guides us on a journey into a deeper appreciation of the language of life, the logic of living-systems, and the wisdom of nature. It is a deep dive into the flows, patterns and principles of living-systems, to enable us to grow into the change that has already happened. We will be working with a rich blend of impressions, insights and wisdom – the woods and fields our classroom.

‘Perception is intellectual, emotional, physical, cultural, and relational. Making sense is sensorial. Increasing sensitivity is necessary to find new ways through old patterns.’  Nora Bateson

 This is a personal invitation to join an intimate yet diverse group of leaders exploring the edges of the new. It takes place in the heart of the Cotswolds in a seclude valley, 5mins cab ride from Stroud mainline station. It includes an overnight solo in the woods, and includes all refreshments, camping equipment, and meals.

‘A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.’ Oliver Wendell Holmes

We will learn about regenerative leadership while in the woods together, we shall apply advanced adult developmental psychology and human emergence techniques while out in the field together, we shall eat and share living insights about leadership round the fire together, yet sleep in solo with spacious peace, tranquillity, safety and humility.

Giles Hutchins is Chair of The Future Fit Leadership Academy, co-founder of Regenerators, senior adviser to forward-thinking organisations, and specialist on Regenerative Business.

Christopher Cooke is co-founder of 5Deep, originator of The Human Emergence framework, and specialist on Spiral Dynamics, Tier 2 Consciousness and Integral Psychology.

‘Look deep deep deep into nature and you will understand everything better.’ Albert Einstein

If this nature immersion is of interest to you, contact us via The Future Fit leadership Academy www.ffla.co

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