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A New Norm in Business Demands a New Norm in Leadership: Let’s Unlock Two Powerful Tools for this New Norm

May 5, 2021

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 bring to our organisations and wider social systems.

There are myriad factors contributing to this metamorphic moment.  To start with, there is immense stress in all systems.  According to a recent global Gallup poll, we have never been so stressed out before as we are now. Ditto for our workplaces and wider social systems, and rising stress across industrial, political and financial systems.  Likewise, there is immense stress across the ecological systems upon which all of life depends.

This wide-spread stress ripens the conditions for breakdown-breakthrough.

When we look at the organisational level there are other factors ripening the conditions for breakdown-breakthrough. For instance, rapid digitization, new ways of working, lower transaction costs, disruptive innovations, system-shocks like COVID and climate change, and social-shifts: Gen Y/Z, the search for purpose and meaning through work, life-time learning, career mobility, corporate responsibility, diversity and inclusion, agile ways of working, and more.

These increasingly complex and volatile times demand organisational development and leadership development that enables future-fitness, agility and resilience in ways as yet unseen.

The number one most important thing facing our leaders today is the capacity to embrace this complexity and transform the organisation amid turbulence.

One global CEO that took part in a leadership study I contributed to with Henley Business School used the impactful metaphor of leadership these days being like having to retrofit an aeroplane in mid-flight while keeping the ground-crew, in-flight crew and all the customers on-board happy, all while outside turbulence is rising.

Change upon change upon change – volatility, complexity, uncertainty.

This new-norm requires a shift in way of thinking. It requires a shift in consciousness no less.

This shift in leadership consciousness is from a narrowing-down reductive perspective that compartmentalises the organisation like a machine, with silos, units of command-and-control hierarchies, with predictable and measurable cause-and-effect linear relationships to be managed and controlled through carrot-stick levers.

This mechanistic-mindset is born out of a militarised mind that has created a worldview of separateness, hyper-competition, scarcity, fear and control. Its roots span way back in human history, yet it has become overly-dominant in business during recent decades.  Aspects of this reductive machine-mindset have served us well during the Industrial Revolution, and yet as a dominant paradigm it is wholly unfit-for-purpose for the new-norm of 21st century business.

We are now witnessing a new leadership consciousness emerging.  In the book Regenerative Leadership, we explore this new way of leading in detail, and refer to it as Regenerative Leadership Consciousness.

This new way of leading is able to sense into not just the parts but the relationships between the parts and also sense the whole organisation as a complex living-system.  This capacity to sense the organisation-as-a-living-system draws upon two core capacities we have as leaders: self-awareness and systemic-awareness.  We can (and must) learn to cultivate, practice and deepen these natural capacities of self-awareness and systemic-awareness in order to become a future-fit leader.

Self-Awareness:

Self-awareness has two dimensions to it – horizontal and vertical.

The horizontal dimension of self-awareness is the quality of attention we bring to each moment, in the here-and-now, which has two aspects to it – presence and purposefulness.

The purposefulness we bring to each moment depends upon the power of our intention.  How engaged are we in what we are attending to?  Can we – through our intention – allow ourselves to attend whole-heartedly to this moment?  This power of purpose is not an ‘outer’ grasping for a desired outcome or some future ‘north star’. Instead it is an inner-outer alignment found through our own inner-coherence and deep inner-connection with our own true nature.  This purposefulness is simultaneously a daily practice, a path we learn to walk, and an inner sense of discernment and rightness that provides direction.

IMAGE – Power of Purpose

This inner power of purpose empowers us to sense inwardly and outwardly in an ungrasping, fully available, yet intentional way – beyond predefined outcomes, yet fully-engaged in the unfolding process of what is emerging in the moment, whether during an in-person conversation or on-line meeting. 

This purposefulness contributes to creating flow inside ourselves and also through our relations with others.  It is much more than a well-crafted mission-statement or values-charter stuck on the wall, it is something that is lived in the day-to-day through practice, discernment and inner-coherence.

This relates to the second aspect of this horizontal dimension of self-awareness: Presence.   If purposefulness calls upon the power of intention, then presence is the power of attention

Intention + Attention = Flow

Purposefulness + Presence = Flow (aka, heightened Self-Awareness)

The presence we bring to each moment depends upon our capacity to sense, to be fully available, alive, undivided, fully-here, listening attentively, intimately engaged with everything that is said or unsaid, the whole gestalt of what is here in-this-moment.  This requires us to be awareness of our own triggers, blind-spots, emotions, and inner-constrictions that can distract us from being fully present.

MIT leadership specialist Otto Scharmer, in his Theory U, notes that all the time we are flickering between absencing and presencing.  Just spend a few moments in silence noticing your own awareness, and you will come accustomed to how you sometimes are distracted and sometimes present.

When we are absencing, we are tuning-out of the moment, getting caught up in our own inner-dialogue, only seeing what we want to see, and projecting ‘our stuff’ on to the other, rather than really tuning-in and being present to what is emerging.

Hence to cultivate presence, we have to notice our own stuff and connect more deeply within and also all-around-us with the present moment, unencumbered, undefended, authentic, humble, curious and courageous.

We often do this quite naturally when engaging in a new activity, playing a sport or musical instrument, or going on holiday to a new place.  The challenge is being able to call upon this quality of presence amidst the hum-drum of back-to-back meetings or during a difficult conversation with a colleague while meeting a deadline.

Scharmer speaks to 3 voices we have inside us that can get in the way of our ability to presence: the Voice of Judgement, the Voice of Cynicism, the Voice of Fear.

We all have these three voices inside us.  They are here to protect us. They keep us safe in the status-quo by judging, being cynical or fearful of anything that does not fit-in with our pre-defined filters of normalness. Yet these voices get in the way of our own learning and growth, and reduce down our capacity to deal with change, uncertainty and complexity.

In order to tap into Regenerative Leadership Consciousness we need to be able to notice these three Voices within is (Judgement, Cynicism, Fear) and allow these voices to ease their power over us, so that we can be more attentive to the moment, and see beyond the judgement, cynicism and fear within us.  This is the self-mastery that comes with cultivating this first dimension – the Horizontal dimension – of self-awareness.

So, the Horizontal dimension of our self-awareness consists of presence and purposefulness, which we can learn to deepen with each day of life. Life is the meditation. Life is the learning-classroom.

We are learning how we embrace life in-the-moment by becoming less reactive and defensive, and more attuned, alive and in flow with whatever arises.  We are learning to tune-in to life by letting-go of our inner-voices and filters, and notice our inner dis-eases and distractions, so as to overcome them.

Then there is the Vertical dimension – the worldview we bring to bear on the present moment.  This worldview is the sphere of consciousness we see the world through, which can shift from being a narrow limited view into a more expansive and relational view, as we move up the Vertical dimension.  This is about learning to open-up to more of life, undefended, open-hearted, coherent and whole.

Self Awareness (Horizontal Dimension) = Presence + Purposefulness

Self-Awareness (Vertical Dimension) = Worldview Shift in Consciousness

Inside each of us as human beings, we have an immense capacity to sense reality. Yet much of the time we are tuning-out a large part of reality in order to cope with the complex, fluid and emergent nature of real life.  Habits, old-wounds, unconscious biases, judgements, inner-constrictions, and such like, filter the way we see the world.  Our ‘inner-stuff’ influences how we see the outer world.  As the novelist Anais Nin insightfully noted, ‘we don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are’.

We are managing, controlling, filtering and limiting our experience of life all the time.  Yet, we can open up our control-filters as we expand our worldview.  This is a ‘vertical’ shift in consciousness, that allows for an expanded perspective, that deepens our inner-outer connectivity with life.

This ‘vertical development’ is the land of Adult Developmental Psychology where different levels of consciousness have been scientifically researched and categorised by various psychologists over the years.

One such adult developmental psychologist, whose original research underpins models used in business today, is Clare Graves.  His levels of consciousness have been applied to Spiral Dynamics and also used by Ken Wilber and more recently by Frederick Laloux in his work on Reinventing Organisations.

Graves’ research reveals a step-change shift from Tier 1 Consciousness to Tier 2 Consciousness at both the personal (leader) and collective (organisation) levels.   Such a step-change in worldview, is also identified by other adult developmental psychologists, for instance, Jean Gebster’s structures of human consciousness, Abraham Maslow’s theory of psychological health culminating in self-actualization, Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, Jane Loevinger’s and Susanne Cook-Greuter’s work on self-identity, Bill Torbert’s and Barret Brown’s post-conventional action-logics leadership research, and Bob Kegan’s work on constructive-developmental levels of consciousness.   For the purposes of this article, we shall draw upon Clare Graves’ work and also how it relates to Frederick Laloux’s work on Teal-Evolutionary next-stage organisations and leaders.

This shift from Tier 1 to Tier 2 is the shift now required by leaders of today in order to deal with complexity and ambiguity while also inviting in a greater sense of purpose, authenticity and agility into the work place.

Here is Frederick Laloux’s application of Ken Wilber’s and Spiral Dynamics’ work on vertical development for organisations.

Let’s hone in on the Tier 1 levels of Orange and Green, and the Tier 2 level of Teal and explain these in greater depth. (What follows here draws upon Hutchins & Storm’s Regenerative Leadership)

Orange Level of consciousness

The Orange Level represents the enterprising corporate consciousness prevalent across today’s business thinking. At this level of consciousness, the main orientation is toward producing a good life and playing to win. Orange-thinking draws upon a mechanistic logic and prioritizes reductive analysis and sees mechanical cause-effect levers and power-and-control based hierarchies as the answer to organizational management. It’s great at creating technology-led innovation to meet our needs, achieving material success, engineering and innovating progress.

The organizational metaphor of Orange is organization-as-machine.  The core values of this level are: success, autonomy, self-interest, learning through experience, meritocracy, professional development, and the power of science and technology-led innovation. Orange leadership consciousness is concerned with hitting the numbers, capitalizing new markets, beating the competition, and management by objectives and financial incentives. Orange leadership does not concern itself with sustainability or ethics unless it is mandatory or directly impacts the bottom-line.

Green Level of consciousness

Green is a level up from Orange, an evolution of consciousness.The Green Level represents those who have become aware of how the Orange Level’s singular striving for material progress has created imbalances, selfish greed, social inequality, and environmental degradation. Green-thinking seeks to liberate humanity from greed and selfishness by promoting a sense of community and restoring a sense of human equality.

The Greenlevel of leadership consciousness focuses on an empowering human-centric culture to achieve extraordinary employee motivation for delivering stakeholder value. Green leadership likes consensus and recognizes the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) and empathy in leadership. At this level of consciousness, sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics, values-charters, sense of community and purpose, all rise up the leadership agenda. Yet, these aspects often tend to be managed and controlled by a mechanistic, silo’ed, consensus-driven approach and can get caught in the mire of rules and bureaucracy.  Meetings upon meetings can stifle the vitality of the organization.   

Green is a healthy step up from Orange. It helps prepare us for the next stage: Tier 2 Consciousness.

Stepping up a level of consciousness from Green is a big shift – the shift from Tier 1 into Tier 2. Graves went as far as calling it “a momentous leap for humankind”. It is not something that can be rushed or forced, yet we can help create the conditions conducive for the shift to happen.

Unlike Orange and Green, Tier 2 consciousness is rooted in a systemic awareness of the interdependence of all the systems the organisation interrelates with. The organisation is perceived as a living, learning, adaptive system. Tier 2-thinking asks each individual to take self-responsibility for being part of this adaptive system, realising that we are immersed within a pattern that connects (to use a phrase Gregory Bateson coined when describing this systemic-awareness). Our inner-outer relations in everyday life are part-and-parcel of this pattern that connects – how we show-up and interact with one part of the system sends ripples throughout the entire system.

This brings us to the second Leadership Dynamic we need for Regenerative Leadership Consciousness:  Systemic-Awareness.

Systemic Awareness:

As we open-up our self-awareness both horizontally (presence & purposefulness) and vertically (worldview expansion from machine into living-systems) we open ourselves up to more of how life really is.  This is an emancipatory process, and yet can be painful and challenging, just like any birthing process, with fits and starts, and courageous contractions to overcome inner constrictions.  This is the metamorphic process of the caterpillar becoming the butterfly: a death-rebirth no less.

As we start to open-up to life more, we learn to sense into the relational and systemic nature of how life is, and how our organisations are. Beyond the superficial confines of our org-charts, silos, power-plays and politics, we can start to sense hidden ordering forces in ourselves, in our team dynamics and across the organisational system.  This systemic capacity to sense and respond to hidden dynamics, flows, stuckness, nodal points and emergent dynamics within the organisation-as-living-system is crucial for allowing the organisation to adapt and evolve in these turbulent times. 

Systems Thinking has been on the rise in leadership consciousness for some years now, yet systemic-awareness is more than systems-thinking.

Systems Thinking refers to the shift from mechanistic thinking to a way of thinking that perceives the inter-relation of the parts within the whole system and understands that all systems are nested within other systems. This shift also represents the shift from overly dominant left-brain processing to a more integrated left-right brain awareness, where we see the parts along with the relationships between the parts that contribute to the organization-as-living-system.

Systems Thinking is a shift in thinking that takes place at the head level. It relates to what MIT leadership specialist Otto Scharmer refers to as open mind. We open up our mind to see things differently, to see the inter-relations, the patterns and dynamics at the systems level.

Systemic Awareness refers to a shift in our relationship with the system. In Systems Thinking we are looking at the system from outside the system looking in. For instance, an organization may map out all the inter-relations and draw-up a systems map. With Systemic Awareness we are now in-the-system, and opening our awareness to the seen and unseen tacit flows of knowledge, feedback and relational energy that are constantly fluctuating throughout the system. You might even call this the ‘baggage’ that people in the organization bring into meetings, conversations and relationships.

Systemic Awareness embodies the way we listen or attend to others, the judgements or cultural bias we filter through, and how these factors contribute to the way we participate in the system. The history of the organization, any trauma it may be carrying, and also the cultural and historic systems it’s inter-relating with all form part of the rich systemic picture we become more aware of. We transcend the level of observation to the level of immersion – a shift at the heart and body level. It relates to Otto Scharmer’s Open Heart and Open Will level of his Theory U, as it is an embodied participatory engagement with the system, and involves us opening-up and crossing a threshold within ourselves so as to be more vulnerable, available and open to sensing hidden dynamics in the system.

Clearly this level of systemic-awareness also calls upon our self-awareness, and both alchemise to create Regenerative Leadership Consciousness.  As leaders, we recognise that the organisational living-system is deeply immersed in myriad of ecosystem relationships within the organisation and beyond, both locally and globally. Employees, customers, suppliers, investors, partners, communities, society, and the ecological systems – nothing is separate, everything is interconnected. The organisation is constantly in dialogue with all of its stakeholders, just as a living organism within its ecosystem is constantly sensing, adapting and evolving.

Sustainability is integral to how the business realizes its mission, as there is an inherent understanding that all of life on Earth is interconnected and interdependent. Rather than silo’ed P&L responsibility and line-management, we find a desire for a more fluid and emergent way of working. It’s about a coaching culture of learning, feedback and adaptation. Leadership is distributed. Meetings and decision-making protocols encourage a rich quality of interaction where people share in authentic and respectful ways while giving open and honest feedback, learning and growing as individuals and a collective.  The organisational structure is much flatter; there is less parent-child behaviour within the culture and more self-management – everyone is a leader, everyday a learning journey. Mission-driven purposefulness, self-responsibility and integrative wholeness are the essence here. 

The core values of this Regenerative Leadership Consciousness are: inner rightness, self-learning, a life-affirming sense of purpose, self-and-systemic awareness, self-responsibility for cultivating the conditions for our true nature to unfold, and a sense of connectedness with all life.

Every inter-relation becomes an opportunity to seek deeper authenticity and wholeness through sensing and responding with compassion, courage and vulnerability. 

The psychologist Ken Wilber famously said that each higher level of consciousness transcends and includes the levels before it. This is an important point.  As we reach into Regenerative Leadership Consciousness, we are still able to draw upon and utilize the thinking of Orange and Green, as we have learned useful approaches and methods in these earlier stages. It’s not about leaving it all behind but rather evolving to the next stage. The challenge and opportunity for Regenerative Leaders is to integrate Orange, Green and Tier 2-thinking amid every day pressures, while being aware of our own ingrained patterns of reactivity.

There are aspects of Orange-thinking that we need to know how to include, and also how to transcend. Orange-thinking hits the numbers, manages deadlines and budgets, drives efficiency in production, and keeps tight compliance procedures. All of which is necessary to the running of a business; however, the challenge arises when Orange-thinking dominates to such an extent that it undermines the organization’s capacity to thrive as a whole. Likewise, Green-thinking is fundamental to developing a culture of respect and trust. It is Green-thinking that helps us sense-in to the values and perspectives of our stakeholders and to form values-based partnerships that can generate significant business value.  Yet, we also need to be able to transcend rules-based bureaucracy inherent in Green-thinking when self-management, creativity and agility are needed.

This image below shows the three levels of consciousness at the organizational level.

Orange is the base level – we need to draw upon this thinking. It provides efficient processes for organizational culture (human resource management) and operations (lean process improvement). Yet on its own, it provides for a mechanistic organization that lacks any deeper purpose beyond hitting the numbers. Sustainability tends to be limited to cost-reduction, compliance or brand and marketing initiatives.

Green is a step-up from this, and the culture is not limited to managing and controlling human resources, but more about empowering people while encouraging wellbeing in the workplace. The operational and sustainability mindset is more aware of the entire stakeholder ecosystem.  

When we move into Tier 2 the organizational culture, operations and sustainability approaches are more self-organizing, agile and fluid dependent upon the local needs and changing context. Leadership is distributed across all levels, and everyone is responsible for enlivening the culture, the operations and the sustainability of the organization.

While Tier 2 Regenerative Leadership Consciousness is crucial to the coming sea-change, leaders cannot expect every person in the organization to be operating at Tier 2 consciousness. Hence, we need to be able to notice when people, teams, and the overall organization is drawing from more of an Orange, Green, or Tier 2 mindset. Where is the organization’s center of gravity, and how is this affecting the whole? In certain instances, it may be sensible for the team to be more in Orange mode, other times in Green mode, as long as the organization-as-living-system is supported by an overarching Regenerative Leadership Consciousness. Then, the leadership and the organization can transcend and include all three levels.

Regenerative Leadership Consciousness and Complex Systems

To start to see in systems, and sense into complexity, is to be able to see more of life as it really is. To see reality beyond the constraints of our education and dominant cultural perspectives and narratives, is not at all easy. It requires an up-stretch in our adult developmental psychology, along with a threshold-crossing, a process of death-rebirth.

The dying of an old way – of how we see ourselves and the systems we participate in – is not always comfortable as it challenges us in deep and partly unconscious ways.  We resist, as old habits and perspectives have become ingrained.  Yet, the process of opening into a more systemic way of thinking-being-doing is an evolution in our human awareness, which re-enlivens a latent capacity within us. For over 95% of our human history, from hunter-gathers, through early civilisation all the way up to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, a systemic way of attending was more prevalent than it is today.  It is only over the last 400 years – and especially in the last 50 years – that we have allowed a mechanistic-reductive awareness to be so dominant, and a systemic way to be so suppressed.  This is the challenge of bringing in a systemic awareness, in that it goes against the grain of today’s positivistic addiction for hard-data, tangible-proof, reductive statistical modelling, clear-cut outcomes, pre-defined learning objectives,  neat-and-tidy cause-and-effect linearity, carrot-and-stick metrics, and silo’ed mechanistic thinking. 

Yet, systemic does not mean we turn our back on reductive methods. There is a lot of truth in the managerial maxim ‘what gets measured gets done’ and there is a lot of usefulness in defining things neatly and having focused outcomes. The reductive (mechanistic) and the systemic (living-systems) are healthy bed-fellows.  Just as we all have left and right brain hemispheres for good reason. 

As we enter this new-norm of business, it is ever-more useful for our designers, innovators, change-agents and leaders to be able to draw upon both a mechanistic and a systemic perspective freely, and to discern when to call upon one more than the other or integrate them in their interventions.

Shifting Beyond Separation into Reconnection/Regeneration

In Regenerative Leadership, we highlight 4 areas of rising dominance that contributed to today’s mechanistic worldview.  We can seek integration of these 4 areas as we shift into a more integrated systemic-and-mechanistic worldview, which is grounded in an understanding of the interconnectedness-and-differentiation of real-life in our organisations and social systems.

The 4 main areas currently influencing today’s mechanistic logic are:

  1. Left-Right Hemisphere: the rising domination of left-brain hemispheric attention over right-brain hemispheric attention, which leads to a focusing in on the parts and a de-emphasising of the whole/holistic-perspective
  2. Masculine-Feminine: the rising domination of masculine qualities of ‘doing-assertiveness-competing’ over feminine qualities of ‘being-receptivity-collaborating’ – some people may prefer the language of yin-yang, where yang conveys masculine awareness and yin the feminine, as this is not about gender stereotypes, rather it’s about qualities of awareness that play out in both males and females
  3. Outer-Inner: the prioritisation of outer attention – focusing on what is seen, tangible and measurable – over inner psychological-emotional-intuitive attention – what is unseen, implicit and immeasurable yet a real and potent influence in life
  4. Human-Nature: a widening chasm between an anthropocentric ego-human-orientated view of reality and a deeper embodied sense of connection with all of life

These 4 imbalances inform the dominant mechanistic worldview. 

In order to become more systemic in our awareness (feel-think-be-do) it helps to be conscious of these underlying imbalances. To rebalance the inner-outer, masculine-feminine, human-nature, left-right hemisphere is a journey towards wholeness, a metamorphic undertaking.

There are tools and approaches to help us shift into a more integrated way of attending to life, and yet this is more than tool-application, it’s a shift in our whole-bodied way of attending to life, a shift in our way of living, that plays out each and every day.  

Regenerative Leadership Consciousness comes with an opening up to the magnificence of existence – nothing more, nothing less.

Life is ecology. Life is an unfolding interweave of relationships. Nothing is neat-and-tidy, only our own mechanistic framings that seek to cut-up and separate life into compartments. Separateness is not real life, which is fluid, emergent and relational.  Understanding these inherent dynamics, rhythms and ways of life helps us become better leaders and better human-beings.

Life is systemic. Life is participation. Life uses tensions as crucibles for emergence.

Life is also full of breakdown-breakthrough death-rebirth cycles where a phase-change to a different way of operating, a shift in worldview and/or a new business model creates an evolutionary up-stretch into a new symphony of learning dynamics within the leadership and organisation.

The good news is, we can take inspiration from life itself in terms of helping us become more regenerative.  As Clare Graves knew, ‘Understand how nature functions and you know how to behave [in Tier 2]’.

In the book Regenerative Leadership, we explore the Logic of Life – synthesising insights from nature for leadership and organisational development. The 7 principles of the Logic of Life are:

  1. Life Affirming – life creates conditions conducive for life, and is innately regenerative when allowed to be. Yet toxicity and degenerative behaviour can easily occur in human systems, when we lose coherence and get out-of-flow, hence learning to sense stuckness and allow space for flow to emerge is vital for future-fitness.
  2. Ever-changing and responsive – systems have inherent learning in them, and we can become aware of the learning patterns, and start to notice their developmental and evolutionary nature
  3. Relational and collaborative – while there is competition and separation in life, the overriding driver is collaboration and relationality
  4. Synergistic and diverse – life banks on diversity, and this diversity creates tensions of difference that create dinergy/synergy that yields emergence, new ways, the flow of life
  5. Cyclic and seasonal-rhythmical – life flows through emergence and yet there are rhythms and cycles that inform each other, to create punctuated evolution (moments of system transformation/metamorphosis)
  6. Flows of energy and matter – systems are made up of flows of energy and matter exchanging throughout the system, recycling, reusing, renewing
  7. Living systems field – quantum science shows us what we knew before the mechanistic perspective of the Enlightenment suppressed it, that life is interconnected. There is an intangible field that connects everything and explains non-local phenomena and entanglement. This field has many names, for instance, ‘the quantum vacuum’, ‘universe’, ‘source’, ‘ground of all being’, ‘collective unconscious’. As we tap into the field we open up to more of life.

Going through the 7 principles, contemplating them while sitting in nature, and then reflecting on how they might apply to our own leadership style and organisational development, can help us open into Regenerative Leadership Consciousness.

In Regenerative Leadership we apply the Logic of Life, and systemic-awareness to identify six strands of DNA in living systems culture for organisations to become future-fit in these volatile times. The 6 cultural DNA strands of the living-organisation are:

  1. Survival and thrival – attending to the legitimate needs of organisations to fulfil their needs for growth whilst acting in regenerative ways, and operating according to the principles of living systems seasons and cycles.
  2. Mission and movement – ensuring that the organization is contributing to something bigger than itself, as part of a much larger ecosystem in which it plays its role.
  3. Developmental and respectful – creating space for all to learn and grow in respectful ways, honouring the needs of self-renewal and regeneration.
  4. Diversity and inclusion – valuing diverse backgrounds and perspectives as part of an inclusive and values-rich culture that gives rise to new possibilities.
  5. Self-organising and locally attuning – to unlock resiliency and agility through self-organising principles, as opposed to constantly reverting to top-down leadership.
  6. Ecosystemic facilitation and transformation – providing attentive care and understanding of the entire system in which the organization operates.

Executive Summary:

Self Awareness: leadership thrives through individuals’ gaining perspective on their thoughts, habits, behaviors and blind-spots; we are able to reach beyond self-imposed limitations and open up more readily to life through self-mastery.  Becoming conscious of our own presence (attention) and purposefulness (intention), and opening-up our worldview to embrace the Logic of Life enables our future-fitness.

Systemic Awareness: leadership thrives through an understanding of networks, flows and relationships within systems; this capacity enables us to enliven the organizational system toward life-affirming futures.

Regenerative Leadership Consciousness: leadership thrives through cultivating both Self Awareness and Systemic Awareness; we are able to serve life attuned to nature’s wisdom.

‘Learn how to see. Realize everything connects with everything else.’  Leonardo Da Vinci

‘[S]he who is in harmony with nature hits the mark without effort and apprehends the truth without thinking.’ Confucius

‘Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.’  Lao Tzu

Giles Hutchins is a pioneering practitioner and senior adviser at the fore-front of the [r]evolution in organizational and leadership consciousness and developmental approaches that enhance personal, organizational and systemic agility and vitality. He is author and co-author of several leadership and organizational development papers, and the books The Nature of Business (2012), The Illusion of Separation (2014), Future Fit (2016) and Regenerative Leadership (2019). Chair of The Future Fit Leadership Academy and Founder of Leadership Immersions, co-founder of Biomimicry for Creative Innovation and Regenerators, he runs a 60 acre leadership centre at Springwood Farm, an area of outstanding natural beauty near London, UK.  Previously held corporate roles – Head of Practice for KPMG, and Global Head of Sustainability for Atos (150,000 employees, over 40 countries). He provides coaching at individual and organisational levels for those seeking to transform their personal and/or work lives. He is also a keynote speaker on the future of business.

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