Abstracts

Creative Social Change

ISBN: 978-1-78635-146-3, eISBN: 978-1-78635-145-6

ISSN: 2058-8801

Publication date: 30 May 2016

Citation

(2016), "Abstracts", Creative Social Change (Building Leadership Bridges), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2058-88012016045

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Chapter 1

Abstract

Purpose

Introduces readers to the intentions of the book, grounding it in the personal, and emphasizing the potential to influence the course of human society.

Methodology/approach

Uses a personal story to suggest the possibility of shifting from accepting what is as limiting to seeing how human thinking can create previously unimagined futures. Presents the shared vision of the editorial team for the book and outlines the three sections.

Findings

Without trying to provide complete answers to such a vast topic as creating a healthy world, the editors have included perspectives on the nature of organizational and societal health from five eminent social scientists (Robert E. Quinn, Otto Scharmer, Ed Schein, Peter Senge, Margaret Wheatley), supplement these with chapters on key topics (partnership vs. domination, sustainability, leadership ethics in global governance, indicators for progress, and modeling leadership). This is supported by case studies from around the world to suggest the range of efforts for healthy organizations and communities that are currently in process.

Practical implications

Can be used to develop organizational and leadership change planning, as well as community action, and action research. Possibly a supplementary text for many types of undergraduate and graduate study.

Social implications

Basis for thinking about how to create sufficient interconnected projects to enable increasing societal health.

Originality/value

Brings together and juxtaposes conceptualization that links organizational change at various levels and sustainability, supported by concrete cases from many cultures.

Keywords

Organizational health; sustainability; societal health

Chapter 2

Abstract

Purpose

Provides a foundation for the book through interviews with five key thought leaders who have contributed significantly to social science thinking about organizational health.

Methodology/approach

The context for this book is the interconnection of leadership, sustainability, and organization development, as three arenas of research and action that can influence the course of events globally. The chapter introduces readers to the thinking of Margaret Wheatley, Otto Scharmer, Ed Schein, Robert E. Quinn, and Peter Senge, and includes in-depth interviews with each of them. It summarizes each of their perspectives and describes what they have in common.

Findings

All five of the thought leaders focus on leaders becoming conscious of their assumptions and transcending any that are limiting. They all see the interdependence of consciousness and action: a leader needs to do inner work before and while focusing on the organizational culture.

The emergent model for health based on their thinking includes wholeness, interdependence/relatedness, inclusion or inclusivity, removing toxins, and emergence.

Social implications

The emerging model can be used to foster dialogue across disciplinary and national borders about societal health to foster innovations in leadership development, collaboration for problem solving among businesses and NGOS, and pilot projects on related issues around the world.

Originality/value

Seeing the current thinking of these five major thought leaders on societal health can contribute to evolving social science perspectives on this core issue.

Keywords

Organizational health; sustainability; systems thinking; social fields; societal health

Chapter 3

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter places attempts to move to a healthier society, including changing views about effective leadership and organizations as well as gender roles and relations, in their larger social context. It describes practical tools for moving to relations based on partnership and hierarchies of actualization, rather than hierarchies of domination and exploitation.

Methodology/approach

This chapter draws from the author’s multidisciplinary, cross-cultural analysis of social systems over nearly four decades: the study of relational dynamics. It describes two underlying social configurations that transcend conventional categories such as capitalism versus socialism, right versus left, religious versus secular, and Eastern versus Western: the partnership system and the domination system.

Findings

The author proposes that a new, more inclusive view of society and leadership that takes into account how our foundational gender and parent child relations are culturally constructed is needed to successfully address the unprecedented economic, social, and environmental challenges we face. It documents challenges to traditions of domination in all areas of life as well as resistance and how we can take leadership in supporting the cultural shift to the partnership side.

Social implications

This chapter provides building blocks for laying the solid foundations for a healthier, more caring, and sustainable society and economy.

Originality/value

The chapter provides a fresh conceptual framework for better understanding social pathologies, including ineffective and harmful patterns of leadership and organizational structures, and offers a viable alternative. It points to new directions for action and leadership.

Keywords

Partnership; domination; cultural transformation; gender; leadership

Chapter 4

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to outline the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) as a resource for supporting a shift from unsustainable to sustainable development and to explore the barriers and possibilities for its adoption.

Methodology/approach

The chapter considers how political decision-making often leads to investments that do not move society toward sustainability over the long-term. The FSSD is presented as a framework for moving beyond this impasse, and cognitive science is used to understand the barriers to its adoption.

Findings

This chapter outlines the systems thinking behind the FSSD and illustrates its use in coordinating action among diverse constituents through the case of the resort municipality of Whistler, Canada. Climate change denial in the United States is used to illustrate that whether one is drawn to use the FSSD in the first place is facilitated by an ecological consciousness and moral imagination that the framework itself does not provide.

Practical implications

The current age of market fundamentalism and consumerism promotes an impoverished notion of individual freedom in opposition to the common good. Drawing on the work of cognitive science, the chapter points to the need for a higher rationality, the freedom that comes from seeing our seeing, opening possibilities that we might develop an enlightened understanding of self-interest and freedom that supports the health and flourishing of all.

Originality/value

Much has already been written about the technical aspects of the FSSD. The originality of this chapter is illuminating some of the social barriers to its adoption.

Keywords

Climate change denial; ecological consciousness; moral imagination; sustainability leadership; systems thinking

Chapter 5

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter explores the notion of leadership ethics or morals. It discusses the relation between ethics and balance, choice and passion in the development of significant leadership. The United Nations forms the organizational context for this exploration.

Methodology/approach

The chapter takes a psychospiritual approach. The author, a psychoanalyst and a theologian draws on comparative theory and method while inquiring into the fundamental questions of the role, the ethical obligation, and the personal, moral imperative required of an individual leader within the United Nations.

Findings

The author proposes that psychospiritual development is a prerequisite for sound ethical leadership and that the individual’s personal leadership development informs his or her leadership acumen.

It is at the interface between the individual’s and the organization’s ethical choice and passion that the UN today faces its greatest potential for growth.

Social implications

The purpose of the United Nations — peace and development for a healthy world — can only be realized when every leader at the United Nations shares common concepts about the organization’s ethics and is engaged in continuous dialogue in defining and redefining these notions to meet with whatever conditions present.

Originality/value

Through unique empirical material in the form of interviews with UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, and former Under-Secretary-General, Inga-Britt Ahlenius, the importance of very personal choices, commitment, and action for the highest good comes alive in its present-day context.

Keywords

Organizational complexity; philosophy; psychospiritual development; leadership; alignment of individual and collective ethics and passion

Chapter 6

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter explores the proposition that creating indicators of societal and environmental health is central to the work of leadership. The author describes a variety of existing indicators and information systems that focus on the measurement of nonfinancial capitals and offers a sketch of the qualities of information systems that can support leadership for the greater good.

Methodology/approach

This conceptual chapter explores the connections that inhere between the concept of the greater good, indicators of societal and environmental health, and leadership for the greater good. The tone of the chapter is therefore exploratory and question-generating rather than critical.

Findings

The author argues that extant indicators and information systems of societal and environmental health are, in general, highly technical instruments, which makes them the specialist tools of experts than the instruments of leadership for the greater good.

Practical implications

Although there is no formula for developing indicators and information systems that are suitable for leadership for the greater good, the guiding development principle is that these instruments must be capable of helping ordinary citizens make better decisions about actions that affect the long-term health of the social-ecological systems that ultimately underpin their well-being.

Originality/value

This chapter makes the nonobvious argument that the development of instruments of societal and environmental health is central to the work of leadership for a healthy world and is itself a manifestation of leadership of the greater good.

Keywords

Commons; capitals; indicators; leadership; prospection; wicked problems

Chapter 7

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter describes a 10-year, ongoing initiative for democratized and relational leadership development in Africa in support of adaptive, productive, and healthier societies.

Methodology/approach

The action research methodology used in this work combined long-term collaborative inquiry with design thinking in partnership within local contexts. Shared learning was focused on testing and improving a stream of prototype designs for leadership development.

Findings

Seven stages of personal transformation are identified such that increasing maturity means transcending and including early-stage action logics within more complex and relational later-stage action logics. The authors propose that healthy societies require the development of more mature leaders working collaboratively within evolving, democratized leadership cultures in which post-formal (interdependent, relational) action logics are nurtured.

Practical implications

This chapter describes the initial design of leadership essentials, a set of basic, practical ideas about leadership that serve as a starter kit of building blocks and tools for contextualized leadership development.

Social implications

Africa is hungry for leadership development. Adaptation of leadership development theories and methods to local challenges can be effective if done collaboratively, with ongoing shared learning, good design, and healthier organizations and societies as intended outcomes.

Originality/value

This chapter is addressed to practitioners and leaders who perceive a need for relational leadership development and for more mature leaders at all levels and places in society.

Keywords

Relational leadership; leadership development; Africa; vertical; development; action logic

Chapter 8

Abstract

Purpose

Reflecting on her action research in sustainable community development in Mexico, the author harvests key lessons for participatory leadership and practice.

Methodology/approach

Applying an emergent system’s perspective of deep democracy, she weaves together stories of her own inner practice with those of the two dozen local community development practitioners whom she introduced to participatory action research (PAR).

Findings

The PAR experience awakened and sharpened the relational awareness and process sensitivity of the practitioners. As a result, the relationships between the communities and the practitioners deepened, opening new spaces for co-creativity. Long-term consequences were particularly striking in the pedagogy and community engagement of the educational institutions.

Practical implications

Distilling practical guidelines and principles for the inner practice of the participatory change agent, the author emphasizes the importance of sensing what is possible and emergent.

Social implications

Through the PAR experience the community development practitioners discovered the key to creating healthy communities: fostering interconnectedness and co-creativity in the civic arena.

Originality/value

The case study demonstrates the importance of the subjective experience of the action researcher, community development practitioner, and/or participatory leader. The inner practice of these change agents can help foster healthy communities.

Keywords

Participatory action research; community development; inner practice; deep democracy; emergence; Mexico

Chapter 9

Abstract

Purpose

Ecuador is an important case for female indigenous leadership. With 14 nationalities and 18 indigenous peoples officially recognized, this phenomenon is quite remarkable among the rural Andean communities. In this chapter I examine how indigenous female leaders exercise the Andean principle of sumak kawsay. Roughly translated as good living, it is a model of life that agrees with nature, social responsibility, and the well-being of individuals and communities.

Methodology/approach

The empirical data were primarily collected from semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with 19 women from 8 different Kichwa communities. Observations and document analysis served as means of triangulation. The collected data were analyzed by following Boyatzis’s (1998) thematic analysis and supported by the computer software ATLAS.ti (Version 7).

Findings

Major findings of this study include that sumak kawsay guides how Andean women carry out leadership in grassroots organizations; Andean female leaders empower followers not only within the organizations but also in the communities through their organizations; and that these leaders display elements of adaptive leadership.

Originality/value

A key lesson of this case study is learning that since indigenous women leaders have an impact both on the workplace and on followers’ private lives, policymakers who wish to support unprivileged individuals and their communities need to assess projects not only in terms of the organizational success but also in the extended consequences.

Keywords

Sumak kawsay; indigenous women leaders; Ecuador; qualitative methods; adaptive leadership

Chapter 10

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter reports the real-time observations of 30 Chief Executives of government departments in New Zealand and how they are going about creating healthier organizational cultures.

Methodology/approach

As a viewpoint piece, this chapter captures the author’s experience of observing an coaching Chief Executives and their teams in their workplaces over 20 years. The chapter puts organizational culture into its NZ historic (British colonization and unintended consequences for Maori) context and introduces both Pakeha (European) and Maori models of healthy cultures.

Findings

The author suggests that monocultural models learned from universities and business schools may disallow other ways of knowing, and identifies the importance of honoring the three histories, the history of the organization, the history of the people working within it and the history of the society is essential to creating healthy, sustainable organizational cultures.

Social implications

Putting organizational culture into a NZ historical perspective invites others to honor their own cultural histories — whether Western, Eastern, or Maori.

Originality/value

The chapter offers a snapshot of findings and data gathered over 20 years on what Chief Executives do to create healthy cultures. It is just one slice of the rich data that was gathered.

Keywords

Culture; chief executives; leadership; New Zealand; real-time observational methodology

Chapter 11

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter asserts that a strong, active commitment to the arts is a critical element in creating healthy communities. An aim of the chapter is to show how enlightened leadership that emphasizes partnerships and working together toward shared uplifting goals can revitalize communities.

Methodology/approach

This chapter draws on the author’s 25 years of covering a particular arts organization as a writer and broadcaster. While referring to the larger context of similar endeavors, it examines the leadership approaches and successes of this organization through interviews and film and print research.

Findings

The author finds that taking the time at the beginning of an endeavor to organically build a sustainably strong foundation rooted in the shared values and needs of its community enables the success of its current programs. Long-sustained creative partnering with the community has established an artistic resource that enriches and brings people together from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Social implications

Using the model of one organization, key principals are presented that are universal touchstones for human well-being: the power of partnership, creative imagination, and coming together to learn and to experience beauty and joy.

Originality/value

The arts have been at the heart of human activity throughout history. The value of this chapter is to remind leaders that the arts are a necessity for community well-being.

Keywords

Arts; leadership; community partnership; music; creativity

Chapter 12

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter presents case studies of two institutions — the Kansas Leadership Center and the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center — seeking to develop grassroots community leadership using approaches grounded in adaptive leadership theory. It’s a promising approach for strengthening communal capacities to effectively address complex public problems.

Methodology/approach

This chapter presents the history, approach, and impact of two leadership development institutions. It concludes with a comparative analysis of the relevance of adaptive leadership theory across two diverse cultures.

Findings

The authors propose that adaptive leadership training positions participants well to make an impact in their communities. The impact of these programs include perceiving leadership as an activity rather than an innate quality; increased sensibility about how to mobilize others; and making progress on their own leadership challenges. The case studies suggest that these communities respond in similar ways to this approach despite their considerable differences.

Social implications

These case studies demonstrate the impact of a leadership development approach that challenges participants to confront their own tendencies to depend on authorities for answers and direction. It’s an approach that empowers participants to step up to new levels of responsibility and agency in addressing civic challenges. The result in a potentially large number of engaged, effective, and active citizens stepping up to make positive change in their own communities.

Originality/value

The chapter presents two specific examples of institutions seeking to strengthen communities through leadership development, and explains why this approach is particular relevant to addressing public challenges in the 21st century.

Keywords

Adaptive leadership; large-scale leadership development; case-in-point; civic leadership development; leadership vs. authority

Chapter 13

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter explores what lies behind 20 years of transformational women’s leadership in Rwanda after deep collective and individual trauma. Rwandan women leaders have worked to confront the depths of their own pain, suffering, and victimhood to create spaces for their fellow Rwandans, and survivors around the world, to do likewise with courage, inquisitiveness, compassion, and passion. This spirit of transmuting suffering is grounded in the feminine and moves away from the divisive policies that tore their country apart over a century, embodying remembrance of the past and promoting a healthy world for the future.

Methodology/approach

Each of the three authors has spent time in Rwanda, and two of them are of Rwandan origin. This chapter explores the inspirational role of women’s leadership in catalyzing and influencing collective action in reshaping post-genocide Rwanda through stories of individual women, and the collective action of women leaders. Through these testimonies the essence and spirit of the profoundly transformative collective action of women in Rwanda, the chapter examines the kind of action that ultimately helps to heal a nation.

Findings

The capacity to cultivate creative endeavors has been central to Rwandan women’s journey to help heal the country and move it away from divisive policies. The Rwandan women leaders and the organizations that have been described are glimpses of the collective capacity of transformational leadership grounded in the feminine that are a model for transformative leadership the world over.

Keywords

Posttraumatic growth; transformative leadership; transmuting suffering; hope; feminine wisdom

Chapter 14

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter distills the main conceptual and practical implications of the book.

Methodology/approach

Reviews the overall intentions of the book and returns to the main findings from the opening section on the Ground — the interviews with Robert E. Quinn, Otto Scharmer, Ed Schein, Peter Senge, Margaret Wheatley — to extrapolate implications. Discusses key resonant phrases from the interviews, reviews the emergent model for organizational health, discusses the reflection- and action-oriented questions generated from this model, and closes with reflections on continuing the dialogue.

Findings

The core of organizational and societal health is seen as wholeness; interdependence/relatedness, inclusion/inclusivity, removing toxins/rebalancing, and emergence. Rather than being defined, these generate reflection questions for leaders and co-creators of organizations and communities.

Practical implications

Because reflection is seen as existing in a continuum with action, these questions can be used in developing change plans for many types of organizations. The book as a whole is intended to stimulate dialogue among leaders, leadership educators, policy developers, and other social scientists.

Social implications

The book is intended to generate dialogue and change projects related to organizational and societal health.

Originality/value

Distills some of the action-oriented aspects of the book into a form that they can be built upon and suggests possibilities for future dialogue.

Keywords

Organizational health; sustainability; societal health; wholeness; interdependence/relatedness, inclusion/inclusivity

Creative Social Change Leadership for a Healthy World
Endorsements
Creative Social Change Leadership for a Healthy World
Copyright Page
List of Contributors
Foreword
Acknowledgments: From the Editorial Team
Introduction
Part I: The Ground: Foundations from Thought Leaders
Advert 1
The Ground: Foundations from Thought Leaders
Visions of a Healthy World: Views from Thought Leaders
Part II: Air and Water: What Flows Lives
Advert 2
Air and Water: What Flows Lives
Reframing Organizational and Social Change: From Domination to Partnership
Ecological Consciousness, Moral Imagination, and the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development
Use it or Lose it: About Leadership Ethics in the United Nations
Leadership for the Greater Good: Developing Indicators of Societal and Environmental Health
Developing Relational Leadership in Africa
Part III: Seeds and Plants: Local Case Studies
Advert 3
Seeds and Plants: Local Case Studies
The Inner Practice of Community Development: Embracing Deep Democracy in Mexico
Sumak Kawsay among Indigenous Women Leaders of Ecuador
Kiwi Ways of Leading: How 30 New Zealand Government Chief Executives Are Encouraging Healthier Cultures
“The Arts Are Not a Luxury”: The Arts as a Source of Community in California
Strengthening Communities through Adaptive Leadership: A Case Study of the Kansas Leadership Center and the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center
Women and Leadership in Rwanda, Emerging Transformation: The Spiritual, Social, and Political Dimensions of Transmuting Suffering
A Living, Healthy World: Implications for Thought and Action
About the Contributors
Index
Abstracts