Increasingly, the issues that affect business are global in scope. Organizations are nested in a storm-tossed sea of global change where everything affects everything else. Issues of globalization, cross-cultural commerce, global economic perturbation, resource constraint, ecological shifts, geo-political instability, and regional conflict are redefining the context of leadership.
Our old ways of thinking and leading are not capable of encompassing the level of interdependence and complexity we face. They simply are not up to the challenges of global change. In fact, they are barely up to the challenges of organizational change.
A recent study of more than 100 companies engaged in major change efforts demonstrated that 85% don’t yield tangible much less durable results. Why?
Meg Wheatley, renowned author of Leadership and the New Science, suggests that: “Most of the ways we were taught to think, to reason, to understand simply don’t give us the means to make wise decisions anymore. We don’t know how to be wise stewards of the dilemmas and challenges that confront us daily. We were not taught how to make sense of a chaotic world, or a world-wide interconnected web of activity and relationships.”
CAN WE DO BETTER THAN A 15% SUCCESS RATE?
Our answer is yes, but only if we manage change in an integral way addressing all inner and outer demands. Success is possible, only if we are willing to: Go through the same metanoia (fundamental shift of mind and heart) that we want for the organization. Engage in the difficult ongoing dialogue that brings to the surface that which is hidden in our culture and allows personal transformation to translate into cultural and systemic change.
We live in a time of great opportunity and great peril. The next fifty years are going to be interesting. We could well bring into being a global order going beyond nationalism to serve planetary welfare. We could destroy ourselves. Certainly business, with its growing global reach, plays a major role in the world’s future and has a huge stake in the outcome.
The challenge for leadership in the this millennium is huge. Einstein makes the challenge clear: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness that created them.” Something in our consciousness must shift in order for us to be able to see how to act in a way that can address the challenge of the times.
What The Leadership Circle is all AboutThe Leadership Circle is dedicated to preparing leaders for the demands of this century, leaders capable of navigating the delicate balance between short-term profitability and long-term common good. The Leadership Circle is dedicated to serving leaders concerned with creating a sustainable thriving future for the planet and, thus, for global business. We believe that corporate leadership is in the driver’s seat. While global change ultimately requires political power and will, the power behind the political agenda today is corporate. Corporate leadership will set the agenda for the planet’s future.
“Times of growth are beset with difficulties. But these difficulties arise from the profusion of all that is struggling to attain form. Everything is in motion: Therefore, if one perseveres, there is a prospect of great success.”
I Ching“Thought and analysis are powerless to pierce the great mystery that hovers over the world and over our existence, but knowledge of the great truths only appears in action and labor.” Albert SchweitzerThe Spirit of Leadership 2 www.theleadershipcircle.com
It is time for us to expand our notions of legacy, beyond the creation of a great company, to include a legacy of global welfare. The organizations we lead must become great organizations for sure. But, we are ready for — we need — an expanded definition of greatness. This definition includes sustainable returns of