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Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

Last post 02-02-2007, 1:58 PM by russwv. 29 replies.
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  •  06-01-2006, 3:43 PM 84

    • gail is not online. Last active: 08/24/2008, 9:48 PM gail
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    Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    How do you apply AQAL to leadership and business? 
    What advice can you offer others about leading and doing work in a way that's Integrally Informed?
    What questions do you have that you'd like suggestions on?

    Post in reponse to this thread, and let's share the wealth of insight out there!

    For more academic conversations on this topic, check out Integral University's Study Groups on the subject.

    PS:  Forum Facilitators wanted - email gail@integralinstitute.org
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  •  06-16-2006, 8:58 AM 173 in reply to 84

    • russwv is not online. Last active: 05-27-2008, 2:28 PM russwv
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    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    This forum provides a unique opportunity to bridge perspectives ont he subject of leadership theory, development and practice. I hope that we can explore the application of integral theory and the experiences people have it leadership roles, it consulting, training and coaching for integral leadership.

    Furthermore, I hope that this forum will maintain a link to the Integral Leadership Review for resources and as a place where ideas and experiences can be explored and presented.

    I look forward to the development of this field.

    Russ Volckmann
    Integral Leadership Review
    www.leadcoach.com
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  •  06-16-2006, 1:51 PM 174 in reply to 84

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    What advice can you offer others about leading and doing work in a way that's Integrally Informed?

    • Beware of mistaking the map for the territory.
    • Beware of mistaking your projections for your traveling companions.
    • Beware of mistaking your ambitions for spiritual aspirations.
    • Don't listen to me. Wink [;)]

    Map/Territory
    The integral map is huge, all inclusive (at least in theory), infinitely interconnected, multileveled, and all that jazz. The territory in which we work with leaders and businesses is small (even if it is nested in hugeness). I find that one of the greatest barriers to effectiveness in the application of Integral to "real life" is failing to bring it down to the local, obvious, observable level. If we aim too high or wide or deep, we don't inform our clients' perspectives, we overwhelm or underwhelm them.

    More simply: find simple points of entry to complex situations; inject wisdom, intelligence, compassion, truth, beauty at individual nodes in the web of an organization with a light touch; when in doubt, simplify. Complication is the enemy of integral practice.

    Projections/Companions
    The most marvelous and empowering insight at my level of development (oh God, don't let's go there) can be worse than useless if I cannot see my clients from inside their world as well as outside of it. I've used postmodern ontological distinctions to unintentionally but effectively batter clients who were just beginning to poke their heads into a post-conventional way of making meaning.

    One way Clare Graves distinguished first and second tier vMemes was by a change of motivation. At second tier, we are presumably not motivated by fear or ego. Given the wave-like progress of development and the multiplicity of lines in which we may experience ourselves as safe or valued, I suggest we best assume that fear and ego are alive and well. I find it useful to assume that any blind spots, resistance, ignorance, or weakness that I find in a client lives in me. This is not only important so that I can identify and detach from my projections, the experience of finding in me the ills, needs, or issues I am hired to address results in far more cogent, ruthlessly compassionate, and good-humored interventions that (when I'm lucky) are both nuanced and kick-ass.

    Ambitions/Spiritual Aspirations
    Perhaps I am the only member of the multiplex lit up by an unregenerate Orange light shining through a friendly Green haze. If so, this will not apply to you. For my part, I love to be right; I prefer to hold a position that is skewed from the norm; and I adore being a hero. I find that any one of these can radiate from a stunningly surrendered heart (not often) or from an identity resembling a banty rooster (not pretty in a woman of a certain age). In this respect, a community of the adequate can be either a saving grace, revealing to me that I'm pretending to be more evolved than I am, or a spur to greater self-absorption and self-satisfaction.

    What questions do you have that you'd like suggestions on?

    How can we, as individuals and a community, cultivate humility so that our interventions are ever more appropriately designed to serve the client rather than to make us feel smart or look good?

    I'd love to see us compile stories of successful projects and consults with an emphasis on:

        * cogent statement of the presenting concern as understood by the client
        * identifying primary partial elements of the whole where there is the greatest opportunity for horizontal or vertical development
        * naming the strategies, tools, methodologies used to work on those elements
        * describing the outcome in integral language
        * describing the outcome in the language of the client

    I would love to learn specifics about how people are identifying and responding to concerns in the LR quadrant. I feel much more at home in the other quadrants.

    Thanks for asking!




    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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  •  06-16-2006, 1:53 PM 175 in reply to 173

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Hi Russ!

    Molly


    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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  •  06-20-2006, 7:34 AM 299 in reply to 173

    • larisch is not online. Last active: 10-15-2007, 10:26 AM larisch
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    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Hi all,

    I have a friend who will be attending I-I's Business & Leadership Training Seminar that is being held in December 2006 and he asked me how he might go about obtaining a list of recommended reading prior to this event.

    Can anyone help me out with this request or possibly point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!
    Barbara Larisch
    New York, NY

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  •  06-26-2006, 7:07 PM 524 in reply to 299

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Hi Barbara,

    I would also email one of the II staff, but here are some resources I've found to be foundational:

    In Over Our Heads, Robert Kegan (moderately heavy lifting, and excellent)
    How We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (accessible and brilliant)
    Leadership on the Line, Ron Heifetz
    Conscious Business (audio recordings only), Fred Kofman
    Spiral Dynamics, Don Beck and Chris Cowan

    Not explicitly Integral and very valuable:

    Presence, Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Betty Sue Flowers (I'm working from memory -- I may have spelling wrong and am not sure about Betty's middle name)
    Servant Leadership, Greenleaf
    Good Work, Cziksentmihaly et al
    Flow, Cziksentmihaly

    Other authors that may be helpful include Jaworski -- don't recall the name of his book offhand.

    Hope this is helpful,


    Molly

    PS There is also a book by a guy named Paulson on Integral Business. I found it pretty light weight, but maybe I didn't get it. ;-)

    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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  •  06-27-2006, 9:00 AM 538 in reply to 174

    • russwv is not online. Last active: 05-27-2008, 2:28 PM russwv
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    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    It has taken mne a while to get back to this. First attempt was when the system wasn't taking any messages.

    I sincerely hope this forum and others out there will increasingly focus on the practical while using an integral perspective.

    I find that in my work I am less interested in giving advice and guidance and more interested in using an integral framework to help clients (and others) make sense of where they are, where they want to be and how they might proceed in that direction with some hope of getting desirable results. I agree about the complication observation. Perhaps an important question is how do people at differing places in their growth and learning (development) discover ways of enhancing their effectiveness and efficacy. I suspect we can agree that it is not by teaching them integral concepts and models, but by working within their language and frameworks to build.

    It is important for us to look at how can an integrally-informed perspective help us identify “simple points of entry to complex situations.” And then, given that we are not all graced with the qualities you list, how do we bring all of ourselves and open the way for clients to bring their full selves to the process? These are not new questions in the fields of consulting and coaching. The answers pretty much depend on what kind of coaching/consulting one believes is effective — do you give advice, do you build client capacity, do you create dependencies...? What sorts of responses emerge from integral?

    Re Graves and motivation: This would make an interesting exploration. Your experience of this might be suggestive for others.

    Molly wrote: Ambitions/Spiritual Aspirations

    Truth be known (although I can’t vouch for the “lit up” part) I would guess that each of us has these and more going for us, but I am getting to the point in my life where the pretending seems less and less important. And it is hard to break old habits, no?

    How can we, as individuals and a community, cultivate humility so that our interventions are ever more appropriately designed to serve the client rather than to make us feel smart or look good?

    Perhaps by having them understand how they did it themselves after we are gone.

    Molly wrote: I'd love to see us compile stories of successful projects…

    Me, too.

    Molly wrote: I would love to learn specifics about how people are identifying and responding to concerns in the LR quadrant. I feel much more at home in the other quadrants.

    While there is a lot of stuff out there related to LR, the two most interesting places to start are with James O’Toole’s work in looking at systems that support leadership in organizations and Torbert (et al) in the stages of development of organizations. One could add to that Adizes’ work on life cycles and how it is related to development a la Don Beck’s approach to SD. Another that I don’t know as well is the work of Eliot Jacques.

    In the current issue of Integral Leadership Review there is an interview with the authors of the forthcoming book Leadership Agility; their work is integrally informed and when the book comes out (October) there may be some grist for the mill there. Other sources that inspire folk?

    Molly wrote: Thanks for asking!

    Molly, it was good to hear from you. And thanks for this far ranging response. I don’t know, yet, where the others are, but patience is in order. I am sure they will be coming on board soon and responses like yours should help stimulate that.

    Sounds like you are doing well and I deeply appreciate the self-reflection in your post. Personally, I find myself in the observer role so much these days that I think it is starting to feel comfortable. While I respect the Wilber/I-I focus on 2nd tier development I think that I may never know those lofty heights, but remain open to experience and discovery and see what shows up.

    Russ
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  •  06-27-2006, 9:13 AM 540 in reply to 524

    • russwv is not online. Last active: 05-27-2008, 2:28 PM russwv
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    Reading

    One of the fastest ways of tapping into work related to integral leadership is through the pages of the Integral Leadership Review. Another is articles in the Integral Review. Both are available for free online. Your friend also will find references to other publications (books, articles, etc.) that relate to integral leadership.

    Barbara, I suspect your friend already has a lot to bring to the table. The books Molly suggests are good. The point is that integral leadership and business are all quadrant, all level, all lines, all states and all types of phenomena. For me the key is having a way of bringing these together in their individual and collective aspects. Therefore, I would recommend that your friend read Ken's work, particularly A Theory of Everything and Integral Spirituality. I would also recommend that the friend read Mark Edwards' work on the Frank Visser web site.

    In addition, there are integral leadership articles by Ron Cacioppe and Mark Edwards in the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Development and in the July 2005 issue of the Journal of Organizational Change Management.

    Personally, I think the most interesting exploration at the present time is the similarities and differences between Ken and Mark Edwards on the mapping of individual and social holons. This is interesting because our greatest challenge today is not to know what everyone has had to say on the subject of leadership and organizations, but to find a way to bring the good, the true and the beautiful of all of these and of ourselves into frameworks that we can use to create clearer meaning and, consequently, a clearer understanding of our actions and their implications.

    Russ
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  •  06-27-2006, 11:38 AM 548 in reply to 538

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Thanks for the thoughtful response and the references, Russ. I look forward to reading the ILR interview -- somehow I have dropped off the list. I will re-up.

    Molly

    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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  •  07-02-2006, 6:01 PM 767 in reply to 548

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Oh my goodness, is this not too cool?? Surprise [:O] 

     Hi again, Molly, Russ, and Barbara!  I have a very specific question about ILB, involving (of course) education.  I recently had a horrid 23rd year teaching at my small 9-12 grade public high school, and wound up with serious physical ramifications from the harassment that I've been targeted for.  But it opened up more clearly than ever the need to tease apart business and education, so that the worst abuses institutionally do not get hidden behind the "bottom line/accountability" ruse for which this mantra is far too often used.

    At the same time, the business world is evvolving far beyond the Blue pyramid, and yet I find that very few educational administrators know about anything other than command and control by threat.  I thought my school was an anomaly, but have been informed that the situation I face is the norm. I actually got shouted out of my principal's office as he screamed, "Get the hell out of my office with all of your ideas!" Sad [:(]

    So how do I/We/You go about broaching the positive aspects of modernity to the educational venture while also infusing the Integral aspects that business now acknowledges in some aspects as improving performance?  I am witnessing high-stakes testing as truncating higher level thought, am seeing my students underperform on these higher level assignments, I see the same old-same old pyramid hierarchical abusive patterns heralded as the way to better performance, where teachers are harassed into compliance with stultifying and unnecessary regulations, with no room for either the students or teachers to breathe.

    Hey, I could go on and on and on and.....about this.  But I thought I would drop this onto the floor and see who might have an idea for skilful means in this crucial area.

    Thanks, O Wonderful Folks,

    Lynne

     

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  •  07-03-2006, 8:53 AM 800 in reply to 767

    • russwv is not online. Last active: 05-27-2008, 2:28 PM russwv
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    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Isn't it interesting that you are encountering this in high school management. I am mindful of the fact that much of the developmental work at Harvard is in the School of Education, that Joseph Rost's work (Leadership for the 21st Century) was done in the School of Education (Educational Leadership) at the University of San Diego (a Jesuit institution?) and that Rost's students (and others influenced by his work) have major roles in student leadership education programs in colleges and universities.

    When I think of the state of public education in the US today (I live in California) I can imagine that everyone must be under huge stress. Challenged budgets and the dropping of arts and music programs, increasing linguistic diversity of student populations from immigration, the "No Child Left Behind" financial burden on states and education districts, the increased draining off of higher performing students to alternative education, the pressure of bringing in Christian right perspectives into science and other programs, the occasional resistance of athiests and others to this effort...and this is just a beginning from looking inside from the margins. What stress and pressure educational managers must be in. Are they coping only with visions limited to maintaining their equilibrium?

    Perhaps teachers with ideas mean a drain on scarce resources, community conflict...

    So how do we bring an integral perspective to bear? Loath as I am to give advice, I reflect only on how I have begun with clients int he world of business and public agencies. I start with myself (too obvious) and then draw from that to raise questions and explore options that are important to my clients. It is an old adage in organization development that we must start where the client is.

    In your case it may be that you see the need for change, but the administrator does not or feels so overwhelmed that s/he cannot hold the possibility of engaging in still another challenge. So what are the issues the administrator does see? How can you bring an integral perspective to engaging the administrator and others around those? How can attention to individual, culture and systems support the kinds of change they seek? How can the idea of developmental levels along lines (treated in a way that makes sense in your environment) provide insights into the kinds of actions that are most likely going to be collaborated in by those who need to show up?...

    Perhaps I am just elaborating the questions you are raising. I wonder how you would answer your own questions by bringing an integral perspective.

    Russ
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  •  07-04-2006, 11:51 AM 910 in reply to 767

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Mwaah! that's me planting a big ole kiss on your cheek, Lynne!

    I so appreciate Russ's thoughtful response to your question. I'd love to hear in more detail how your situation looks. One of the ways I work is by bending the truth. That is, I work within the narrative of those I am seeking to influence or inform (so sue me, I'm arrogant enough to think I have something to offer. My saving grace is that I am 80% willing to be wrong.). I adopt the language, perspective, and values of the existing system, flavor it to speak to the typology, values, personal hot spots, and desires of the individual(s) with whom I'm interacting, and then I lie like a rug.

    What that looks like (when it works) is perhaps what Don Beck refers to as a meme wrap. The other party hears their own values and concerns validated and affirmed. They also experience themselves as being regarded as valuable, intelligent, and (often) misunderstood or underappreciated by the whole. Speaking to the neglected wise self while holding the defensive, pouting self, I can forge an alliance that allows me to slowly and subtly alter the course.

    It is not a fast process. It's like sucking up to the captain of the Titanic (oh God, sometimes my imagination is all too vivid. Stop that, Molly!). To further extend the metaphor, it seems to work better if I can leave him in control of the rudder and alter the chart or recalibrate the instruments.

    What does this look like in a real world instance? I once served on a county human resources advisory board and chaired the developmental disabilities committee. I had no particular expertise in the area, which freed me to see the arc of discourse, decisions, evaluations, etc. over a period of several years. At one point, the committee and board were snagged on the reef of a dilemma. Mainstreaming of folks w/ DDs had resulted in a sharp increase in the day-to-day challenges faced by many individuals and families who could no longer rely on sheltered workshops, day treatment, and other structures for support. (This is a much truncated picture.) Budgets were smaller and smaller; schools, neighborhoods, churches, communities with no experience were needing to not only integrate but meet the needs of the DD community, and apart from a few very lovely success stories from projects led by visionary leaders with a high ratio of support personnel to clients, there were no models. The board and committee were stalled because they had just spent 5 years doing what they thought they were supposed to do (and what the families, advocates, and DD clients thought they wanted) and people were falling through the cracks.

    One day on a site visit for an annual evaluation, I remarked to our staff person that we might consider that the fact that our current problems were the result of our best ideas was not a bad thing, but merely a natural consequence or progression in a process of learning how to do something we did not know how to do. The mood and attitude of the group shifted remarkably, and we started taking action without needing to "see around the corner" because we had shifted our standard from doing the right things to learning from our choices.

    Let me know if that helps, and especially if it does not.

    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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  •  07-05-2006, 9:50 PM 998 in reply to 910

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Russ and Molly,

    Your wisdom really shines here, and I truly appreciate the advice. What distressed me is that my situation is far from unique, and a friend of mine who teaches the principal and superintendent courses in NJ reports to me that all she hears is how they plan to "get back at people" or how they get a rush over soon having complete power over others.  She is disgusted with seeing this year in, year out, and wants to quit.

    So if this seems to be endemic, at least in one state, HOW do we get them to adopt the PROGRESSIVE aspects of business management along with the "bottom line" mentality that they utilize to purge,  punish or promote their own causes?

    And do we WANT educaation to run as a version of corporations?  I think this is a pretty key question.

    Lynne

     

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  •  07-08-2006, 7:50 AM 1125 in reply to 998

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    Hi Lynne,

    First, Molly, Russ, I really enjoyed reading your replies. If I understood them, I think they are wise and on the mark. I want to add my half a cent. I don't think it is different form Molly and Russ, but the thought that came to me as I read Molly and Russ was --focus first on the horizontal health (encourage, facilitate, support blue to be the healthiest blue it can be) and at the same time patiently water seeds of vertical growth.). The seeds may never grow but the blue might get healthier and in one or two hundred yearsEmbarrassed [:$] blue will be ready to move up - hopefully not that long. My best to you.


    Love, Light, Life
    Equanimity, Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy to all
    Rocky
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  •  07-08-2006, 1:25 PM 1151 in reply to 998

    Re: Integral Leadership and Business Thread!

    I appreciate what Rocky and Russ shared, and I agree with Rocky that "watering" teh horizontal development and stabilizing healthy memes is a good place to start, maybe even the best place to stay.

    Your question about schools being run like corporations is a good one, Lynne. One thought i have is that in the US our primary model of thriving Orange is the corporation. In this instance, the manner in which corporations are defining what thriving means colors what the "consumer" populace reagards as a successful meritocracy. Moving from the truth/order organizing principle of the Blue vMeme to the meritocracy of the Orange vMeme, which is the stepping stone available to our schools, may well reflect this corporate view.

    If that is so, one remedy is to model a different version of thriving meritocracy, once that satisfies the breakdowns of exiting Blue and offers to carrots of entering Orange. What would that look like? Are there models extant? (I would think so...)

    more anon...

    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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