Corporate Leadership as Corporate Authorship TIm Coburn 2011
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Corporate Leadership as Corporate Authorship TIm Coburn 2011

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Tim Coburn Corporate Leadership as Corporate Authorship June 1st 2011 University of Bristol

Tim Coburn Corporate Leadership as Corporate Authorship June 1st 2011 University of Bristol

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  • 1. 1
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    This is now…
    Rethinking
    Corporate
    Leadership as…
    That was then…
    Corporate
    Authorship
  • 2. 2
    ‘We often ask the question now,
    ‘What will become of me?’
    And lose the fact that what we do
    Creates identity.
    And so it is, with choices made,
    We build who we become:
    The stories of our life fulfill
    Our quest to be someone.’
    Tim Coburn, 2003
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
  • 3. 3
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    The nature of identity
    is changing….
    ‘If you want to know me, then you must know my story,
    for my story defines who I am.’
     
    Dan P McAdams
  • 4. 4
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    1947 1956 1963 1975 1989 1995 2002 2011 2019 2025 2034 2042 2050 2057 2062
    ‘Narrative form is not a dress which covers something else but the structure inherent in human experience and action.’
    David Carr
  • 5. 5
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    THE END
    ‘… the very idea of individual selves – in possession of mental qualities – is now threatened with eradication.’
    Kenneth Gergen
  • 6. 6
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Just as I become who I am by imagining, enacting and updating mystory, so too, do people become families, communities, organisations and groups by composing, creating and narrating theirs’.
    In this respect, theleaders of these groups are the corporate story-makers.
  • 7. 7
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    This is now…
    That was then…
    Corporate Leadership
    as
    CorporateAuthorship
  • 8. 8
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Leadership as Authorship
    ‘…from my early attraction to the leadership ideas of courage,humilityandservice…
    …I’ll explain how I arrived at… leadershipasauthorship.
    In so doing, I hope to engage you in developing your own view of systemsleadership,how you practice it and how you encourage others to do the same.'
  • 9. The Practice of Authorship in Our Everyday Lives
    “What we really should do about…… is…”
    9
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    “Their view is different because…”
    “If you were in my shoes, what would you do….?”
    “Did you see…?! ….What did you make of it?”
    “Let’s be clear, the purpose of this organisation is to…”
    “Here’s a concern…. What question should I be asking?”
  • 10. 10
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
  • 11. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    11
  • 12. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    12
  • 13. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 13
    My Journey
  • 14. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 14
    ‘How can I be sure?’
  • 15. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 15
    ‘I was… increasingly uncertain about the certainty with which I was speaking in my endeavour to educate, encourage and enable change for others.’
    ‘I was beginning to think that talking with the conviction of an expert… was actually doing more to diminish than enhance their ability to make progress.’
  • 16. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 16
    The Organisation is…
    A machine
    An organism
    A brain
    A culture
    A political system
    A psychic prison
    An instruments of domination
  • 17. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 17
    The Way I Know
    Determines
    Informs
    The Observations
    I Make
    The Possibilities of
    My Performance
    The Meaning
    I Make of Them
    The Knowledge
    I Construct
  • 18. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 18
    ‘I would like us all to recognise that…
    …reality is made, not given
    …our understanding of the world is always seeing as, rather than seeing as is
    …and to take a moral responsibility for the way we see and act in every day life, difficult though this may be.’
    Gareth Morgan
  • 19. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 19
    Keith Kinsella
    Jenny Rogers
    ‘Knowledge or wisdom, Tim?’
  • 20. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 20
    System
    Cybernetics
    Organisation
    Pattern
    Relationship
    Object
    Physics
    Ingredients
    Characteristics
    Person
    He changed the subject
  • 21. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 21
    Photo: David Kjaer/RSPB IMAGES; Charlie Hamilton James
  • 22. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 22
    ‘But, what does this tell us about human systems… and leadership?’
  • 23. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 23
    Human Systems
    Characteristics of all
    human systems?
    Identity
    Purpose
    Action
    Expression
    Belonging
    And the leader’s role?
  • 24. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 24
    Everything is mediated through language and constructed in conversation
    Identity
    Purpose
    Action
    Expression
    Belonging
    Human systems
    are systems of language and meaning
  • 25. 25
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Value for money
    • For us, that's about offering more for your money, not cutting corners. It's every Virgin company's magic tool.
    Good quality
    • Going that little bit further in everything we do.
    Innovative and challenging
    • Supporting creativity and challenging convention and freedom is a huge part of what it means to be Virgin.
    Fun
    • More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virgin's success.
    What does this mean for our people?
    • Having a sense of humour
    • 26. Occasional gags at a competitor's expense
    • 27. Celebrating success together
    • 28. Ensuring we can all enjoy a decent work/life balance
    • 29. Avoiding blame culture, because it's OK to make the odd mistake
    A Human System
  • 30. 26
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Respecting the unique worth of every person
    • We believe that every person is different but equal, and that everyone's unique talent should be recognised and encouraged.
    Encouraging people to fulfil their potential
    • We all need encouragement at some time in life. Barnardo's aims to create opportunities for people to make the most of their abilities.
    Working with hope
    • Our hope for a better future for all children is the source of much of our inspiration.
    Exercising responsible stewardship
    • The commitment of all our staff and volunteers to making the best use of all our resources enables us to help children, young people and their families to overcome severedisadvantage.
    A Human System
  • 31. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 27
    Human systems are systems of language and every one is different
    Language and meaning are local
    and contextual not universal and objective
  • 32. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 28
    Leadership Dispositions for Working with Other Language Systems
    I am willing to put
    my knowledge at risk
    yes
    no
    I judge your knowledge against my criteria
    yes
    no
  • 33. no
    humility
    curiosity
    I judge your knowledge against my criteria
    certainty
    reflexivity
    yes
    I am willing to put
    my knowledge at risk
    no
    yes
    Dispositions
    for working in human systems
    29
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
  • 34. First Proposition
    Human systems are systems of language each with its own vocabulary and meaning for…
    Identity, Purpose, Action, Expression and Belonging
  • 35. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 31
    Say
    It’s what you…
    Talk
    It’s how you…
    Conversation
    It’s in the quality of…
    Do
    It’s what you…
    Act
    It’s how you…
    Decision
    It’s in the quality of…
  • 36. Say
    It’s what you…
    Do
    It’s what you…
    Act
    It’s how you…
    Decision
    It’s in the quality of…
    Page 32
    Talk
    It’s how you…
    Conversation
    It’s in the quality of…
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
  • 37. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 33
    Leadership
    it’s a big responsibility…
    so where can you turn for reliable knowledge?
  • 38. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 34
    Lived Experience
    Truth is experienced individually and expressed in unique ways of talking
    Scientific Investigation
    Truth is discovered by scientific investigation and other disciplined methods
    Truth is constructed socially – it’s what we agree to be true
    Five different ways to be absolutely right
    Common Sense
    Truth is revealed through personal, spiritual and natural enlightenment
    Truth is passed down and comes from culture and tradition
    Enlightenment and Revelation
    Culture and Tradition
  • 39. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 35
    All Five produce socially constructed realities…
    ‘The goings-on between people in the course of their everyday lives are seen as the practices during which our shared versions of knowledge are constructed.’
    Vivien Burr
  • 40. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 36
  • 41. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 37
    The
    word
    is not the thing
  • 42. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 38
    How do you know what I mean?
    Chair
    Pencil
    Boat
    Road
    Desk
    Phone
    Students
    Parents
    Customers
    Staff
    Learners
    Leaders
    Achievement
    Freedom
    Trust
    Potential
    Competence
    Learning
    Easier
    Harder
    And this is the language of leadership and leaning
  • 43. 39
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Example
    "We were disappointed we lost the game but it isn't a matter of revenge, it is about our own personal pride."
  • 44. 40
    Example
    "We were disappointed we lost the game but it isn't a matter of revenge, it is about our own personal pride."
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
  • 45. Second Proposition
    Leaders are the authors, architects and arbiters of the language
    that constructs and sustains corporate life
  • 46. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 42
    Examples of Authorship in Your Life?
    Project
    Department
    Profession
    People
    Organisation
  • 47. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 43
    ‘Leaders achieve their effectiveness chiefly
    through the stories they relate’
    Howard Gardner
  • 48. Narrator, yes….
    …and author, director, reader and repairer
    …protagonist even, and not least,
    integrator
  • 49. The Corporate
    Story-Maker
  • 50. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 46
    ‘As in the real theatre,
    in the corporate world
    it is the compelling story line
    that captures the imagination
    and retains the attention.’
  • 51. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 47
    Social
    Movement
  • 52. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 48
    Social
    Movement
  • 53. © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Page 49
    Authoring the Lives of People You Lead
  • 54. 50
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Their world…
    1947 1956 1963 1975 1989 1995 2002 2011 2019 2025 2034 2042 2050 2057 2062
    Taking DownWalls
  • 55. 51
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Their world…
    1947 1956 1963 1975 1989 1995 2002 2011 2019 2025 2034 2042 2050 2057 2062
    DefyingAuthority
  • 56. 52
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Their world…
    1947 1956 1963 1975 1989 1995 2002 2011 2019 2025 2034 2042 2050 2057 2062
    IncreasinglyConnected
  • 57. 53
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Their world…
    CloudInversion
  • 58. 54
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    LEAD?
    TEACH?
    LEARN?
    Their world…
    search find link listen watch discover learn blog share talk discuss create collaborate
    phone
    tablet
    laptop
    desktop
    tv
    KnowledgeInversion
  • 59. 55
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Engagement Improves
    Satisfaction
    Productivity
    Retention
    Performance
    Their world…
    79% Not Fully Engaged
    Engagement Improves with
    1. Leadership
    2. Learning
    90,000 Employees
    18 Countries
    All Sectors
    A Human System
  • 60. Culture, Nation
    Tradition
    Politics, Faith
    Gender, Age, Ability
    If you really want to
    engage me
    you have to
    discover who I am
    and
    the realities I live by
    ‘Are you
    talking to
    me
    or chewing
    a brick?’
    Organisation
    Profession
    Family
    Manager,
    Work Team, Job
    Relationships
    Conversations
    Words
    My Fond Memories
    Actions
    Education
    Home
    My Word Hoard
    Immediate
    Future
    Work
    Community
    MY WORLD
    MY FUTURE
    My Hopes &
    Aspirations
    Thoughts
    Feelings
    My Historical Facts
    My Recent
    Past
    My Current
    Reality
    My Realistic
    Expectations
    MY PAST
    Generation
    Critical Events
    Personal Change
    Life Stage
    Life Time
    Era
    Age
    56
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Systems of Meaning
  • 61. Yes, engage me…
    ‘The unity of a human life is the unity of a narrative quest’
    Alasdair MacIntyre
  • 62. “I am my
    story-maker…”
    1947 1956 1963 1975 1989 1995 2002 2011 2019 2025 2034 2042 2050 2057 2062
  • 63. My Story’s in Your Gift
    One day there’ll be a story
    Of the life that I have lived.
    I’ll be the story-maker,
    You’ll decide if it’s a gift.
    For I have passion for what’s possible
    And dreams that take me there.
    Where mountain tops evaporate
    In destiny’s thin air.
    I am my story-maker,
    You choose the words for me?
    No… My heart will beat forever
    If your voice sets mine free.
    For I have passion for what’s possible
    And dreams that take me there.
    Where mountain tops evaporate
    In destiny’s thin air.
    So, the story that you tell one day
    Will be the one I lived.
    My life in words you gave me;
    My story’s in your gift.
    For I have passion for what’s possible
    And dreams that take me there.
    Where mountain tops evaporate
    In destiny’s thin air.
    The Learner’s Voice
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Tim Coburn, 2003
  • 64. Third Proposition
    A view corporate life as a system of language
    invites a view of corporate leadership as corporate authorship
  • 65. 61
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    System
    Cybernetics
    Organisation
    Pattern
    Relationship
    Systems
    of Meaning
    Object
    Physics
    Ingredients
    Characteristics
    Person
    It’s time to change the subject
  • 66. 62
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Local
    Contextual
    Relational
    For the time being
    Knowing ‘how to
    go on’
    Made by everyone
    Manifest in language
    Knowledge
    Universal
    Objective
    Truth
    For ever
    Knowing ‘this’, ‘that’
    and ‘how’
    Found by experts
    Manifest in facts
    Of course, we need both
  • 67. 63
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    When we believe the realities we live by are…
    made by everyone
    Learning occurs by… collaborative construction
    We might call this…
    ‘learning-by-making’
    With the advantage of…
    everyone knowing
    something
    Learning
    When we believe the realities we live by are…
    found by experts
    Learning occurs by… didactic instruction
    We might call this… ‘learning-by-listening’
    With the advantage of…
    experts knowing
    everything
    New paradigm, new pedagogy
  • 68. 64
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    Leadership as Authorship
    Everything is mediated through language
    Authoring… your dispositionin creating productive relationships
    Authoring… conversations that create new realities for people to live by
    Authoring… socialmovements that enable the fulfillment of narrative integrity
    Leadership
    You are the author, narrator and protagonist in
    the story of your life
    And, you have to read, repair, relate and respond to
    the stories around you, too
    Like life, leadership is
    like a quest for
    narrative integrity
    Corporate Leadership as Corporate Authorship
  • 69. 65
    © Tim Coburn, 2011
    This is now…
    Learning and
    Leadership…
    That was then…
  • 70. Tim CoburnVisiting Fellow, Centre for Systems Learning and LeadershipGraduate School of Education, University of BristolContact:tim.coburn@bristol.ac.uk
    66
    © Tim Coburn, 2011