Actualizing Evolutionary Co-leadership Presentation Excerpts


Published on

In recent years, a few books and articles have been written on "evolutionaries" and evolutionary leadership, but their focus has mostly been on individual leadership. The purpose of this session is to explore together what it means and what it takes to transcend and include individual leadership in moving toward the next developmental stage of evolutionary co-leadership. Co-leadership is intrinsically evolutionary, because it accelerates the development of both people and organizations and their contribution to evolution in a virtuous loop.

The presentation explores:

1) What is evolutionary co-leadership?
2) Why is it urgently needed at this time?
3) What are some integral practices that enable its embodiment?
4) How can it catalyze the emergence of a co-creative, co-responsible, and resilient society by calling forth large numbers of co-leaders in and across sectors?

Alain Gauthier is Executive Director of Core Leadership Development in Oakland and a Principal with MetaIntegral Associates. As an international consultant, facilitator, coach, educator, and author he focuses his work on developing co-leadership and partnering capabilities in and across the public, private, and civil society sectors. He is passionate about integrating the inner and outer dimensions of co-leadership both at the individual and collective levels in the service of a new development paradigm. He graduated from H.E.C. (Paris), and is a Stanford M.B.A. Early in his career, he was a senior consultant with McKinsey & Company. Gauthier has served a wide range of clients on four continents for more than 40 years. He is the author of a new ebook: Actualizing Evolutionary Co-Leadership to Evolve a Creative and Responsible Society (which is now available in print and ebook formats here), has contributed to five collective books on leadership development, and is a visiting professor at Paris University II. His other publications are available at

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Actualizing Evolutionary Co-leadership Presentation Excerpts

  1. 1. Actualizing Evolutionary Co-leadership Bay Area Learning Circle October 1, 2013 Alain Gauthier Core Leadership Development
  2. 2. My thesis is that evolutionary co-leadership is the next development stage for leadership 1
  3. 3. Addressing four questions   Why are new forms of leadership urgently needed?   What is evolutionary co-leadership?   Which integral practices enable its embodiment?   How to develop it and scale it up? 2
  4. 4. Addressing four questions   Why are new forms of leadership urgently needed?   What is evolutionary co-leadership?   Which integral practices enable its embodiment?   How to develop it and scale it up? 3
  5. 5. 1. Why are new forms of leadership urgently needed? 4
  6. 6. The current crisis is not just another crisis that we will overcome the way we have overcome previous crises 5
  7. 7. It a “polycrisis” or meta-crisis caused by the current development paradigm… 6 Ill-adapted education Financial “casino”,  hyper-debt Ecological threats, pillage of the planet Current development paradigm World hunger, pandemics, violence Widening gap between rich and poor; urban ghettos Economic disparities and instability Meaning- lessness, addictions Ethnic/ religious conflicts Lack of credibility/ corruption of leaders Inspired by Edgar Morin’s La Voie (The Way) Erosion of solidarity
  8. 8. …with a hypertrophy of the economic sphere Cultural sphere (education, arts, media, family) Political sphere Biosphere Inspired by Rudolf Steiner Geosphere Economic sphere 7
  9. 9. We can also view it as a bifurcation point… Survival/well-being of humanity 8 Time Adapted from Ervin Laszlo
  10. 10. … or the beginning of a metamorphosis 9 Chaos Time Fitness Inspired by Itchak Adizes
  11. 11. …with emerging forms of leadership 10 Chaos Time Fitness Entrepreneurship Management Financial dominance Aristocracy/ plutocracy Bureaucracy Inspired by Itchak Adizes Disintegration Co-leadership/ Co-entrepreneurship
  12. 12. What can we learn from the new sciences about evolution?   Adversity and being on the “edge of chaos” stimulate evolution   Life rewards the best combination between individual creativity and cooperation   Diversity, interdependence, and self-organizing capacity increase with evolution   ITC technologies enable distributed/interconnected networks 11
  13. 13. Characteristics of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) Diversity Interdependence Self-organization/ Invention 12
  14. 14. What can we learn from the new sciences (cont’d)?   Micro-particles remain connected over large distances (non-locality)   Emotional intelligence and body intelligence are as crucial as mental intelligence to live in a community   Our brain shows plasticity: it can be reprogrammed throughout life 13
  15. 15. Organization:  from  machine…  to  living  system                    A  more  complex  and  fast-­‐changing  economy  coupled  with                                          new  expectations  of  the  younger  generations   Adapted from In Principo Command & control communityProcess 14
  16. 16. Two dimensions of evolution 15 Interior/Invisible Exterior/Observable Culture Structures/ systems Consciousness/ Interiority Biology/ Behavior Interior Evolution Exterior Evolution I We it its
  17. 17. Individual and collective diversity of the interiors 16 Interior/Invisible Exterior/Observable Cultural memes Structures/ systems Types, stages and lines of development Biology/ Behavior Interior Evolution Exterior Evolution I We
  18. 18. 2. What is evolutionary co-leadership? 17
  19. 19. Evolutionnists and Evolutionaries   Evolutionists: are strongly influenced by the scientific theory of evolution (Darwin and his followers) – and limited to its externally observable aspects   Evolutionaries appreciate both exterior and interior aspects; have fully internalized evolution; are committed advocates and activists for evolution at the consciousness and cultural levels 18Adapted from Carter Phipps, Evolutionaries
  20. 20. An evolutionary • is a trans-disciplinary generalist, capable of discerning deep patterns and integrating what has been separated, in reflection as in action • looks at reality with a sense of long, “deep” time • shows a profound faith in the future and trusts life’s process • experiences him/herself both as a co-creator and co-responsible for evolution 19Adapted from Carter Phipps, Evolutionaries
  21. 21. 20 Are they evolutionary co-leaders?
  22. 22. From a domination paradigm… 21 Superior/ inferior ranking High degree of fear and violence Myths and stories legitimizing domination and subordination, presenting them as normal and efficient Authoritarian and punitive social structures. Pyramidal hierarchy. Controls Adapted from The Power of Partnership by Riane Eisler, New World Library, 2002 I We it its
  23. 23. …to a partnership paradigm 22 Equal intrinsic value Equivalence Mutual trust. Low degree of fear and submission Myths and stories honoring partnership, presenting it as normal “Flat” structures. Governance/guidance of the wise. Self-regulation Adapted from The Power of Partnership by Riane Eisler, New World Library, 2002 I We it its
  24. 24. Leadership ?   Lead comes from the indo-European root “leith” which mean “going forward”, “crossing a threshold” or even “dying” > A threshold must be crossed so that something new can emerge > Letting go of something we think we know or control can be experienced as a death, as stepping into the void 23
  25. 25. Co-leadership? To practice co-leadership: > invite others (as co-leaders) to cross a threshold together > venture with them into the unknown, the non-familiar > sense together what is trying to emerge > open up a space where individual creativity and collective wisdom can be combined 24
  26. 26. New forms of leadership   Learning, level 5   Collaborative   Shared, distributed, rotating   Complementary, co-creative   Collegial, cooperative   Collective, community   Partnership 25
  27. 27. 26 From heroic leadership to learning leadership… Charismatic Visionary • Articulates a vision • Passionate • Unconventional • Taking a personal risk • Strong personality • Charismatic • Highly motivated to lead Focused on his role as leader Learning leader/Architect • Good listener • Perseverant • Thoughtful, systemic thinker • Experimenting • Humble • Paradoxical • Highly motivated to learn Focused on building a learning team/ organization Inspired by Jerry Porras and Jim Collins’ research – Built to Last and Good to Great
  28. 28. Co-leadership: a new synthesis or new stage of leadership development 27 Individual leadership Collective consensus/ cooperative Evolutionary co-leadership
  29. 29. Examples of co-leadership in action   Sports: relay race, climbing team, hockey team, etc.   Arts: jazz ensemble, theatre improvisation   Movies: diverse teams in Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Star Wars, Matrix, X-Men, etc.   Economy: exceptional team, collaboration between line innovator, internal networker and executive leader, professional partnership, open innovation, alliance between company, NGO and public sector 28
  30. 30. 29 Contribution of three types of leadership in the cycle Innovation/Diffusion in internal and external learning Line innovator Internal Networker Executive leader Line manager with support from executive Innovations Successful applications Ideas Codif- ication Diffusion Internalization/ adaptation Inspired by Max Boisot and Peter Senge (The Dance of Change)
  31. 31. In summary, to practice evolutionary co-leadership is   To cross with others a threshold which opens to the non-familiar, the unexplored, with some discomfort   To co-create a space where each co-leader can express their own gift and creativity while calling on the collective inventiveness and wisdom – in service of the whole   To scale up co-leadership capacity by developing co-leaders within and across organizations and sectors of society 30
  32. 32. Different levels of partnering   Within self   With others (team, organization, across organizations and/or sectors)   With nature   With the larger field   With evolution, with Life (or Source) 31
  33. 33. What qualities need to be developed to move toward evolutionary co-leadership? What internal shifts are required? 32
  34. 34. Qualities of evolutionary co-leadership 33 I Relation to self You and I Relation to others All of life Relation to the whole Head Awareness Clarity Discernment Attention Exploration Appreciation of diverse perspectives Humility Global interconn- ectedness Global vision Heart Care/love Openness Non-judgmental In touch with one’s feelings Intuition Empathic listening Warm and ethical relationship Courage Global compassion Service Hara/ body Presence Embodied intention Self-sufficiency Solidity Presence to other Connection at subtle energy level Entrainment Right action informed by global awareness and larger energy field Adapted from Global Transforming Ensemble
  35. 35. 34 An evolutionary co-leader develops one’s doing and being self Aptitudes Pratices Behavior Framing Character Source Doing Being Adapted from P. O’Donnell & J. Galvin
  36. 36. 35 Layers of doing for learners and knowers Definition Indicators Learner Knower Behavior Directly observable actions Effort and immediate results I look for tools and tips to improve doing I am doing the best I can Practices Repeatable patterns of behavior Consistency and transfer- ability I look for best practices to be > effective My way works for me Skills Acquired knowledge & proficiency Competence and efficacy I work hard at developing my ability Been here, done that self Unique cap- abilities and limitations Personality, strengths and style I am more aware of who I am at my best What you see is what you get Adapted from P. O’Donnell & J. Galvin
  37. 37. 36 Layers of being for learners and knowers Definition Indicators Learner Knower Framing Assumptions and mental models in use Connection to reality and others I examine my worldview and engage others in learning together I am OK, you are OK Character Internalized principles that drive choices and behavior Values, ethics, and integrity My greatest challenge is to become a better person That is none of your business Sourcing/ alignment with Self Being aligned with a larger purpose beyond self Sense of calling, synchronicity, and flow I often ask myself: what is trying to happen through me? I am the master of my destiny. I make something happen out of nothing Adapted from P. O’Donnell & J. Galvin
  38. 38. Co-leadership consciously integrates and balances “both and” capabilities • reflection and action (triple-loop learning) • intuition and logic • body, heart, and intellect • presence and vision • emotional intelligence and complex thought • individual creativity and collective intelligence 37
  39. 39. 38 Inner and external dances of evolutionary co-leadership Inner dance of partnering External dance of partnering Personal practices Interpersonal & systemic practices R Evolutionary call Metasystemic practices R R : reinforcing loops R
  40. 40. 39 Learning to face complexity together
  41. 41. 40 3. Which integral practices enable its embodiment?
  42. 42. 41 Co-leadership development practices span the four quadrants Subjective/Invisible Objective/Observable Individual (I) Collective (we) (it)Personal Practices (its) Interpersonal practices (Meta)systemic practices
  43. 43. 42 Co-leadership development practices involve changes in all four quadrants Subjective/Invisible Objective/Observable (I) (We) (it) (its) Feeling interconnected Inner dialogue Trusting life/evolution Valuing each stages of development Staying humble, open Tuning one’s instrument Sensing, looking, and listening; deep breathing Tough love Willingness to improvise and experiment Co-hosting/sacred space Practicing impersonality (allowing collective flow) Co-creating through generative dialogue Peer co-development High-performance team Collective U process System in the room World café/Open space Behavioral agreements Holacracy/sociocracy
  44. 44. Position on the team performance curve Working group Potential team Pseudo-team Real team High performance/ Exceptional team Performance Team effectiveness Adapted from J. Katzenbach & D. Smith, The Wisdom of Teams, 2003
  45. 45. Quality of direction Quality of interaction Synergistic team - Shared vision -  Trust, high energy -  Walking the talk Team sharing a work method Fragmented group -  Diverging perspectives -  Silo mentality - Unspoken thoughts and feelings, maneuvers Position on the team performance matrix Team aligned around a common goal Trust Creative Proactive Reactive Passive Conflict Respect Solidarity Unity Mark Tigchelaar and Alain Gauthier Guiding ideas
  46. 46. 45 Personal practices -  Journaling about one’s personal observations, reflections and learning; auto-biographical writing -  Noticing one’s contradictory desires, and of the distinction between desires and intentions -  Surfacing and challenging one’s assumptions (using the ladder of inference, the four-column exercise), including about leadership -  Deepening one’s intuition and inner knowing through consciousness practices (e.g. meditation, nature, martial arts, improvisational theater) -  Seeking coaching/mentoring and role-playing -  Becoming aware of stages of development and the legitimacy of each one
  47. 47. 46 Interpersonal Practices • Practice high-quality advocacy and inquiry, active listening, reflective and generative dialogue, including in peer groups • Address conflicts as opportunities to learn • Work creatively with dilemmas and paradoxes (e.g. using a polarity map) • Apply systems thinking archetypes to complex issues in groups of peers • Use every meeting or interaction as learning opportunity; agree upon behavioral norms and evaluate how well they are respected • Check progress by using the partnering coherence questionnaire
  48. 48. Systemic and meta-systemic practices - Build a shared vision from the viewpoints of stakeholders as a lead-in to transformation, using creative tension - Form a micro-system with stakeholders’ representatives, practice active listening and co- designing of prototypes, by calling on collective wisdom - Engage peers and other actors of the eco-system in learning journeys in other cultural contexts - Connect with other leaders across organizations and sectors who sense the evolutionary call and are experimenting with new liberating structures 47
  49. 49. 4. What will it take to scale up evolutionary co-leadership? 48
  50. 50. What organizations/communities do you know that are already engaged in co-leadership practices? 49
  51. 51. Dissemination of evolutionary co-leadership 50 % of population Attitude toward innovation Resisters Fence sitters Supporters Innovators Adapted from Rupert Everett
  52. 52. What can each of us do to move in that direction? 51
  53. 53. Principles of evolutionary co-leadership   Remain deeply grounded in the purpose of evolution – not getting lost in details and difficulties   Trust the process of evolution – letting go of certainties and being open, curious, receptive, humble, experimenting, and courageous   Embrace complexity – without making it more complex or more simple than it is, but looking for “simplexity”   Be moved by the evolutionary call toward perfection in this imperfect but changing world – without becoming a perfectionist nor discouraged by current imperfections 52Adapted from Craig Hamilton
  54. 54. Principles of evolutionary co-leadership (cont’d)   Explore the way of the future in collaboration with others – inviting them to become co-leaders who express their own gifts in synergy   Be intuitive and et receptive to the surrounding field, by using all ways of knowing – somatic, emotional, cognitive, immediate – with discernment   Listen to the call of the future, while taking together a first step with confidence   Commit to play at another level, to change the game, staying on the razor’s edge, crossing a threshold – without listening to self-limiting beliefs. 53Adapted from Craig Hamilton
  55. 55. Possible next steps   Individual and collective inquiry, experimentation, and feedback   Peer development through communities of practice   Connecting and supporting evolutionary co- leadership experiments 54
  56. 56. To go further   Read: Actualizing Evolutionary Co-leadership – Evolving a Creative and Responsible Society   Consult:   Contact: 55