Building on a note I sent to the Art of Hosting list this morning, and thinking about some of the calls to work across generations this coming year…
Otto Scharmer sent along an email this week:
I just returned from some coaching and consulting work. i am struck by the similarity of experience that todays leaders face across companies, industries and even across sectors. as a leader today, you find yourself in NO-WHERE-LAND. on the one side you have all the tools that you learned from consultants, business schools and other sources of conventional management wisdom. on the other side you have a huge leadership challenge that you currently face. and in between these two things, there is a HUGE GAP. a NOWHERE-LAND. and you find yourself right in the middle of that NOWHERE-ZONE. alone.
the only thing that you can rely on in situations like this is your self-knowing. the deepening of your SELF-knowing. the deepening of your awareness. THAT is, what presencing is all about. to provide a method to collectively CREATE from that NOWHERE-ZONE.
but that technology does not work if you use it with a mindset that belongs to the old toolkit (”problemsolving”). it requires a new mindset. a mindset that is acutely aware of that NOWHERE-ZONE right in front of us, right within us. the awareness of that GAP right NOW right HERE provides a crack where the window to an heightened awareness opens up. without that window open, we cannot cross the distance from self to Self–from no-where to now-here.
This fincancial crisis in the USA, which will soon overtake us all, is both It seems to me that two things have to happen if we are to really shift into something else, even into the conditions that make Bernaerd’s thinking possible. First the old world has to pass away and old thinking has to die as well. Giving $700 billion dollars to old thinkers delays this passing away I think, even while it might be necessary at some level to keep SOMETHING stable. But this bailout was not done with awareness. Yesterday I read in Forbes that a Treasury Department spokesperson said they just picked “a really large number.” That kind of “make it up on the spot” thinking has to die away.
The second thing that needs to happen is that space needs to open up for new thinking, and this is the role of young people and those of us that are a little older who can help it to happen. A new FORM of leadership and organization is needed if a shift to sustainability on a global scale is to take place. This might be the best opportunity in the last generation for that to truly happen, but it won’t happen if we give in to those who say “don’t panic, we’ll get everything fixed up in a a few months/years.”
I’m not panicking nor am I suggesting panic, but I’m also not expecting the old world to die so easily. It’s painful to leave the world you believe in. And the current generation of leadership that got us into this mess, nhas a sense of generational entitlement that is hard to shake. I think that Now more than ever, we need the world to be run by 20 year olds.
And if that prospect frightens you, then take a look at what is happening to your retirement savings (if you have any), or your mortgage (if you have one), or watch what happens to your bank next week (if you live in the United States) and see which scenario is more scary. Doing what we can to assist the generational shift in leadership is an imperative.for our world, and it has to happen before this current generation of emerging leaders is bought in to the old way of doing things. I think the role of Elders now is not to sit on the sidelines and provide well meaning advice. It is to actively work with youth to accelerate their own wisdom and their moving into positions of real power and responsibility, the positions that are about designing this new world.
It’s worth noting that in Canada at the moment there is a very tightly contested election going on between various representatives of the old world order mixed in with some very radically new thinking even in the traditional parties. WHile I think this is maybe not the time for half way measures, it is surely not the time for the status quo.)
I think that is what it will take, and I think that is work we can do in all the communities and organizations where we are working. Where are the new leaders? Who are the people in your organization or community who need to be leading now? If they are on the sidelines, what are you doing to help them get front and centre?
The current generation just spent i’s own inhereitance and that of several future generations as well. We need to save it, and us, from anymore foolishness.