…thoughts on and about my PhD journey and beyond…

Archive for the ‘Knowledge Era’ Category

Social complexity theory for sense seeking: Unearthing leadership mindsets for unknowable and uncertain times

I have just had a paper published which outlines the thinking behind the framing of my PhD study.  It is published in the Emergence: Complexity and Organization Journal (E:CO 17.1) and this issue as well as all others, are currently offered for the time being as open source as the journal moves into a new online platform.

Abstract: This exposition considers perspectives underpinning contemporary leadership studies given we are located in what Hawking describes as the ‘century of complexity’, also understood as a Knowledge Era. Social complexity as context allows consideration of the turbulence our times without looking for guaranteed, certain, or ‘right’ answers and allows us to work with these conditions, rather than succumb to threat rigidity, pretend they do not exist, or think they are someone else’s problem. To make sense of these conditions requires ontological and cognitive shifts of mindset that more closely match the ‘requisite variety’ of the complexities of our times. The paper draws upon a PhD interpretive inquiry which identified cogent leadership literacies for the 21st century and explored them within Australian university settings. Various cognitive frames feature in this paper and serve to illuminate possibilities for scholars and practitioners seeking fresh approaches for leadership studies for a Knowledge Era. Whilst there are many contemporary scholars already doing so it is also clear that the ontological shifts are not easy and that archaic mindsets are difficult to dislodge even in light of wicked problems like the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 or environmental disasters.

You can find this issue at https://journal.emergentpublications.com/article_tag/volume-17-issue-1/

 

The thesis has been submitted…Leadership Literacies for Professional Staff in Universities

Typeface: Thesis from Lucas de Groot

Lucas de Groot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’m very happy to report that I submitted my thesis ‘Leadership Literacies for Professional Staff in Universities’ last week. Here is a snippet about the findings and also my acknowledgements page.

Leadership Literacies for Professional Staff in Universities

The first discovery of my thesis was the naming of the Worldly, Sustaining, Leadingful, Relational and Learningful Leadership Literacies that I proposed were appropriate for leadership for professional staff in 21st century universities.  These indicate that the focus of leadership studies has moved from all about the leader (as it was in the 20th century) to the work of leadership that everyone does in knowledge-intensive enterprises (and into what is termed in the literature, a post-heroic leadership space). The next two discoveries found that these LL’s were evident in i) theorisations of higher education leadership research projects (The Scott report Learning Leaders In Times of Change and the Jones & Ryland report that synthesised 4 ALTC research projects about distributed learning prospects for Australian universities); and ii) in the data elicited from the lived experiences of work and leadership given by 226 ATEM professional staff members.  In naming one of the LL’s ‘Sustaining’ I was able to test for human sustainability indicators and these results are less rosy than the rest, and this is reflected in my final reflections. These discoveries led to my finding that the Worldly, Sustaining, Leadingful, Relational and Learningful Leadership Literacies were appropriate and indeed indicated as congruent with leadership for professional staff working in universities.

7.3 Final Reflections

My final reflections I turn to three ideas emerging in unison as I contemplate putting the final full stop in this thesis. These are about amplification, the idea of ‘leadership as the business of energy management’ and how these relate to the people I have featured in this thesis, professional staff in Australian universities.

I have spoken several times already about amplifying the considerable body of literature that is now encapsulated within the Worldly, Sustaining, Leadingful, Relational and Learningful Leadership Literacies. This thesis has also amplified the voices of professional staff working in universities, who as Szekeres (2004) reasoned in her search for them in higher education discourse, were ‘invisible workers’. I captured as many of these voices that wanted to be heard and they had much to say about work and leadership in universities in this early part of the 21st century. One of the key messages I discerned from their accounts was about energy management, having positioned this as a leadership concern within my Sustaining Leadership Literacy. Given the recollections in Martin’s (1999) research that I shared in this thesis, about the effects of change and turbulence on academic staff, there are similarities in the responses given by professional staff, some ten years later. I gave two accounts of academics voicing their frustration and sense of despair from Martin’s research*. These sentiments have been shared by my participants, and one quote, from Martha, eloquently encapsulates similar frustrations (and risks):

We seem to be working longer and longer hours—I regularly work a 50+ week and also work on the weekend. Most of my colleagues are in similar positions, this situation will increasingly take a toll on our health, work productivity and organizational sustainability. However, what can we do about it? Martha (Generation Jones (Late Boomer), Go8 Manager)

I regard this as a key leadership challenge in universities at this time. I am also struck, yet again, by the prescience of Mary Parker Follett, and her grasp of these concerns so long ago. She was a person ahead of her time. This leads me to ponder whether she may also be ahead of ours in light of her messages about making the connection between leadership and energy management stronger.

Whoever connects me with the hidden springs of all life, whoever increases the sense of life in me is my leader (Follett 1928, p. 294).

*This from earlier in the thesis in the chapter on Australian HE leadership…

Another notable work is Elaine Martin’s Changing Academic Work: Developing the Learning University (1999). Connecting student learning theory with then nascent ‘learning organisation’ literature to frame her study, Martin captured the effects of change in academic work through the lived experience of academics. In this snapshot of change in the UK and Australia, Martin reflected that it did “not make happy reading. They paint a picture of despondence and frustration, with the occasional pocket of optimism” (p. 13). The research revealed 60% of leaders, as well as 80% of academics (in non-leadership positions), complained that accountability was excessive (p. 17). Their concern was “not with accountability itself, but with the battery of accountability mechanisms which they saw as getting in the way of real work” (p. 17). In addition, Martin captured the effects of change on people, something that I emulate in the next chapter, albeit with a different cohort of university staff. She found that while 77% of leaders felt ‘undervalued’, so did 88% of academics (in non-leadership positions) [p. 21]. Two statements from contributors to Martin’s study are especially poignant, and support my argument that energy management is a key leadership responsibility in the 21st century:

The first, airs frustration: “I feel like the miller’s daughter in Rumpelstiltskin. Each day I do the impossible, I perform the miracle—but there is only greed for more, never gratitude for what I am doing” [Senior Lecturer, Social Science] (p. 21).

The next is simply heartbreaking: “I gave to my work what I should have given to my family, I now have no family … and soon may have no job” [Lecturer, Economics] (p. 22).

Acknowledgements

I gratefully acknowledge my supervisor Sandra Jones for her encouragement, single-mindedness and considerable understanding of what it takes to stay on course as I traversed a lot of territory; and for knowing when to let me explore and when to rein me in. As a practice-led researcher I came with ideas and a passion for this topic which, under Sandra’s counsel, were galvanised into a plan of inquiry. I sincerely thank her for her encouragement, good humour, intellect and staying power. Special mention and thanks, Sandra, for your ability to finally move my resistant focus stemming from these ideas and passion for my profession to what is expected to be in (and out) of a thesis in the discipline of management.

Peter Macauley, my second supervisor, is acknowledged for his encouragement and the collegial working relationship we have shared for thirty years. Having someone who knew me well was invaluable for my own personal journey especially since my identity has shifted, was unmade and remade in the process of this experience. Thanks Pete for your practical and strategic advice, gleaned from your own doctoral education research focus, it was invaluable.

I also acknowledge the support and assistance of RMIT for their research training program, their RMIT/APA full-time Scholarship, as well as the opportunities afforded by presenting at international conferences in Rome and London.

I have many people to thank for their support during this time. Of special mention are my fellow doctoral students Deb Nanschild, Anne Hiha, David Holzmer, Ailsa Haxell and Robyn Ward for the many conversations shared which led me to deeper understandings of my inquiry (and theirs). Thanks to Chris Bigum for the generous chats about all things philosophical. Thanks also to Terry Evans for his initial encouragement to begin the journey and for wisdom shared during many coffees since.

Special thanks to the 226 Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) colleagues who took the time to participate in this research project. This would not have been possible without the support of Maree Conway and Giles Pickford (ATEM Secretariat) who agreed to act as the conduit between myself, as researcher, and the potential participants for this study. Thank you, Linda McKellar, ATEM Vice President, for your wisdom and as conference travelling companion for several overseas conferences; Stephen Weller, President of ATEM, for your commendations of support and encouragement. Thanks also goes to my focus group of experts who tested the survey for relevance and ease of use.

Last but no means least are my family. I would not have been able to take time out to undertake this inquiry as a full-time student without the support of my partner, Philip. His encouragement, support and culinary skills sustained me during this time. I dedicate this thesis to my children Ashleah and Rohan who have been as supportive of my studies as I have been of theirs. They have been the inspiration to look afresh at leadership and hopefully they (and their generation) will benefit from, and indeed champion, the kinds of 21st leadership literacies I have introduced in this thesis.

Servant Leadership Theory as an indicator of the Worldly Knowledge Era Leadership Literacy

Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933)American psycho...

Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My abstract has been accepted for the Global Servant-Leadership Research Roundtable to be held in Melbourne in June.  I am using SL theory (and particularly Sendjaya’s SL Behaviour Scale Model) as an indicator of a worldly leadership mindset.  Here is my abstract:

Leadership Redux: Reconnecting Humanist Concerns with Leadership for the Knowledge Era through the Lens of Servant Leadership

We find ourselves today, in the second decade of the 21st century, embedded in a knowledge-intensive era (Uhl-Bien, Marion, & McKelvey, 2007) framed by the interrelationships between knowledge production as the main driver of growth and wealth creation, globalisation, massification of education and deepening concerns about our world’s environmental sustainability.  As Klenke (2008) argues, these changes are signifiers of a “paradigm shift that is permeating the field of leadership studies” (p. 380) as we move away from 19th century industrial era and machine-age leadership mindsets where command and control practices and heroic leadership models were privileged and still influence leadership practices today.  The shift is towards a different approach, not yet named or fully understood, yet emerging as leadership perspectives appropriate today’s VUCA[1] (Johansen, 2009) environment.

A Servant Leadership (SL) (Greenleaf, 1977; Spears & Lawrence, 2002) redux is not surprising given these turbulent conditions, especially since the Global Financial Crisis (Shiller, 2008; Lamba, 2010).  SL theory is integral to making sense of these conditions which call for different and deeper ways of thinking about our world, our worldviews and our leadership and research practices.  Leaders and followers are articulating what they may have long felt—that profits above all else and rampant consumerism are not serving the purpose of our lives and they are leading to unsustainable business practices that are harming people and the planet (Evans, 2008).  It is also emblematic of the renaissance of humanist principles of leadership (Follett, 1924, 1925; Mayo, 1933; Barnard, 1938) taken up from the latter stages of the 20th century, for example, by McGregor (1960),  Drucker (1993), Hock (1999), Raelin (2003), Senge et al (2004) and Turnbull (2011).

One definition of leadership that accords with the principles of SL and works with the conditions already described is that “leaders are in the business of energy management” (Kets de Vries, 2003 p. 111).  This definition acknowledges that leadership is deeply bound to the sustainable use of our creative energies. It also elevates the judicious governance of energy of self, others and the environment alongside, not subordinate to, financial governance, and therefore towards more holistic approaches to governance (Elkington, 1998; Bragdon, 2006, 2009).

My research has found that appropriate leadership literacies for the knowledge era rest on these humanist principles and this expanded notion of governance and, indeed, that SL is central to this endeavour.  Such leadership literacies bring issues of sustainability and complexity into the leadership fold, based on the premise that leadership is not set apart from the living systems—human and environmental—that we serve (Davis, 2010a, b).  Here the term literacy suggests more than just the ability to read and write, to be literate also implies a deeper understanding of the particular phenomenon under review and the ability to make sense of, embody, interpret and interact with complex sources of information and experiences inherent in that domain. 

The leadership literacies I have determined from the literature as appropriate for the Knowledge Era have, in turn, been used to investigate whether they are yet evident in Australian universities, by asking university professional staff about their lived experience of work and leadership.  The responses were analysed against the selected themes of this inquiry which are grounded in a SL Behavioral Scale (SLBS) (Sendjaya, Sarros, & Santora, 2008)[2] with the addition of sustainability development; leadership as work, i.e. process and practice; worldly leadership; and learning metabolism.  I expect my findings to elucidate that the re-emergence of humanist concerns in general, and Servant Leadership theory in particular, are strong foundations for leadership literacies for the Knowledge Era.

References

Barnard, C. I. 1938. The functions of the executive. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Bragdon, J. H. 2006. Profit for life, how capitalism excels:  Case studies in living asset management. Cambridge, MA: Society for Organization Learning Inc.

Bragdon, J. H. 2009. Capitalism as a human system: The value of relational equity. Reflections, 10(1): pp. 1-8.

Davis, H. 2010a. Other-centredness as a leadership attribute: From ego to eco centricity. Journal of Spirituality, Leadership and Management, 4(1): pp. 43-52.

Davis, H. 2010b. The sustainability zeitgeist as a gps for worldly leadership within the discourse of globalisation, European Academy of Management 10th Annual Conference: Back to the future. Rome: EURAM.

Drucker, P. F. 1993. Post-capitalist society. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann,.

Elkington, J. 1998. Cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21st century business. Gabriola Island, BC ; Stony Creek, CT: New Society Publishers.

Evans, P. 2008. Is an alternative globalization possible? Politics Society, 36(2): pp. 271 – 305.

Follett, M. P. 1924. Creative experience. New York: Longmans, Green and Co.

Follett, M. P. 1925. Dynamic administration: The collected papers (H.C. Metcalf & L.F. Urwick 1940 ed.). New York: Harper & Bros.

Greenleaf, R. K. 1977. Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.

Hock, D. 1999. Birth of the chaordic age. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Johansen, R. 2009. Leaders make the future: Ten new leadership skills for an uncertain world. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Kets de Vries, M. F. R. 2003. Leaders, fools and imposters:  Essays on the psychology of leadership (Rev ed.). New York: iUniverse Inc.

Klenke, K. 2008. Qualitative research in the study of leadership. Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Lamba, H. S. 2010. Understanding the ideological roots of our global crises: A pre-requisite for radical change. Futures, 42(10): pp. 1079-1087.

Mayo, E. 1933. The human problems of an industrial civilization. New York,: The Macmillan company.

McGregor, D. 1960. The human side of enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Raelin, J. A. 2003. Creating leaderful organizations: How to bring out leadership in everyone. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Sendjaya, S., Sarros, J. C., & Santora, J. C. 2008. Defining and measuring servant leadership behaviour in organizations. Journal of Management Studies, 45(2): pp. 402 – 424.

Senge, P. M., Scharmer, C. O., Jaworski, J., & Flowers, B. S. 2004. Presence: Human purpose and the field of the future. Cambridge, MA: SoL.

Shiller, R. J. 2008. The subprime solution: How today’s global financial crisis happened and what to do about it. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press.

Spears, L. C., & Lawrence, M. 2002. Focus on leadership: Servant-leadership for the twenty-first century. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.

Turnbull, S., Case, P., Edwards, G., Schedlitzki, D., & Simpson, P. (Eds.). 2011. Worldly leadership: Alternative wisdoms for a complex world. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Uhl-Bien, M., Marion, R., & McKelvey, B. 2007. Complexity leadership theory: Shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(4): pp. 298-318.

van Dierendonck, D. 2011. Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 37(4): pp. 1228-1261.


[1] Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA)

[2] The SLBS was also cited in van Dierendonck, D. 2011. Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 37(4): pp. 1228-1261.

Are there emerging leadership literacies for knowledge enterprises in times of flux?

Here is my presentation which was given as part of a panel discussion about leadership and complexity for the International Leadership Association’s annual conference , London on 29 October, 2011.  The full document containing the panel abstract and the four presentation abstracts can be found here and David Holzmer’s post about this event can be found here.

Complexity and Uncertainty in Universities in Australia: Emerging Leadership Literacies for Knowledge Enterprises in Times of Flux

Description: Leadership literacies for the knowledge era enterprise rest on humanist principles of Servant Leadership theory and interconnect with sustainability and complexity through the premise that leadership is not set apart from the living systems-human and environmental-that we serve. Leaders also understand that these living systems are dynamic, emergent and unpredictable.

Abstract Although only history can ultimately confirm it to be true, anecdotal evidence suggests that we are witnessing new times framed by the interrelationships between knowledge production as the main driver of growth and wealth creation, globalisation, massification of education and deepening concerns about our world’s environmental sustainability. Added to these complexities is a reliance on the certitude of risk assessment and management that pervades the sector. However, the greatest risk to universities in Australia, as elsewhere, are changes to government policy, particularly when these policy changes reduce funding in an already underperforming knowledge nation (Considine et al. 2001; Wood 2003).

These times of change and uncertainty call for different and deeper ways of thinking about our world, our worldviews and our leadership practices. We find ourselves today, in the second decade of the 21st century, well and truly embedded in the knowledge era. Here universities are both sites of knowledge work and in the business of knowledge acquisition and dissemination and therefore can be seen as both drivers and vehicles of knowledge production, the main economic driver of growth in this knowledge-intensive era. Leading productively and promoting a culture of learning and performance are therefore vital to the sector and the society it serves.

Complexity theories (see for example, Waldrop 1992; Kurtz & Snowden 2003; Uhl-Bien et al. 2007; Obolensky 2010) are one way to surface these issues and make our thinking visible and encourage dialogue about the turbulent and challenging conditions we are experiencing. Through the lenses of complexity theory and proximal modes of understanding (Cooper & Law 1993) we see other ways of understanding the world unfettered by an ideology of neo-liberalism.

Instead, these world views rest on an assumption that complex social processes underpin our complex planet and our emerging worlds because they explicate the processes that lead to results, not just the results in isolation:

…taken-for-granted states of being, human or organizational, are products or effects of complex social processes. And if we want to understand them, we need a sociology of becoming.  Proximal thinking views organizations as mediating networks, as circuits of continuous contact and motion-more like assemblages of organizings…organizations so conceived are really effects created by a set of mediating measuring instruments (Cooper & Law 1993, pp. 238-40).

One concept of leadership that resonates well for universities and other knowledge-intensive enterprises and that work with the conditions already described is that “leaders are in the business of energy management” (Kets de Vries 2003). This definition privileges a view that that leadership is deeply tied to the sustainable use of our creative energies. It also elevates the judicious governance of energy of self, others and the environment alongside, not subordinate to, financial governance and into a triple bottom line (Elkington 1998) approach to governance.

Leadership literacies for the knowledge era rest on humanist principles of Servant Leadership theory (Greenleaf 1977) and interconnect to the domains of sustainability and complexity through the premise that leadership is not set
apart from the living systems-human and environmental-that we serve. Leaders also understand that these living systems are dynamic, emergent and unpredictable (Davis 2010). Leadership literacies for the knowledge era enterprise also  expand the notion of leadership to incorporate the process of leadership alongside post industrial and post heroic understandings of how leaders and followers (Chaleff 2009; Ladkin 2010), customers and other stakeholders contribute to the knowledge enterprise. Leadership therefore is deeply personal yet paradoxically all about what can be achieved collectively with everyone inside enterprise’s circle of leadership.

Further to presenting these emerging trends for leadership in knowledge era enterprises this presentation will share preliminary findings from a current PhD study investigating whether or not leadership literacies appropriate for the knowledge era are being practiced in universities in Australia today. These ‘leadership literacies for the knowledge era’ and their focus on complexity, sustainability (Dunphy et al. 2007) and servant leadership (Greenleaf 1977; Spears & Lawrence 2002; Sendjaya et al. 2008) theory will be further explored through the preliminary findings of this research. Complex Adaptive Systems theory will be used to as a way of recognising the cognitive leaps needed to attune mindsets to appropriate way of thinking about leadership appropriate for the knowledge era and the turbulent times that beset the 21st century. For example, one key element of Complex Adaptive Systems theory is to understand the world as an interconnected system and that “each of these systems is a network of many “agents” acting in parallel” (Holland, in Waldrop 1992, p. 145). Some of these “agents acting in parallel” have come together as panellists for this session and are also  indicated by the similarities of the themes from this PhD research project from Australia which began in 2008 and the findings from the IBM research report “Capitalising on complexity” (Berman & Korsten 2010).

As well as outlining the preliminary findings from my PhD study, this presentation will focus on a different complexity theory than those outlined by the other presenters in this panel discussion. The VUCA movement (Johansen 2009) encapsulates the turbulence-the Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity-that mark the 21st century within a VUCA acronym thereby ‘taming’ it to some extent and suggesting ways of working with VUCA rather than feeling
powerless in the face of it.

References

Berman, S. & Korsten, P. 2010. Capitalising on complexity: Insights from the Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Study. Portsmouth, UK, IBM Institute for Business Value.
Chaleff, I. 2009. The courageous follower: standing up to and for our leaders. (3rd ed.) San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler.
Considine, M., Marginson, S., Sheehan, P., & Kumnick, M. 2001. The comparative performance of Australia as a knowledge nation. Sydney, Chifley Research Centre.
Cooper, R. & Law, J. 1993. Organization: Distal and Proximal Views. In S. B. Bacharach & P. Gagliardi & B. Mundell (Eds.), Research in the sociology of organizations: Studies of Organizations in the European Tradition, Vol. 13,
Greenwich, Conn: JAI Press, pp. 275-301.
Davis, H. 2010. The sustainability zeitgeist as a GPS for Worldly Leadership within the discourse of globalisation, European Academy of Management 10th Annual Conference: Back to the future. Rome, EURAM.
Dunphy, D. C., Griffiths, A., & Benn, S. 2007. Organizational change for corporate sustainability: a guide for leaders and change agents of the future. (2nd ed.) Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, Routledge.
Elkington, J. 1998. Cannibals with forks: the triple bottom line of 21st century business. Gabriola Island, BC ; Stony Creek, CT, New Society Publishers.
Greenleaf, R. K. 1977. Servant leadership: a journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York, Paulist Press.
Johansen, R. 2009. Leaders make the future: ten new leadership skills for an uncertain world. San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Kets de Vries, M. F. R. 2003. Leaders, fools and imposters: essays on the psychology of leadership. (Rev ed.) New York, iUniverse Inc.
Kurtz, C. F. & Snowden, D. J. 2003. The new dynamics of strategy: sense-making in a complex and complicated world. IBM Systems Journal, 42(3), pp. 462 – 483.
Ladkin, D. 2010. What goes on in the relationship between leaders and followers? In, Rethinking leadership: a new look at old leadership questions, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 55-74.
Obolensky, N. 2010. Complex adaptive leadership: embracing paradox and uncertainty. Farnham, Gower.
Sendjaya, S., Sarros, J. C., & Santora, J. C. 2008. Defining and Measuring Servant Leadership Behaviour in Organizations. Journal of Management Studies, 45(2), pp. 402 – 24.
Spears, L. C. & Lawrence, M. 2002. Focus on leadership: servant-leadership for the twenty-first century. New York, J. Wiley & Sons.
Uhl-Bien, M., Marion, R., & McKelvey, B. 2007. Complexity Leadership Theory: Shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(4), pp. 298-318.
Waldrop, M. M. 1992. Complexity: the emerging science at the edge of order and chaos. New York, Simon & Schuster.
Wood, J. 2003. Australia: an under performing knowledge nation? Journal of Intellectual Capital, 4(2), pp. 144 – 164.

Builders, Caretakers and Undertakers in Tertiary Education Management

University of Genoa

Image via Wikipedia

Here is the abstract from a presentation I gave at the Tertiary Education Management Conference, Melbourne on October 6.

A transcript of this presentation can be found here.  Comments welcome.

Abstract

The title of this presentation borrows from the late C.K. Prahalad and his call for us to fundamentally rethink strategy and create radically new organizational capabilities; and his assertion that the appetite for this process of re-examining and reinventing will separate the builders (leaders) from caretakers (managers) and undertakers (cautious administrators).

Although only history can ultimately confirm this to be true, anecdotal evidence suggests that we are witnessing new times framed by the interrelationships between knowledge production as the main driver of growth and wealth creation, globalisation, massification and deepening concerns about our world’s environmental sustainability. These times of change and uncertainty call for different and deeper ways of thinking about our world and worldviews and our leadership practices.

We find ourselves in the second decade of the 21st century well and truly embedded in the knowledge era. Tertiary Education sector institutions are both sites of knowledge work and in the business of knowledge acquisition and dissemination and therefore can be seen as both drivers and vehicles of knowledge production, the main economic driver of growth in this knowledge-intensive era. Leading productively and promoting a culture of learning and performance is therefore vital to the sector and the society it serves.

Appropriate leadership for knowledge based enterprises has also changed but have we transformed as individuals and organisations? Are we being led by 19th century thinking from the industrial era depicted by heroic leadership and command and control practices? Or are we leading ourselves and our organisations in a way that incorporates the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity that now mark our lives? More likely, as is the case with paradigmatic change, we are experiencing a mixture of both and that indeed the future is here; it’s just unevenly distributed!

This presentation will outline the emerging trends for leadership in the knowledge era and share preliminary results from an online survey of ATEM members that indicate whether or not leadership literacies appropriate for the knowledge era are being practiced in universities in Australia today.

Other-Centredness and kindred mindful approaches to leadership in an emerging world

Pedagogical Creed

Image by technovore via Flickr

Please forgive me, it has been several months since my last confession–oh…I mean posting!!  There are quite a few reasons for this ranging from writer’s block, to shifting into the ‘doing’ part of my research, and as my supervisor pointed out to me–that I am moving from one stage of my research to another and perhaps I don’t have such a need for the writing-as-thinking outlet.

The blog has been instrumental to the conceptual stage of my research, both as the writing-as-thinking platform and a way to share my learnings and in many cases un-learnings with my peers.  As a practictioner-researcher, this sharing of information and the opportunity to receive feedback has been an important part of my personal research journey.

As I enter into the data collection stage this blog might be rather quiet, but no doubt when I get into the analysis stage it will re-emerge as I wrestle with and make sense of my thoughts and the data.

Today then is quite an important marker in my PhD journey as my data collection has officially begun, and I’ve just received notification that an abstract has been accepted for a conference next February, see the following abstract.

Until next time….

(more…)

World Day of Interconnectness 090909…

Viv and Heather on 090909

Heather & Viv on 090909

http://www.interconnectedness090909.org/

By organising a global 24 hour event with a focus on celebrating interconnectedness, the World Day of Interconnectness on 090909 aims to promote a a greater sense of interconnectedness as a foundation for a world that works for all life.  By consciously seeking to manifest and attract more of what we want on a global scale we will be part of the shift from separation to oneness–or–from Illness to WEllness..

There are lots of things you can do to celebrate this day and the website has a comprehensive list of activities.  Here are just a few ideas…

1.  Free Marathon Leadership Webinar event (On the day of the event access the webinar here,   http://webmeeting.dimdim.com/portal/JoinForm.action?meetingRoomName=leaderscafe

‘Leaders Cafe Foundation’ will host a 24-hour webcast event, with guest speakers from around the world talking and sharing about the new kind of interconnected leadership.  I have volunteered to take an hour long webinar at 0800 GMT (that’s 6pm Melbourne time on 9th September).  The draft Leaders Cafe Foundation program is:

All listed GMT (check here for how this equates to your own timezone)

Final Program (updated 8-Sep-09)

07:00 Ian Berry from Australia What Real Leaders Do and fake ones don’t
08:00 Heather Davis from Australia Taking it personally: small “l” leadership practices

09:00 Krishna Kumar from Australia You’ve planned your holiday but have you planned your life?
10:00 Sangeeth Varghese from India Defining moments that can change your life
11:00 Krishna Kumar from Australia Growing Roses and Chrysanthemums
12:00 Don Dunoon from Australia Leadership mode: Leadership as grounded in learning and relational working
13:00 Gino Federici from USA Harmonious Oneness
14:00 Rhea D’Souza from India Leadership through storytelling
15:00 Rhea D’Souza from India At the edge of innovation
16:00
Kwai Yu from United Kingdom Why should anyone be led by you?
17:00 Andy Ferguson, The Nine rules
18:00 Kellie Frazier from USA Speak or write with intention
19:00 Joel Graham-Blake from the UK Chasing the Butterfly: How to enjoy YOUR journey to success
20:00 Richard Norris from Scotland 7 steps to success
21:00 Ian Berry from Australia Standing out from the crowd – how to do today what others will be thinking about tomorrow
22:00 Ian Berry from Australia Differencemakers – how doing good is great for your life and work
23:00 Remi Cote from Canada 3 complimentary models of a team
00:00 Remi Cote from Canada Symptoms a leader cannot overlook
01:00 Jane Chin from Los Angeles Leaders Cafe Foundation launch in LA
02:00 Jane Chin Personal Branding (includes the launch of the ebook “Who am I? the power of a personal brand” by Ian Berry, Jane Chin, Remi Cote, Shelley Dunstone, Joel Graham-Blake, Pat Nautin, Leo Sonneveld, and Kwai Yu
03:00 Jane Chin Personal Branding

2.  Snap your “peace portrait”– an intentional photo where you beam peace to the world on this day.
All participants of 090909 events are encouraged to take their portrait in this state of interconnectedness. Artist Russell Maier from 1Mandala will create a beautiful Mandala of these portraits. The 090909 Mandala will be available for all participants as a remembrance of the day, to hold the energy and to show gratitude for everyone’s participation. In addition this 090909 Mandala will be part of a bigger Mandala offered on 10-10-2010 to the United Nations. 

Then, e-mail your photo to peace@1mandala.org Include in the title of your photo your location, a message and 999. For example: “Ossopo, Italy – Oneness to the World -999. jpeg”.  You have until the 18th of September 2009 to submit your 090909 portrait.

3.  Make up your own interconnected adventure!!  Be sure to add it to the 090909 website too.

Enjoy!!

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