Intellectual Shamans and Difference Makers: Stewardship Across Boundaries for the Necessary Transition Sandra Waddock Boston College 3rd International Conference on Responsible Leadership University of Pretoria, South Africa, November 5-6, 2014 Why a ‘Necessary Transition’? * Malcolm McIntosh Ethos of consumption, materialism Ethos of constant growth Where financial wealth is all that matters World of inequity, conflict, and destruction of our own habitat Constant competition rather than collaboration A call for stewardship of our planet A Need to Connect Across Problem Areas Numerous socio-economic problems facing the world, e.g., Climate change Inequity, inequality Collapsing ecosystems, Species extinction, Inherently unsustainable economic and financial systems Failing states Integrating across scientific, political, and business systems Conflict, terrorism, and human rights abuses Access: education, water, human rights, sanitation, energy, security, women’s rights Jobs crisis And the list goes on… The Situation is Dire…and affects all sectors UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon : “In the twenty-first century, supplies are running short and the global thermostat is running high. Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete. It has rendered it extremely dangerous. Over time, that model is a recipe for national disaster. It is a global suicide pact.” Ban Ki-moon, 2011 The world needs (responsible) leaders-- in all sectors who can… Think holistically and systemically… Aware of impacts and consequences of decisions Cross disciplinary, institutional, sector boundaries Are forward (v. past) looking Are open to paradox and ambiguity Are imaginative, creative, and risk-taking Probably do not follow today’s rules particularly well Most importantly: acknowledge wanting to make a positive difference with their work! ‘Stewards of the future’ Stewardship of the Future Stewardship: to hold something in trust for another Peter Block, Stewardship Beyond companies to societies and even Earth itself Is it the 1020? (Eccles and Serafeim) Or is it all of us, wherever we sit? Scientists, politicians, economists Civil society …as difference makers Academics…as intellectual shamans The stakes are high… Stewardship of the Future… Social license to operate Assumes (growing) stakeholder power Corporate charter change (re-purposing) Connected civil society: ‘blessed unrest’ Connecting science, economics, governance Earth System Governance across sectors Re-think large scale change Integrating science, governance, economics, and …life! Stewardship Changes Needed For Businesses… From Short-to-Long Term Rethinking Growth…which is a core problem Redefine…as development (not material/productivity) Higher complexity without material growth What would this look like? New Measures and Metrics Impacts on key stakeholders Ecosystem impacts (preservation, replenishment, renewal) Ratings (e.g., GoodGuide) Full cost/life cycle accounting Integrated reporting or <IR> Internalize costs A science of the better Governance for equity, social justice, and sustainability Think: resilience! To accomplish this, the world needs… Intellectual Shamans / Difference Makers What is a shaman? “A shaman is a healer of relationships between mind and body, between people, between people and circumstances, between humans and Nature, and between matter and spirit.” Painting by Jeannette Saco-Belli Crystalinks.com Kahili King (1990, p. 14) Shamans… Move through different frames or realms of experience e.g., across worlds, communities, disciplines, sectors, institutions Traditional shamans cross spiritual realms Often in altered (meditative, trance-induced) states Gather and bring back needed information Experience themselves, others, and the world in [spiritual and intuitive] ways that go beyond physical boundaries Are ‘Shapeshifters,’ comfortable in many realms Purposefully use discovered information (wisely) to heal their patient, community, or the world Shamanism World’s oldest spiritual tradition Found in all cultures Frost & Egri Healers of the tribe Individual, community, world Shamans ‘dream the world they want into existence’ Villoldo Intellectual Shamans intellectual work includes three related, overlapping roles: Healer ‘A shaman [is] a healer of relationships: between mind and body, between people, between people and circumstances, between humans and Nature, and between matter and spirit.’ Connector Serge Kahali King Shamans are boundary spanners or mediators of different realities, they are ‘seers’ who journey to other realms to gather information and bring it back for healing purposes. Sensemaker Shamans are ‘sources of knowledge and wisdom, prophets of the future, and counselor,’ drawing on theory and practice and sharing it with others, in a sense, acting as spiritual leaders of their respective clans. Egri and Frost Healer HEALER: So I think the business paradigm as we know it is broken. So it’s not about me deriving meaning, …it’s our obligation as people who had the privilege of being funded by public resources, it’s our obligation to create a better society. And if the business paradigm is broken, then it’s our obligation to provide something to fix it. Tima Bansal Connector CONNECTOR: But there are no limits to human cooperation. …Because so many of the stories that we lifted up showed that perhaps business could emerge as one of the most powerful forces on the planet, I decided to …[study] business as an agent of world benefit. Business as a force for peace in high conflict zones. Business as the force for eradicating extreme poverty. Business as a force for eco-innovation. David Cooperrider Sensemaker SENSEMAKER: [Business is] a deeply human enterprise. It’s how we create value and trade with each other. It’s how we create meaning for each other. It’s how we spend a third to half our lives. Until we come to see that, a human activity full of emotion and rationality and spirituality and sexuality and connection with others, until that’s in the center, not at the edge. R. Edward Freeman Intellectual Shamanism Three core functions Healing: A healing (greater good) orientation Connecting: The ability to connect different realities (or mediating realities, boundary spanning, bridging worlds, e.g., disciplines, sectors, institutions) Sensemaking: The ability to make sense of what has been seen and provide leadership around it Combine with… Power of purpose (driven by values) Courage/will to become fully oneself And a maverick if necessary And take necessary (intellectual and other) risks Systems/holistic thinking To generate…Wisdom Integration of moral imagination, systems understanding, and aesthetic sensibility in the service of a better world Waddock Difference Makers Social/institutional entrepreneurs and change agents Pragmatic visionaries Often action first…imagining what will make things better Then in hindsight recognizing the vision and its values-based underpinnings Focused on creating a better world Systems thinkers Purpose driven Desire to make a (positive) difference (healing) Supported by strong values (maybe no grand vision) Understand dialectical process of change Politically savvy networkers who cross boundaries and see things in new ways (connecting) Synchronistically ‘lucky,’ persistent, and hard-working Reframing and re-envisioning conversations through their actions and institutions (sensemaking) Taking risks, being mavericks Intellectual Shamans and Difference Makers have in common… Healing Purpose driven: healing…make the world better Think holistically (systemically) Understand process, dialectical change Connecting Operate across traditional boundaries Are ‘seers’ of what might be different/better Are risk-takers and mavericks (not neatly categorized) Sensemaking Use action, vision, narrative to create new cultural myths or institutions and heal old ones Intellectual Shamans and Difference Makers want to create… …stewardship of the future! Healing Seeing what needs healing in relationships In ‘broken’ cultural myths In people, ideas, theories, practices, institutions, methodologies, i.e., cultural myths That are dis-eased or dis-ordered Shamans bring ease to the dis-eased and order to the dis-ordered Healer, Heal Thyself Asking questions that others do not ask to find answers that others do not find Connecting Boundary-spanning or ‘walking between worlds’ or at the edge of what is known or practiced Mediator of realities (intermediary) Journeying (often in trance for traditional shamans…perhaps ‘flow’ for intellectual shamans) To gather and bring back information That heals relevant cultural myths through using intellectual capacities to share insights, knowledge, and wisdom that comes from making connections that others have not (yet) made That helps create holistic balance across realms of experience That provides new insights, ideas, and practices oriented toward healing (improving) something of interest Sensemaking Storytelling and Spiritual Leadership ‘Sources of wisdom and knowledge, prophets of the future, and counselors’ who ‘draw on both theoretical and practical knowledge in their practice’ Egri and Frost Storytelling: Making sense of the whole Seeing into reality more or less as it is Future Oriented: Seeing around the corner Wisdom: Not ‘magic’ but there is an element of spiritual guidance Making sense for others—beyond the self As Intellectual Shamans, we can dream the world we want into existence! Becoming an intellectual shaman or difference maker… Find purpose and passion about something that has the potential to make things better Become ‘fully who you must be’ in a way that helps the world Ask questions with import for the world Rise up a level of abstraction and think integratively about what needs to be done Take necessary risks Act on your ideas and what you ‘see’ needing to change Act as a steward of the planet! The world needs more of us to act …and there are risks and rewards! Thank you!