Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

Share this Page URL
Help

THE ROLE OF LEADERS IN COMPLEX CHANGE > THE ROLE OF LEADERS IN COMPLEX CHANGE - Pg. 413

____________________________________________________________ Complex change Scharmer (2000) is a great believer in self-organization too, but he also sees a more spiritual dimension to organizational or community endeavours. As we sense and intuit together, something sacred happens, and out of the space between us something new emerges. Scharmer refers to leadership as `sensing and actualizing emerging futures'. He identifies two important methods of learning that are both important for sustained organizational success. The first is to reflect on the past in a way that loosens our traditional views of what's happened. The second is to begin to sense and embody the emergent future as it appears out of the mist between us, instead of re-enacting past patterns. He talks about the processes of both `letting go' and `letting come', which leaders need to understand as the root of generative learning. This pro- cess is not about being polite, or getting involved in conflictual debate or dialectic. It involves true generative and reflective dialogue. Scharmer sees the leader's role as creating the conditions that allow others to `shift the place from which their system operates'. There is a sacred quality to Scharmer's work that takes us far beyond the focus on ordinary conversation which sits at the root of complex responsive process theory. Presence is another important quality that those writing about the complex view of change encourage in leaders. Facilitators of emergence need to embody presence if they are to be truly tuned into the comple- xities of organizational life. This means being less preoccupied by the world of objectives and performance indicators, and more open to the subtle complexities of the world as they unfold in front of them; more present in the `here and now' moment. Senge et al (2005) talk about presence as having an even deeper quality such as `grace', or what the Buddhists call `cessation'. This definition of presence has a spiritual quality to it. They say that presence occurs when there is a quieting of the mind, and the normal boundaries between self and the world begin to melt away. For leaders this means being able to let go, surrender control and open themselves to the wider needs of the world. The authors of Presence: Exploring profound change in people, organ- izations and society provide a sentence on what this notion of presence means to each of them: 413