Leadership for Emergence
Note: An expanded version of this post was published as Notes from the Field in Integral Leadership Review (Oct 2010).
I love the World
that is breaking in tears
for the peace of mankind
My colleague Andrew J. Campbell and I just co-facilitated our new Leadership for Emergence course in South of France and we can still feel the energy. We are excited at the future potential of this unique and in many ways unusual creative offering in the peaceful and inspiring commune of St Jean de Laur, located at the heart of the Quercy.
Imagine yourself going away from your busy professional life to a three-day course. Instead of booking into a hotel or typical retreat ‘facility’ you find yourself in Beatrice’s own family country property. Just renovated, it includes all the modern comforts while keeping its original style and charm and still carrying the rich history of her family over the years.
Every day, you will share homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner made from fresh local food; you will enjoy walks and hikes on trails lined by centuries old stonewalls and punctuated by shepherds’ stone huts. Now, see yourself at the end of a warm day, swinging gently in a hammock and gazing on the billion stars that are the Milky Way. If you are lucky, you may even see a shooting star.
This unique course deliberately keeps the size of the group to six people in order to provide personal attention and the appropriate level of coaching to each participant based on their specific leadership needs at every given moment. Over three days, Andrew and Beatrice will attend you as you progress through your own creative journey. One important goal we set ourselves is to create an environment that facilitates spontaneous insights as participants open their senses more wholly moving from double-loop learning to achieve triple-loop learning—that is, learning which comes from the heart and that integrates explicit knowledge (knowledge in the mind), tacit knowledge (experience) and transcendental knowledge (wisdom). Central to our living design is the belief, based on our experience, that the inner state dynamically balanced with Nature is key to any transformative journey and that all change process must be grounded in our own authenticity.
With the assistance of Nature, Art and Dialogue, we choose to focus on helping individuals connect with ‘source’ that reawakens natural creativity. Throughout the process we aim at co-generating with participants an unbroken field that reveals their own emergent destination. The heuristic structure allows us to create a very fluid process, reflecting Nature’s creativity, from a set of activities that are adapted to the unfolding need of each of the participants. Our intent is to facilitate participants’ reconnection to the very meaning and new purpose of their lives—as Andrew puts it, “with lightness of touch at the speed of light.”
Since a picture is worth a thousands words, here are a few glimpses and highlights in pictures with some commentaries.
Letting leaves, stones and lichen speak for themselves
“I am powerful, but I don’t know how.”
“I am coming from Nature, going to Nature, but I am outside of it”
“I am fragile, of different forms, yet adaptive.”
One does not have to be a trained artist to fully engage one’s core creative self. It is sufficient to pick up a brush, open the mind, open the inner eye and paint the vision. Our sole purpose as creative facilitators is to co-create the space for authenticity to reveal itself.
The many authentic lessons that may unfold from the connected body-mind in Nature are best captured in what poet William Blake referred to when he wrote “No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.” One lesson is that the quintessence of emergence is its irreversibility. It cannot be manufactured; like a dream and like a work of art, it contains past, present and future as one. We can choose to live life as in art, creatively, healed, whole, holy: three words, one reality.
Beatrice and Andrew
Poems and paintings by Augusto and Susana Tomas
Photographs by Andrew J. Campbell