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Integral Leadership Review: Leading Comments

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This article is taken from the January Issue of the Integral leadership Review. Guest editor was Ron Cacioppe

This is a special issue of Integral Leadership Review that focuses on Integral Leadership in Australia. It includes a leadership quotation, an interview, two reviews of materials published by authors in Australia, and several important articles contributing to the discussion of integral leadership. All of these materials relate directly to Australia and, I believe, make a significant contribution to leaders and leadership throughout the world.

Wendelin Küpers introduces integral leadership in Austalasia as enjoying the freedom of marginality and the potentiality for having an impact. He describes both the cultural openings and constraints on that development.

This issue contains the first discussion of a Global Integral Leadership study that we are undertaking at the Integral Institute Australasia. Jay Davies spent three months visiting England and the United States interviewing eight leaders who were identified as having characteristics of ‘Integral’ leaders. Russ Volckmann’s interview with Jay brings out some of the extraordinary characteristics of leaders that have this ‘Integral’ factor. Inspiring social, environmental and spiritual vision, doing well by doing good, being in the moment fully, dropping self talk and negative thinking and connecting with something higher are some of the characteristics that define Integral leadership and come through Jay’s summary. The first time I saw Jay after she returned from her international trip, her first words were; ‘There are real Integral leaders out there!”. Her interview gives some idea of what these Integral leaders are like in living color!

Roger Stace explores the ongoing puzzle of how humans could have evolved the traits that integral leaders exhibit and proposes a new theory for why these beautiful and inspiring aspects of human nature are adaptive. Roger’s article provides evidence that higher levels of integral leadership behaviour are not just a nice ‘social good’ but have a legitimate and powerful role to play in organizations becoming sustainable.

Tom Morris explores integral leadership in the workplace using the AQAL framework and considers 1st, 2nd and 3rd person perspectives. Tom is like an integral Sherlock Holmes trying to improve the workplace and find integral answers to complicated questions. Steve McDonald also takes us on his personal journey in working with clients to apply the integral perspective to managing change. Many of us who have worked in organizational change feel that most change programs don’t get to the underlying blockages that limit leaders and organizations from becoming full contributors to the world. Steve not only shows his bravery by ‘coming out of the integral closet’ as a consultant but also that using an integral framework can lead to long term sustainability for organizations, and pay your light bills!

Mark Edwards uses three lenses to look at leadership: developmental (stages of development), ecological (leader-follower relations), governance (power), and argues that these are additional important dimensions to the understanding and practice of leadership. David McDermott and I bring an integral model of four quadrants and six levels to the important subject of environmental sustainability and include examples of organizations such as InterfaceFlor, Bendigo Bank and Google that are demonstrating a commitment to zero environmental harm.

Integral leadership and leadership development go hand in glove, so Laura Santana’s review of the book An Integrative Approach to Leader Development by David V. Day (Western Australia University), Michelle M. Harrison and Stanley M. Halpin provides a preliminary look at this important topic for anyone involved in leadership development and developing effective leaders. They make an important distinction between the two. Leader development is about developing individuals, while leadership development is about developing individuals and the collective culture and system of leading.

At a time when the world is experiencing a mixture of great hope in Barrack Obama and “Obama-mania,” Russ Volckmann’s review of some challenges faced by Obama’s leadership approach through the lens of Don Dunoon’s In the Leadership Mode is most appropriate and should be of interest to many leaders. He links the work of Sara Nora Ross from a new issue of World Futures in discussing hierarchical complexity and how it provides some clarity about what Obama may need to consider in working with his team.

In addition to an update on the health of Bill Bates, The leadership Cartoon by Mark Hughes provides humorous insights on how the American culture is seen by Australians and how Americans see Australia. The cartoon provides extraordinary insight and truth about our national psyches that leaders from both cultures can learn from.

Keith Bellamy continues to delight with his explorations of the relationships among Aussies, Brits and Yanks. Alan Tonkin gives us an update on the study of global values in different countries and includes data on India and Australia. Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics value memes relate closely to the integral stages of development and this summary gives us some idea where India and Australia are sitting on the Integral spectrum of development.

Notes from Field ranges from France to India and provides windows on how integral is being approached in various parts of the world in conferences and other activities. Finally, take a look at Leadership Emerging and CODA there are brief reviews of a variety of publications that inform our explorations of integral leadership.

The interest in Integral leadership theory and practice in Australia and New Zealand has gown considerably with a significant number of consultants, leadership programs, academic articles, leadership, team and organizational surveys using the integral framework. An Integral Leadership Conference is being held in Melbourne this year which will provide a significant boost to integral theory and practice in Australia.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the authors in bringing this material to you. I am firmly convinced that Integral Leadership is the next generation of leadership study and practice. I hope you agree that this issue takes a further step in that direction.

If any reader would like to contact me my email is: ron@integral.org.au .

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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