Assumptions the Leadership Literacies Are Built On
The system of leadership literacies [see the previous post--Leadership Literacies 2] works on a platform of assumptions and, yes, beliefs, that support the importance and viability of working with all six. The platform is malleable and emergent; thus, the term Platformation: platform in formation, kind of like our conceptualization of the world right now.
- · What do we believe about our world, civilization, organizations, planet and about our human role?
- · What are we discovering about ourselves?
Everyday, my sense of reality is shifting. I am less sure of things I thought I really knew. I think it’s good to be questioning and growing, but it isn’t very comfortable most of the time.
So far, there are four elements to the L2 platform. The most fundamental one follows:
Human nature brings with it a capacity for good and compassion.
We’re not as bad as we’ve been taught to believe we are.
Some of you may have seen blog postings from Cheri Torres and me on the topic of collective intelligence [http://meta4co-intel.blogspot.com], or perhaps an issue of the Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner devoted to Appreciative Governance [November 2011] where we highlighted the importance of assuming human capacity for good.
If we stay with the common old refrain considered ‘realistic’ for so long--that humans are selfish and will always choose self-interest—then it makes it more difficult for any of us to embrace the new ways of organizing and accepting the powerful intelligence of the collective. Managing for multiplicity, strengths and connection requires standing on a platform that humans can and will behave in self-serving as well as altruistic, compassionate, collaborative ways, depending on the many variables of how we work together and hold one another.
As I have noted elsewhere, research pouring out of universities and institutes around the world is demonstrating that humans are just as prone to goodness and cooperation as we are to defensiveness and aggression. In fact, our species depends on cooperation, which requires a certain level of empathy and compassion for others.
In his research, Dacher Keltner has focused on the manifestations of compassion and how it shows up physically and neurophysiologically. Using MRI technology, Keltner and others* have found significant evidence that compassion has a biologically correlated process that involves the brain and the vagus nervous system. Their research suggests that compassion most likely enabled early humans to come together in communities and develop cooperative skills as hunter/gatherers, thereby ensuring their survival and evolution. [Dacher Keltner Jeremy Adam Smith, and Jason Marsh in The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness, WW Norton, New York]
That ability is just as important today.
More elements of the platformation in the next post. What elements of a platform for leadership do you think are important?
Last call for registrations for AI and the Future: Emerging Leadership Literacies for this Century 15--17 January, Asheville, NC. http://www.sharedsunstudio.com/documents/SHAREDSUNSTUDIO2012-2013WINTERSCHEDULE.pdf