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22. New Frontiers

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We have it in our power to begin the world all over again.
A situation similar to the present hath not appeared since the days of
Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand.

—Tom Paine, 1775

Writing Barricades was a sobering experience for the entire team. We had been as realistic and conservative as we could in the development of this scenario, yet we had drawn a chilling picture of an increasingly divided world, with anarchy enveloping society within our children’s lifetime.

We then turned to the task of fully developing the alternative picture of the future, at that stage simply called Scenario A. We had reached agreement about the general dynamics of this scenario, with dramatic economic growth taking place in the poor countries and new markets developing worldwide. The team had written significant parts of the story, and we had tested our conclusions against the best econometric and energy models available. But as we began to develop the heart of the story itself, it became increasingly clear that deep divisions were developing among the members of the team in relation to this scenario.

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8. The Mountain Lion

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

WHEN THE MOUNTAIN LION SHOWS UP, THERE IS A CHOICE TO BE MADE.

In late July 2006, a number of Generon colleagues and I were coleading a retreat in Montana for the Global Philanthropy Circle (GPC) founded by Peggy Dulaney, the chair of Synergos, and her father, David Rockefeller. GPC is a network of leading philanthropic families from across the world, committed to using their time, influence, and resources to fight global poverty and social injustice.

It had been a spectacular spring and summer that year in Montana – there was a profusion of wildflowers up where I was on solo for four days and three nights. My site was located just under Black Butte at 9,800 feet. There was a clear mountain stream originating out of the rock formation just under the butte, and the wildflowers were waist high all around the headwaters of the stream.

There were over forty species of flowers represented on the mountain that summer, Peggy told me. It seemed that all were there with me. The most predominant were the fuchsia bells – they were in profusion just beside the water. There were little yellow flowers everywhere, with their dark yellow center. Then there were very small flowers shaped like daisies, but they were lavender; and also huge flowers that resembled Texas bluebonnets, reminding me of the days as a young boy when my parents took us to the countryside in April to play and roll in the bluebonnets. And then there were the mosses of every shade of green – some that I would call “neon” green – spectacular in their own right. Finally there were tiny white “cluster daisies,” I called them – very small, growing in clusters of fifteen or twenty, each with their tiny yellow center. All of these were framed by gorgeous ferns that were very fine, like lace, and by various species of grass – elegant shapes in many shades of green.

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30. The Structure of Knowledge Creation

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE DISCOVERER WORKS IN THE BELIEF THAT HIS LABORS WILL PREPARE HIS MIND FOR RECEIVING A TRUTH FROM SOURCES OVER WHICH HE HAS NO CONTROL.

Polanyi talked about “the advancement of knowledge that cannot be achieved by any application of explicate modes of inference, however diligent” or “by the diligent performances of any previously known procedure.” Polanyi calls this “heuristic inquiry.” Heuristic derives from the Greek heuriskein, to find or discover. The “nature of discovery” – knowledge creation – is the root subject that animates Polanyi’s philosophy.

In his three books, Polanyi wrote about the path anyone – scientist, creative artist, entrepreneur – takes in the process of actualizing a hidden potential or creating new knowledge. I say “anyone,” because over the last thirty years, I’ve conducted in-depth interviews with over 100 entrepreneurs and innovators in commerce, science, economics, education, government, and nongovernmental organizations, and I know that these discoverers would all recognize Polanyi’s description as applicable to their own inner states, the actions taken from these states, and the results achieved.

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17. The Inner State

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

[T]HE FACILITATOR WHO HAS DONE THE INTERIOR WORK WILL “SET THE FIELD” FOR THE PARTICIPANTS AND HELP THEM LEARN THE WAY INTO THAT DEEPER TERRITORY THROUGH DISCIPLINED PERSONAL PRACTICE. IT IS ONLY THEN THAT PARTICIPANTS WILL BEGIN TO ACT AS A “SINGLE INTELLIGENCE” AND RELEASE THE “PHENOMENAL CAPACITIES” ENFOLDED IN THE GROUP.

Earlier that morning at breakfast, Lee had told me that he had worked closely with Bohm from the early 1980s until Bohm’s death in 1992. Lee wrote the forewords for a number of Bohm’s books, including a book on the nature of thought and the self that was created from the transcription of a seminar Bohm held at Ojai – Thought as a System. (Lee had taught at Ojai with the noted Indian teacher, J. Krishnamurti, and was deeply involved in the dialogue groups that took place there. When I met Bohm in 1980, he spoke highly of Krishnamurti and suggested that Krishnamurti could help us create the Leadership Forum curriculum.)

I told Lee about my meeting with Bohm and that Bohm had shared with me an explicit mental model of the way he believed the world works and the way he believed human beings learn and think. To Bohm, it was clear that humans have an innate capacity for collective intelligence. They can learn and think together, and this collaborative thought can lead to coordinated action. We are all connected and operate within living fields of thought and perceptions. The world is not fixed, but is in constant flux; accordingly, the future is not fixed and so can be shaped. Humans possess significant tacit knowledge – we know more than we can say. The question to be resolved: How do we remove the blocks and tap into that knowledge in order to create the kind of future we all want?

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38. Scaffolding Stage IV Organizations

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

AS THE ORGANIZATION ADVANCES AND GROWS, CERTAIN CORE PRACTICES BEGIN TO DEFINE THE CULTURE OF THE ENTERPRISE, BECOMING ITS “WAY OF BEING.”

Our institutions are facing profound change and rising complexity, accelerating at a scale, intensity, and speed never experienced before. As the economic foundations of our world are transformed from more stable to dynamic patterns, the nature of leadership must change as well. To succeed in this new environment, institutional leadership must pay attention to the tacit Source of knowledge, the deep Source from which profound innovation occurs.

Organizations led by people with this quality of knowing, from line leaders to the very top, will flourish in the decades to come. Because of their success, they will become “living examples” of what is possible in the face of accelerating complexity and high turbulence. These Stage IV organizations will play a leading role in establishing a more comprehensive worldview, a belief system adequate for civilization to rise above the challenges of our time.

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