Collective Mindfulness: The Leader’s New Work!
– by Otto Scharmer
Collective sleepwalking results in three deep divides that are the signature of our civilizational crisis today:
1. the ecological divide — the disconnect between self and nature (resulting in overuse of planet Earth’s finite resources — we are using 1.5 planets today);
2. the social divide — the disconnect between self and other (resulting in two societies: the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent); and
3. the spiritual divide — the disconnect between self and self (resulting in suicide now taking more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined).
The Blind Spot
The root cause of our current economic and civilizational crisis is not Wall Street (although the decoupling of the financial and the real economy is a huge problem). It’s not infinite growth (although overusing earth’s finite resources is another enormous problem). It’s not Big Business or Big Government (although their disconnect from the real needs in our communities needs to be fixed). It’s also not leadership, governance, or ownership. The primary root cause is more fundamental than any of these structural issues or systemic disconnects.
Our current crisis originates between our ears: in our outdated paradigms of economic thought. It originates in the disconnect between our dominant models of economic thought (which gravitate around ego-system awareness, in which stakeholders maximize benefit only for themselves) and the collaboration imperatives of our global eco-system economy (in which stakeholders seek to improve the well-being of all, including themselves). We have an enormous disconnect between ego-system thinking and the eco-system reality.
What’s really needed is a deeper shift of consciousness. We need to care and act not just for ourselves and a few close partners, but in the interest of the entire eco-system in which economic activity takes place.
- The Leader’s New Work: Bending the Beam of Observation
- Personal Transformation: From Me to We
- Relational Transformation: From Ego to Eco
- Institutional Transformation: From Silos to Collective Creativity
- Building An Awareness Based Collective Leadership School
To support this ego to eco shift we need a new type of awareness-based collective action leadership school — a distributed platform that focuses on pioneering profound innovations by an approach that links and integrates all sectors (business, government, civil society), system levels (micro, macro, mundo) and all intelligences (head, heart, hand).