May 28 – June 1, 2012
The whole globe is shook up, so what are you going to do when things are falling apart? You’re either going to become more fundamentalist and try to hold things together, or you’re going to forsake the old ambitions and goals and live life as an experiment, making it up as you go along. Pema Chödrön
Meg Wheatley returns to Schumacher College to develop her work on the challenges of leadership in a chaotic age.
Our current challenge—as individuals, citizens and leaders, isn’t the rapid pace of change. It’s uncertainty—not knowing what’s next, what works, or where things are heading. As one healthcare executive commented about the future of her industry: “We don’t know what we’ll be doing, or who we’ll be doing it with, or where we’ll be doing it, or how we’ll be doing it. But we do know that we’ll be doing something.”
Few of us have been prepared to deal with this level of groundlessness. We learned the skills of certainty: we know how to set goals, create strategies, develop complex plans. We’ve been told that we can make the world work according to plan if we have clear intentions, a strong will, and good leadership skills. Now, these very skills create obstacles to our effectiveness. Our task now is to learn how to deal with uncertainty, not as a temporary state, but as a condition of life. How do we maintain our clarity, focus and stamina as we move with life’s changing rhythms and directions? How do we avoid holding on to old patterns and behaviours that no longer serve? How do we find ground when the rug keeps getting pulled out from under us? And, most importantly, how do we make a meaningful contribution in the midst of so much chaos and instability?
If we choose to be leaders for this time, if we desire to serve and contribute, and help others navigate through turbulence, we need a different set of skills and practices as leaders, including:
“We’re lost, but we’re making good time.” Yogi Berra
This course is intended for those who are trying to do good work and persevere in the face of unending challenges and uncertainty. It is relevant for people from all sectors, especially those involved with government, NGOs, education, and organisational development.
Margaret Wheatley is a well-respected writer, speaker, and teacher for how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in this troubling time. She has written six books: Walk Out Walk On (with Deborah Frieze, 2011); Perseverance (2010); Leadership and the New Science; Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future; A Simpler Way (with Myron Rogers); and Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time. Each of her books has been translated into several languages; Leadership and the New Science appears in 18 languages. She is co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute, which works in partnership with a rich diversity of people and communities around the world, especially in the Global South. These communities find their health and resilience by discovering the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment (www.berkana.org). Her numerous articles appear in both professional and popular journals and may be downloaded free from her website: www.margaretwheatley.com. Wheatley received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard University, and a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She’s been an organizational consultant since 1973, a global citizen since her youth, a professor in two graduate business programs, a prolific writer, and a happy mother and grandmother. She has received numerous awards and honorary doctorates.
All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.
For further information about Schumacher College please see About the College
For further information about Margaret Wheatley visit www.margaretwheatley.com
To provisionally reserve a place for 5 days, email us your contact details and the name of the course email@example.com
We will hold the place for five working days for reservations – three weeks before a course or earlier. After five days we will automatically offer your place to someone else if we have not received your application.