By Dr. Paddy Pampallis
CEO of The Coaching Centre
Founder Director of The Integral⁺ Africa Institute™ and the TCC Ubuntu Coaching Foundation™
*The Coaching Centre is an Associate of The Da Vinci Institute
We are in the midst of a highly tumultuous wave – a cycle of disruptions, and I celebrate this as each disruption brings a rebirthing! The big challenge this year will be to create perspective, to connect even more deeply to both our inherent and transcendent humanity, and to create the opportunities to generate conscious intentional action that will alleviate suffering and promote health and well-being through transforming mindsets, structures, systems and processes, for a better world!
This is the time to cultivate deep reflective spaces, to slow down to examine that which is easily distracted into ‘busy, more important’ activities because it is so hard; this is the time to take a few minutes to read on…
In a space of our multi-diverse, multi-cultured, multi-traumatised world – the seething boil has at last burst! And I am relieved, because we can now truly have the conversations that count without the euphemistic ‘niceness’ that is hiding the brutal facts.
As a psychologist, an integrative psychotherapist, a systems thinker, process facilitator, integral practitioner, businesswoman and global citizen, I see it as essential for us floundering humans, who hold many flawed assumptions about our selves and others, to have a navigational tool, a MAP, with which to help us traverse truly treacherous terrain! To this end we have developed a unique application of integral thinking into the Integral+ Practice of Leadership and Coaching™ to support people through this terrain.
That map has to be one that can help us find our way by introducing a common language – and I am not of course speaking of our mother tongues,– I am speaking of a conceptual map that holds the multiple complexity of the lived experience of ‘all of us’! Conventional thinking and wisdom encourages either /or thinking – “if only / but then …” and justifies our fears and anxieties. Any system – individual or collective – reacts and shifts quickly to stress through homeostasis (self-correction). Our self-correcting, protecting world-views can, and often do lead to delusion, blocking the healthy evolution we so need. Our thinking has to evolve! So we welcome ‘disruptions’! They spur us to continue to calibrate and seek deeper for that co-operative and inclusive space of natural hierarchies, rather than those ego- based, imposed hierarchies driven by self-interest, power and greed which only benefit a few.
We need to continually practice ‘crossing the road’1. We need a 4D+ map for our 3D world©!
What would these conversations look like?
They include both hard and soft issues and experiences, processes and systems that impact our national psychology, values, economics, social justice, education, health, generosity of spirit, and a drive for the next levels of integration. In fact – everything!!!
These conversations take into consideration the vast mix of mindsets, worldviews, experiences, competencies, capacities, affiliations, beliefs, cultures, contexts, environments, and the variety of systems – human and non-human – that form part of this mix. This MAP – our human GPS –needs to point its light into the tendrils of darkness (unawareness and unconscious spaces) that infiltrate our worlds in both gross and often, more subtle, but equally disturbing, ways.
It would need to be a 4D+ map© that can:
Å Offer acknowledgment and validity to ALL points of view!
Å Navigate through partial lenses onto situations that are held as an absolute truth (view of the world), and find a way to hold multiple truths. Your experience and mine are equally valid! So what does a co-created viable solution look like for us all?
Å Enable sight onto different perspectives, both vertically and horizontally, and enable a way to allow the films of illusion to clear
Å Honour the vast range of intelligences available to us as a whole, knowing that each part is vital (a cell to the organism).
Å Engage the vast range and levels of understanding and interpretations to include: my view, your view and our view (not just MINE)
Å Show that our differences are not the enemy – our limited and partial and unconscious shadow mindsets are!
Å Address FEAR, DENIAL, BLAME, & AGGRESSION
Å Invite that deepest need of all of us to be seen, validated, valued, secure, trusted, and to grow.
To do this we have to WAKE UP! to see and build the capacity to look at what we do not want to see.
Then we have to GROW UP! To take on the complexity and the responsibilities necessary for adult maturity! (I hear so often in the workplace and in families and in government institutions: – “if only he/she would grow up – just act with some maturity!)
Well – here is our chance! (We have had many by the way – many of us have not listened!) And why? Well as a human race we are only 12 minutes old in a 365 day long year! We are young! We are not yet competent! We are trying to find our way! We are making mistakes! We are impulsive, unable to control our hungers and our anxieties! Yes, we are still babies finding our way!
CAPACITIES AND COMPETENCIES
There are a number of competencies, and internal capacity creating developmental stretches that need to take place for us to respond to a world that is pushing us all to new frontiers. There is so much complexity and vast sensory overload! Even the simple tasks will rapidly multiply and ‘overwhelm’ will be the order of the day. As an organization we will need to prepare our people: as individuals and family members, and members of various communities, we will need to have the kind of coaching, support, and interventions that will help us assimilate, cultivate, integrate, and take action with ease.
LEADERS will need to become INTEGRAL DESIGNERS…
…and architects of note, in sourcing, accessing, initiating, solving, and prototyping the ‘new world’. This stage of our evolution in modern life is being termed the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Davos 2016 WEF). We will have to cultivate some very distinctive capacities and competencies in order to navigate our way through. Leaders today are going to have to work with upgrading their own internal operating systems and those of their organizations into becoming integral operating systems. Preparing coaches that can support this development will mean that these coaches need to similarly develop some of these competencies.
Our new realities are in our own making and the internal and external capacity development needs are high! My adaption of these competencies and roles, worded towards leadership, are listed below -with acknowledgements and apologies to the originators.
1. The ability to deliver immersive and intuitive experiences that are tailored for their industry (Gavin Kelly – Artefact)
2. The ability to work with media (Glen Murphy)
3. The ability to integrate holistic business design (Yves Béhar)
4. The ability to conduct teams through the complexity barriers (Bill Buxton)
5. The ability to provide conceptual leadership and creative vision through being versed in the ‘language’ of all cultures: this requires visual fluency and the ability to balance collective possibilities with individual styles (Matias Duarte)
6. The ability to cultivate embodied interactions: this requires thoughtful attention and skill at persuading disparate business stakeholders of a product’s viability, while also being able to access the resources needed to deliver on it (Matt Schoenholz)
And perhaps my favourites are:
7. Becoming a fusionist: this will require that a leader have the ability to transform an element in one form to another and in doing so create cross-disciplinary (function) opportunities. – (Atsa Roseway)
8. Being an interventionist – which will require the ability to help people digest new ideas, and build towards a better future (Ashlea Powell).
And ultimately –
The 4D⁺ leader will need to be able to access the full spectrum of human experience. This takes years of practice to operate at a high level – just like free lunches, there are no quick –fix solutions! The 4D+ leader will be able to unite teams to create spaces in which to solve complex interaction problems, allowing interconnectivity, communication and co-operation to reach unprecedented levels.
These shifts will need to start in many areas, one of them being a shift in school curriculum! So the disruptors to current ways of thinking and doing are necessary to bring about disruptions that will shift things through exponential trajectories. In our evolution, we will come to see that even some medical treatments will be looked upon as barbaric in its current form.
THE CHALLENGES ARE DEEP!
Ultimately leadership must ensure a healthy society; business will need to connect itself to social development while governments need to truly play their role as public servants in service of this fusion. Power needs to shift its consciousness so that the economic, health, education and social landscapes are better for all.
And with this singularity –there will be no need for jobs for leaders!
Now what a radical idea is that!
The Integral+ Africa Institute TM /The Coaching Centre (TCC) is an internationally accredited leadership coaching and organisational development company, founded on a deep passion for growing people in all dimensions, and healing society in a complex world. We are “in the business of being human”. We embed our Integral⁺ PracticeTM in a range of offerings including: an accredited coach training school (TCC); bespoke Leader as Coach certificate programmes; Strategic Alignment consulting; Executive and Organisational coaching programmes; and Integrated change management and cultural alignment programmes. The TCC Ubuntu Coaching Foundation is an NPC channelling our passion and work into a commitment to leadership for social and community development.