Generative Leadership

Actions give you Results; and you can take only those actions that are available to you or only those that you can see. In the world of extra- ordinary performance, you question what you see and are open to new seeing.

Generative Leadership in Organizations will show you a new way of seeing and will enable you to see organizations newly as shaped by generative acts, based on the perspective that language is generative, and not just descriptive.

Speaking and listening produce action, possibilities, identities, purpose, and worlds. The organisation will be more effective when it integrates the generative capabilities of people into its conceptions of the organisation, and not limit itself to mechanical and process paradigms.

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An organisation can be understood as a network of commitments generated and maintained in a network of conversations. And commitments are made by humans and humans are a coherence of SELPH (Somatic, Emotion, Language, Practice and History). ‘Taking care’ is the fundamental aspect of action that brings meaning, value, and satisfaction.

Once you have embodied the new generative skills, and understood the coherence of SELPH, you will significantly enhance your impact as a leader, manager and a coach in organisations.

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As human beings, we always live in a world that we can see. We also live with what psychologists call “cognitive blindness.” Blindness is the condition where we don’t know that we don’t know.

The same is true with any set of distinctions and skills – we either participate in them, are ignorant of them (meaning we know that we don’t know), or are blind to them (meaning we don’t even know that we don’t know). They don’t exist for us.

For example, only after Pasteur discovered germs could we see that they were there already before he discovered them. Prior to Pasteur, as a culture we were blind to germs. We just didn’t have the eyes, nor the linguistic distinction “germ”, to see them.

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Our mainstream culture is blind to fundamental regularities of how action is generated. We have leaders, managers, and professionals who care, are committed, try their best, work hard, and wind up producing negative results because they don’t know how to see the “germs” that generate the actions and results they are engaged in.

We have some talented leaders and managers with a natural sense of what works, but there is an immense opportunity to improve the overall performance of organisations, the value of professional work, and to reduce the waste and friction of organisational life that is so common in today’s world.

New results are achieved through new awareness, standards and practices based on the generative aspects of Leadership. Generative Leadership in Organisations will give you a new way of ‘seeing’, ‘acting’ and ‘generating’ new results.

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Staff Member


The root cause of all results lies in conversations; conversations that are had, conversations that are missing, conversations that are performed well or poorly.

This is a powerful claim that emphasises the pragmatic relevance of the generative perspective – that all results are ultimately shaped by conversations and the skills of conversation. Conversations are not just language, but interactions that involve and are shaped by the body and emotions as well, and have a background of history and practice (This is a claim made by Bob Dunham, Founder of the Institute for Generative Leadership, and in the last 30 years, there has been no evidence against this claim).

Men with tablet


Care is more than just another emotion. It is an emotion, yet, it is a curious one that is related to all other emotions. For example, let’s take anger or sadness. We aren’t angry or sad unless we care about something, something that has been damaged or lost.

So, care is fundamental to most, if not all emotions. We care because we have a future, and we have assessments of futures we want and futures we don’t want. This generates our embodied coherence of care, with its assessments, opening and closing of our body to action, and the emotional energy of care.

Care is still regarded in the mainstream rational common sense as not relevant for the “real” action, the “hard” productive actions; and that it is just a part of the “soft” stuff that has to do with people but should be eliminated to produce hard results.

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Emotions and moods constitute a predisposition to action – we cannot separate action, moods and emotions. Conversations about action and results will be entirely different if they occur in a mood of ambition or if they occur in anxiety, distrust, resignation, or resentment.

This leads us to another fundamental claim:

Care is a fundamental dimension of all action. It can be present or absent, but in either case it has a fundamental shaping of how action is carried out, and the meaning and value of the outcome produced.

All our programs operate on these fundamental claims.

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