Interview with Nora Bateson about Systemic Leadership- this is a little bit radical.

Here is the interview for the Systemic Leadership Summit. I hope you enjoy it.

Nora Bateson & Jennifer Campbell Interview on Systemic Leadership.

Leadership? Look around.

There are many people trying hard to repurpose their understandings of existing systems into change. But alas, we are now faced with a history that brought us precisely to this moment, riddled with inability to see changes we cannot understand –And a future that is pulling us into a process of evolution rapidly in which every thing we now know as “practical” is deadly.

Keeping the existing systems going, however green, is methadone for heroin. Systemic change is needed, and soon.

Epistemological shifts are hard, but we now have to get to a new level of making sense of our world that groks the interdependency, and shakes off the habit of short circuiting complexity. That is going to bring us into change that is transcontextual… culture, genetics, language…. We are going to need a lot of art to shake our frames of sense making. We need new science. Mostly, I really hope the aesthetic of this shift is not militant. Hoarding our canned food and buying farms is just a repeat of the thinking that got us into this mess.

Leadership that promises strategy, solution, goals, deliverables, higher profits, direct corrections and purposeful purposes… will dig us deeper into silo-ed solutions to match our silo-ed problems. No existing versions of success, heroism, influence or wealth will come of the form of leadership I am suggesting. Instead we go together… into a way of living we have not yet imagined.

“Since we don’t know where we’re going, we’d better stick together in case someone gets there.” – Ken Kesey (Thanks for re-posting this quote John Perry Barlow)

Thanks to: Jennifer Campbell, Creator and Host of the Systemic Leadership Summit” as well as the link to the summit: You can see more of interviews on leadership with other Systemic folks there.


6 thoughts on “Interview with Nora Bateson about Systemic Leadership- this is a little bit radical.

  1. No, change does not come from the insides of those boxes/systems. Yet change comes from inside; from the inside of the individual, of the grouping, of the community, of the awareness, of any wholeness, of being. Otherwise change simply does not happen. Evolution comes from Being. And being means bringing the inside out onto the arena.
    Thank You Nora and Jennifer for being such inspiring ideas.


  2. This was such an honor to listen to this discussion Nora & Jennifer. Thank you both. What happened in-between the two of you was palpable learning. My thesis and I have struggled with the question of what it is that my principal leaders are doing in a low socioeconomic environments for success?? Oh my word!!!

    With your work and Capra’s my perceptions are making more sense. Is it possible that many of us feel this way??? That we know our way of thinking doesn’t work but hey…..I’ll leave it to someone else to figure it out where I should go next. Square pegs in round holes!! But, I feel honored to have been given a few years to take the time to work with this tension…. feel uncomfortable with it and work it through…….

    The term ‘leadership’ is a mechanistic term and in fact a zone of proximal interdependence or something similar makes more sense to me- this instead means everyone is a leader and must take all others and things into consideration as they move through their learning journey- something we call life! I like Capra’s idea of moving towards this way of leadership by disrupting the system and yours about not being afraid to find that voice, to be that disruption. It requires everyone not anyone special I guess. No more excuses.

    For all the helplessness I feel , I know from my study that this new way of viewing leadership as an in-between activity, is actually occurring. I am heartened by my participants- totally heartened. Compassion, attention and patience!! These people have it in spades. But they are fighting a system and it seems my role in presenting my thesis to show this happening and asking what is needed of the system to make it more possible for the status quo to create similar sensitives to their context.

    Thanks again. Sincerely, Angela Millar

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thankyou so much! This is brilliant, pertinant and needed. This is the dialogue I aim to be in so I can contribute – to be in a state of constant discovery is such a beautiful path to choose.


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