In my previous entry, I mentioned that I’m working on the design, with Peter Merry, of an EVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP Learning Expedition that we’ll launch in September. We say, evolutionary leadership is about the practice of looking at and thinking from the biggest context with the greatest clarity, AND acting to meet the needs of all parts for the good of the whole.
Meeting those needs requires competence in freeing and mobilizing the collective intelligence of the whole. We need to learn enabling and empowering the self-organization of all communities of practice and communities of co-creation involved with the situation. Itâ€™s a core competence of evolutionary leaders, that we want to help developing in the Learning Expedition.
Talking about “freeing and mobilizing the collective intelligence”, I’d to share with you what a colleague wrote to me in our pre-Basecamp email exchanges:
George, you keep on pointing to our thinking as a
contribution to the collective, through the collective and acting for the collective.
I replied to her:
Yes, because I exist only through the collective. Everything else is illusion. For all of us, Westerners, who are products of our extremely individualistic societies, it’s very hard to make the shift from the intellectual to the existential understanding of that.
You probably heard the Zulu word “ubuntu.” It roughly translates as â€œthe capacity to express compassion, justice, reciprocity, dignity, harmony and humanity in the interests of building, maintaining and strengthening community.â€ (from an article on ubuntu by Barbara Nussbaum in Resurgence magazine)
Ubuntu, the principle that “I am because you are” has been a main source of inspiration of my practice for long-time. In the golden age of big ideologies, such as Christianity or Marxism, ubuntu-like principles were only a moral imperative and relatively powerless in the face of the life conditions of their times. Today, when the main economic asset is knowledge and relationship, it has become an economic imperative that in the long run, has more chance to be respected an acted on.
Co-evolving with you,
As I think about my reply to her and publishing it here, it seems that through the practice of blog-writing, CI is groping its way home. Needless to say, I mean not only my practice of writing in the Blog of Collective Intelligence but the practice of all bloggers, and the links and feeds and blogrolls and live meetinngs that connect us. No, I don’t exclude those who don’t blog–and maybe never will–from the homecoming of CI. To the extent in which blogosphere manifests ubuntu, it is simply becoming the visible tip of an evolutionary wave.