Archive for September, 2010

Scharmer on leadership

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Here’s a taster from a really interesting paper by Otto Scharmer:

Leadership is the capacity of a community to co-sense and co-create its emerging future. This shifts our framing of leadership development from the single-person-centric concept to a concept of leadership that is more about “igniting fields of inspired connection and action.” (Otto Scharmer).

The full paper is here.
I don’t think this means that there shouldn’t be leaders – the position of those who see leaders inevitably as tyrants. It is a question of the kind of leadership. If the leader’s role is seen as facilitating the co-sensing and co-creating Scharmer speaks of, his / her strength will be welcome in holding the boundaries and making it possible for everyone to be involved in that process.


Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Here’s a paper that emerged from a day workshop on leadership on 11th September 2010. Here’s a taster before you decide whether to read a Word document:

Finding out what to do

In the Philosophy of Freedom, Rudolf Steiner describes 3 stages that lead to our doing something:

  • Moral intuition
    where we conceive the idea
  • Moral phantasy
    where we imagine how it could work
  • Moral technique
    where we bring the idea into reality

Thinking and imagining (the first two stages) are gifts of Lucifer, and when we work with them we have to resist the temptations of Lucifer (arrogance, vanity, delusion). Having good ideas tempts us to underestimate the struggle of bringing them to earth. We have to grapple with our own shadow, our fantasies and projections, and we meet the double of pride and delusion.

Making something happen inevitably involves us in human institutions – temporary ones like an ad hoc planning meeting, and / or permanent ones, like a company. For this paper, we will call any grouping of people working towards a commonly-held purpose a system. The moment we are involved in a system, other dimensions of reality come into play with an exponential increase in complexity. Now we bring our own shadow-side into relationship with those of the other people, and they become the objects of our projection and fantasy. We encounter too the being of the group itself, the whole which is greater than the sum of its parts, which in turn has a shadow, an unconscious, and a higher being – the angel of the group.

The moral technique needed for bringing ideas into reality in systems is the understanding of how groups and organisations work. The reality of power and what works unconsciously in groups takes us into the realm of Ahriman. In this realm, we are tempted to become cynical or to despair and give up trying to make our ideas come into reality. When we go through this temptation, we are following Christ in his ‘descent into hell’ on Holy Saturday.

Theology of Avatar

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Finally saw Avatar yesterday – in 3D!

I’m thinking about its theological background and will post on this. I found some interesting blogposts in my researches. Here’s a pretty positive one:

I was grateful to it for reminding me of the Einstein quote:

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.

Here’s a more nuanced, traditionally theistic critique, which nevertheless shows some humility re the one-sidedness to which Avatar is a reaction: