Monthly Archives: August 2008

Collective resonance – a corporate example

Yesterday, a series of links led me to The Resonance Project website and Renee Levi’s research into experiences of collective resonance. I was very impressed by the story from Tex Gunning, who was President of Unilever Bestfoods Asia at the time and who had been assembling his country leaders in retreat settings through events called Outbreaks “to build community, create purposeful business strategy and goals, and make a difference in the world”. Tex”s sense was that they were creating collective resonance and the story shows the difference this makes when a group of people have a purpose beyond pure profit making. It also makes sense of the recent Dove “pro-age” campaign – which uses real life models – not those 8 supermodels!

Have a read and if you have an experience of collective resonance – Renee and the Resonance Project would love you to submit your story and so would we.

If, like me, you are also interested in finding out more about Tex Gunning,

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Sustainable Leadership – searching for elegant means

I’m currently participating in a research project in conjunction with MGSM’s fledgling Institute for Sustainable Leadership and grappling with the multiple meanings of the word “sustainable” in the organisational context.

Tonight, as I read an article by consultant Dan Holden, I am struck by his use of the phrase “elegant means” – “It holds a promise for leaders that there are ways of working and being in relationship that yield greater results created with significantly less effort.”

Even though Holden uses the phrase in a team development context, it resonates as a concept that is broad enough to cover all aspects of the corporate sustainability / responsibility debate. So “elegant means” can be those ways of working and being in relationship that yield greater economic (profit) results. It can also be those means that have minimal environmental impact and those means that yield positive social results for employees and all stakeholders.

Very elegant.

Do what you love and the money will follow! …. but when?

I know a colleague who is undergoing a mid life career change. We are both familiar with the phrase “do what you love and the money will follow”. We discussed silent issue that this statement doesn’t address – the fact / fear that between the doing and flowing, there can be a gap of many months or even years. For a solo person, who don’t have a working partner or financially supportive family, or existing capital, this can make a career change dangerous if the income dries up in the transition.

In a similar vein I’ve recently had conversations with Uni colleagues about choosing research topics based initially on “market attractiveness” and less on passion, but then changing topics because the passion is what sees us through the long grind of research projects and we have to trust that at the end there is some interest in our expertise.

Along with passion, I keep noticing the power of a supportive environment. Continue reading