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Why only sustainocracy can save the human world from disaster

The current economic structure of our global society is based on consuming goods rather than using them. What is the difference? And why would the consumer type of economy be obsolete? And why should it be replaced by  a user type of economy? What consequences does it have for our daily lives? And what consequences will we suffer if we do not change?

Throughout the explanation I will fall back on a useful example: mobility.

Sustainocracy is such a purpose driven economy based on usage. But first…

Consumer economy

In this type of economy we simply purchase whatever we need for a living. This means that we take ownership of the goods. Consumer economy has evolved ever since the start of industrialization. In order to make products available to the consumers around the world we need to install an infrastructure for manufacturing the supplies, retail outlets, waste management of packaging and obsolete stuff, financial systems for payments, etc. The relationship between the consumers who purchase daily needs, suppliers offering products and services, money systems providing cash and loans, governments providing infrastructures and regulations, is based on a composition of value added resources (products), logistics (distribution), financial profits and taxes.

A business network that sells the products focuses on profitable consumption, the government that provides infastructures concentrates on taxable consumption.

Property is past on and taxed in every step in the chain

Business in each step of the chain needs more and more profits to attend the increasing demands of shareholders. Shareholders own the business and value their ownership through the return they get on their investment. As a consequence the business wants volume sales and cost reduction in a competitive environment. As a side effect this chain optimization causes increased environmental pollution. The effects on human nature are also negative. It causes constant purchase stimulus, creating a mentality of greed, thirst for financial means to purchase more and a mentality of hoarding. There is a growing degree of individualism, distrust, criminality and psychological disorder around “the having”.

Governments see an increased need for infrastructures for logistics and retail activities but also suffer the negative consequences in health, psychological disorders and environmental pollution. The latter is demanding investments in rules, bureaucracy, police, health care, etc. This produces a steady increase in tax requirements along the chain to finance the growing social responsibility around purchasing power. Government hence  stimulates further consumption through economies of growth in order to be able to finance the consequences (dual economy).

Obsolete type of economy 

Meanwhile the entire structure of society around fragmented money driven and dependent consumer interests, shows a steady increase in problems, such as the reduced availability of natural resources for the increased global productivity, destruction of the environment to facilitate more logistics, the pollution of our habitat and increased global competition. Consequence driven investments in a greener society do not reduce the push for more consumption, on the contrary, it stimulates it even more to cover the costs of those investments. Business and government both use it as marketing arguments to stimulate the economy of growth even further. It all helps to delay disaster but it cannot avoid it. Overconsumption in a consumer economy has a structural damaging effect and leads irrevocably to crises.

Each of the fragmented pillars (government, business, etc) depends on the other’s growth, stimulating it according, increasing the problems faster than solving them internally in every fragmented layer or “slice” of interest. All the crises around the world are a consequence of an obsolete consumption driven system.

The problem of this consumption driven economy is the chain of exchange of ownership all the way up to the end-user. On and between each of the shackles in the chain the business and government interests are keeping the system in place out of self interest. No one in the chain takes responsibility (nor can be individually blamed) for the effects on humanity and our planet. In between the shackles shortages appear that lead to speculation and further value destruction in the chain, increading economies while decreasing quality of life.

Example: mobility 

Mobility is a consequence of our consumer economy. We privately need mobility for work, social activities, family logistics, recreation and purchasing goods. For each of our requirements we have a whole variety of mobile alternatives, instrumentally at hand. We have a car, a bike, a scooter, maybe even a caravan, a trailer, etc. We can only use one of these instruments at any one time but possess it for our usage at will during the day. We consider this type of mobility part of our democractic freedom. But do we need to own it?

We seem unaware about the amount of resources that we block by keeping up a stock of individual mobility in our own ownership. The amount of space we need to store the options is tremendous, while not in use, while in use and when we arrive at our destiny. Not to mention the different types of infrastructures that are needed to provide safe usage. It all had an important impact on our economics for many decades. But also on our environment and health. This was countered by the growth of a consequences-economy in which healthcare techhnology managed to stretch our lives against a huge healthcare cost.

Today we face the problem that polution, scarcity of natural resources and usage of productive landscape is so big that it has consequences for human health, social stability and sustainable human progress.

In Hong Kong (China) 7 Million people suffer lung and heart problems due to air polution

User economy

If we would change our economy to one where we do not possess our goods but use them when needed, a lot of the problems would be solved. Why don’t we simply change to the new system if this is better for our environment and human health? We cannot because:

  1. We are used to “having in possession” all our alternatives
  2. Our society is based on the profit and tax structure related to purchasing, not the usage, to finance itself

The first has to do with mentality and the second with our social complexity. The economy is structured around our culture of possessions not for usage. If we want to change that we need to break up the chain, alter our culture and change our economic system all together. That is extermely difficult to do.  This has significant consequences for our society. Let us simply look at the two issues I mentioned.

1. Mentality – culture of “having”

We possess everything simply because our society is based on that culture. If we decide to relinquish possession we could not yet make use of alternatives because their is no reliable infrastructure based on that usage. When I want to move from A to B and have no car or bike available to me then I have to rely on walking, a neighbor or the public transportation system.  In very dense populations this may well be organized to an extend but in my small town I need to walk a certain distance to find a bus that goes every 30 minutes. Taxis are expensive as they do not just charge the fair of my travel from A to B, they also charge their own fair just to come to pick me up. A bus would be fine but it goes only so often. Meanwhile I am used to getting my transportation instantly by walking to my car or bike at my fron door.

So if I would want to get rid of my ownership I at least would want to have a reliable equivalent at hand. If I do not own but use then the service of usage has to become better than me as an owner.

The consumer society that I live in also requires that I travel between urban centers. The train system has shown important flaws, especially when we have extreem weather. I hate to see  myself as single father, with a responsibility at home, stuck on a freezing train station without being able to get home to attend my children. Having my own means at least gives me a sense of control. Not that it is a guarantee that I get there but at least I have my own hands on the steering wheel. I have instant choices. And that feeling of independence is important to me.

Mentality also has to do with psychology.

Of course I understand that usage instead of property is important from a natural resource or space point of view. And I would be very willing to change my mentality if, and only if, my sense of freedom, security, choice and instant availability would be guaranteed. Ownership provides me with this sense of availability at all times, despite the destructive consequences for my environment. I am conscious of it but also have my selfish attitude. I am willing to jump on my bike when the weather is good, when I feel safe, but do not feel the need or obligation simply because our planet is in jeopardy. Who am I? My neighbors need also their consciousness building. When I see them buying  and parking a car in our street for every family member my motivation to relinquish my comfort first has come to a minimum. “Them first” I would be inclined to say, or all at once.

Mentality shift has hence to do with multiple factors, not just my own consciousness and sense of responsibility. It has to do with availability of reliable alternatives, an equivalent sense of comfort and recognition of my efforts (I am not alone). Usage is not just confined to the mobility issue, it has to do with all sustainocratic processes around local four local sustainable human progress (food, security, health, wellness and education). When that is organized I would be pleased to try it out, fearfully because of lack of trust, but responsably as a global conscious citizen.

So change of mentality requires purpose driven cooperation between institutional AND civil interests. Both have to work together to make it happen.

In fact, in an economy based on usage we can learn to respect the usage of our natural resources in a reciprocal way. To do so we would need to address again the essentials of our existence within the context of our natural environment. Sustainocracy is all about that. If we use our environment effectively and with affection we can assure continuity of our existence. But to do so we need to give back what we have taken when we are done. That is the way nature works and it works exceptionally well.  In fact, that is the way life and death works also in humankind. When we are born we use material from our environment for our carnal existence and growth. When we die we give it back to our environment through a burial or crematorial. Why wouldn’t we do that with all the other things that we use to serve or please us?

A circular economy of usage creates sustainable progress as profit

We should but we don’t, simply because we are not organized that way. To do so we need to change all our institutions, their way of functioning, as well.

2. Profit & Tax transformation

When we look again at mobility as significant example we see recently (last decade, with a push forward sinds about 2008) a rapid tendency in urban transformation. This is caused by the expected sharp decline of fosil fuel availability and the rise in cost price. 55% of humankind lives in cities nowadays depending on mobility for everything they need.

Industries and governments that have relied for over 100 years on the profits and taxability of cars as a consumable and luxury item. They are now facing an automotive crisis, starting the transformation within a dense urban setting.  The maths of car sales and consumption of fuels does not add up anymore in a social and environmental context for the long term. Old business lobbies still remained strong for a while due to the amount of labour and financial interests in this traditional sector but eventually room has been created to develop alternatives. We see now the tendency of new local for local alternatives in mobility with great creativity at business and governmental level. Still, this is confined to the economy of scale presented by the urban concentrations. It could become much more affective if fragmented policy making would be replaced by holistic sustainocratic cooperations.

Taxable

The problem any government faces is that the car with all its fuel consumption was one of the biggest taxable instruments to finance the public administration. It was a real cash cow. Just like housing, energy, communications and food supplies. Now that this income is slowly evaporating a dual problem arises. Sticking to the example of mobility we see that new types of transportation, traffic and mobility require new infrastructures, which is a large investment. Meanwhile we are not entirely sure in which way mobility will evolve. This is also the case for any other human consumable. The old taxable cash cows disappear but nothing is definite to replace them. But the old costs of society keep growing.

How do you transform taxation from a consumer to a user economy?

Why would taxation need to remain the same? From a theoretical point of view it does not need to be the same at all. A new society would demand a new way of structuring government and by consequence also its finance. But you cannot instantly transform government and its dominated structures s.a. police, defence, infrastructures, justice, education or health care. They have been build up for many decades, centuries even. Restructuring involves large hierarchical structures of people, regulations, laws, positions of power, etc.  It takes not only time. It demands general support, vision, hard work and accepting the psychology of change as a common transformative factor in which fear plays the most common human factor.

In a democracy a transformation is even more demanding and probably even impossible because of the fragmented party politics that have grown far from a common national purpose. Also people who vote tend to vote for what they have lost and not what they can achieve by working together.

When we take sustainocracy as a new structure for society at least all 4 pillars of society work out ideas together.

We all take responsibility together. The old chain is broken up through a purpose represented  by one leading person’s initiative

We all realize that the traditional tax structure and government expenditure needs to be intensely revised. We see that there is a long term continuation of the effects of the old consumer structure on human health and the environmental polution. This affects again the long term government expenditure requirement in health care, and that is not backed by sufficient tax income in the short term of the new structure. Either public debt increases further, or….we all take responsibility (sustainocracy).

Everything needs to transform at the same time.

Also, business needs to transform. When new entrepreneurial initiatives appear that substitute the old traditional ones we see an equivalent need for transformation of social financing and government responsibility. Business is much more inclined to assume local responsibility for reliable public services in which circular economy of usage replaces the linear economy of ownership. Government is then forced also to change from a regulating and consequence driven authority to facilitating structure that introduce flexibility, transparency in change and cooperation. On the one hand this would attend the uncertainty of the future. On the other hand one needs to spread the investment over all parties and not just through governmental channels. Taxation cannot cover both the government transformation AND social transformation all by itself. Today we see many governments already with a rising national debt beyond reasonable proportions, just to avoid change. More debt to induce change would be unacceptable. Moreover we concluded that a society based on usage requires the transformation of everything, not just government.

Sustainocracy

That is where sustainocracy comes in and places the responsibility with all social parties involved. One single connecting specialist or pair of persons will do the trick. Me for instance. Taxation in the long term in an economy of usage can have similar proportions than the economy of consumption today. The money would however be used in a different way. But in the short term the tax income is much less. We see then a tremendous need to coordinate such transformation step by step in order to avoid a total financial chaos. Tax can then be something more than just money. In fact we all become local for local responsible for the circular economy of usage, creating the added value ourselves and sharing the benefits. In the consumer economy we see that people simply need money to keep the economy going. In an economy of usage people need to invest their talent and personal energy to create things to share (s.a. food, energy, housing, etc). Money is less important. Much more important is the level of co-creation.

This requires vision and coordination that cannot come from just government itself nor any other institutional structure. They are all too dependent on each other through the old chain of interrelated financial dependencies. The current institutional world would sooner drop into a huge crisis than take the initiative to transform together. That introduces the new connective leadership (no power, lots of authority) of members of the sustainocratic STIR Foundation. They assume the role of new purpose driven leadership that allows the institutional partners to join the challenge based on independent equality, rather than dependent inequality. Each participates with its one levels of power, authority and added value.

The challenge is hence extremely local, yet global at the same time, geographical and vertically institutional, and very human as well. It affects for instance the way multinational business develops and transforms from a global manufacturer to a local facilitator. Maybe in between business can still develop a mix of centralized manufacturing specialization and local holistic service responsibilities, with forward and backward logistics and reuse of resources. But if the transformation is not coordinated with business and governance involvement at the same time it will not happen.

As a consequence we can very well justify the complexity of the transformation from a logical and even scientifical point of view but not easily from a practical, operational one. We cannot pinpoint anyone today as a sole holistic responsible for sustainable human progress, unless one totally independent person stands up to do so (like I do in Eindhoven). The huge material interests that still make up the old world of the having, the consumer economy, have a tremendous blocking impact on the level of transformative change.  This is being countered by a strong building up of explosive (agression) and creative (new initiatives) stress. It is becoming much better for the establishment to join sustainocracy and gain again instruments of effective power then to remain trying to patch up the old system our of unsustainable self interest.

Organically change may occur when old age parties find each other in purpose driven sustainocratic missions. But change will also occur through crises en chaos when powerful structures insist on their self interests beyond the limits of the ethically reasonable. There is a balance that needs to be found between the controled temporary maintenance of the old and the speed of change towards the new society. The process can be extremely dangerous for human kind yet can also be changed positively if sustainocracy is accepted by global institutional leaders, together.

Conclusion

The theoretical and ideological need for transformation between a consumer and user type of society and economy is beyond dispute. It can be morally, ethically and scientifically proven. The complexity of both mentality change and transformation of institutional positioning is however so large and significant that it takes local and global leadership to make it happen. As such the existing hierarchical leadership is not independent  enough from their fragmented structures of power. Holistic leadership only exists at individual human level, cannot be institutionalized, just accepted as linking sustainocrat.

The fragmented institutional leadership, no matter how powerful in the old world, will eventually have to join the table of sustainocratic leadership. Institutions are human instruments, like a hamer, a screwdriver or a shovel. If we cannot get humankind to stand above its instruments we will face a huge humanitarian disaster. It is up to the human being in charge of such institutional instruments to accept taking seat at the table of human sustainocratic leadership.

The sustainocratic initiatives that we take in Eindhoven and Holland could be a source of inspiration and guidance to avoid human disaster and make change happen in a peaceful way.  Then global business, governmental and scientific leadership would have to accept sustainocracy as I present it and join the table for the sake of their own leadership. Since such combination is unprecedented in the world it is hard to establish for the first time. But not imposible as I have done it before. If it is posible on a local for local level for the first time we should be able to address the issue on a global basis too.

Worth a try? Why not….Who should be at the table? Who cares to help?

Ethics is human, not institutional

Much is being discussed about “ethics” in business, finance, government, education, etc. The biggest misconception of all is to attribute ethics to institutions. Ethics is human, not institutional. An institution cannot be blamed for unethical behavior, their leaders and employees can.

Definition of Ethics:

Many people confuse ethics with social morality, as in religion, belief or cultural behavior. One of the more useful definitions of ethics is provided by wikipedia in the names of members of the foundation of critical thinking: “a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures”.

If fact ethics refers to “the conscious way we interact with our environment, human and living nature, in a constructive or destructive way”. Ethics is complex as it demand from us the conscious reflection about our progressive behavior and its consequences. Progress has always a destructive and constructive element, when initiated by human beings as well as evolutionary progress within nature. It opens up a large array of philosophical thinking on the extend of responsibility of the human impact on its environment. How ethic is it to destroy a certain natural landscape for our infrastructures, housing, industrial processes or even agriculture? Where does human progressive dominance end to allow room for other species to evolve or is human dominance and its effects on other species part of their own evolutionary challenge? Hasn’t the competitive crises in the human species stimulated our self-awareness in such a way that we became more creative and competitive? Hasn’t the anthropocene affected life of other species in such a way that new genetic variations have appeared that adopted perfectly well to the human dominance and even to human pollution? Isn’t humankind on its own a challenge for nature to react with destructive force to create balance again in living progress? How ethical must the human species be with its environment and what ethics can we expect from our environment?

When we look at the effects of humankind on its environment then this can be considered very high, especially now, in the era that we live in today. On the other hand we see that these effects are lethal for the long term human sustainability. It is expected that climate changes and pollution will eventually reduce humankind to a much smaller population then we count today. Within 40 years humankind may well implode to a size of little more than 1 billion people (as opposed to more than 7 billion today).

Ethics has hence nothing to do with the way we influence nature itself. This will bounce back to us with equal force as what we did to nature. Nature has this unique ability to find balance in all kinds of extremes, even against humanity. So when we refer to ethics we need to reflect on the way we affect nature in the short and long term to produce effects on us. With this type of ethical consideration we place human evolution within the meaning of sustainable human progress. In this sense we do not dominate nature as we affect our surroundings but assume an adaptive attitude around the effects of nature on us. Nature seeks natural balance no matter what effects this has on humankind. We however seek balance with our consciousness (learning process) about our surroundings to provide us infinite evolutionary chances using the environment properly. We become adaptive partners with our environment for our own benefit. Ethics then refers to the level of reciprocal balance we create with our universe in which we assure our health and security at all times by respecting nature for what it is.

So when people debate on institutional ethics we need to get to terms what an institution really is? From an operational point of view an institution is a specialized group of people performing to reach some predetermined team objective. There are many types of institutions that all perform different types of tasks in a human community. From an ethical point of view we can now look at the institution and determine what impact it has on our sustainable human progress from an environmental point of view? The problem we face is the paradigm in which such evaluation takes place.

Institutions have been traditionally registered and founded to become a legal entity that behaves according human, not natural laws. An institution is a legal instrument that allows the grouping of people around certain objectives protecting the integrity of the people against failure of the institution, while allowing the people involved to share the benefits of it. The institution can hence do things that people would maybe not do themselves from a moral point of view. What motives would an institution have to do what it does and can ethical values be attributed, and by who? Yes, we can, but not to the institution, to the people giving direction to the institution. Why?

The institution is a piece of paper. When no-one does anything with that piece of paper it will not do any harm or good. It is just a number. An institution becomes instrumental in the hands of the human being. It is the human being that deals with the institution that needs to be confronted with the ethics of this usage. The fact that an institution is constituted according to certain human laws does not liberate the user of the instrument from applying moral awareness and consider the ethics of its positioning or functioning. In our current society based on capitalist economics the morality of human progress is expressed in financial means. Within this paradigm ecology and human progress are considered a cost. Ethics are valued against the price one needs to pay and the material benefit one gets in return. The overall holistic picture of a universe reacting back to us is not considered tangible enough to be attributed to the ethics of a single institution nor of its leadership. It is the human system that is unethical because it shows a scientifically proven damaging track record against nature itself and especially our own expectations for a healthy future. What is then unethical? The financial system? Money? Capitalist economics? Consumption? Industrialization? Manufacturing?

None of this is unethical because for every system an alternative system can be chosen. The fact that humankind has self-aware choices makes the usage of instruments that have an unethical impact on our environment unethical. It can be compared with a word. The word itself can never be attributed an emotion or value. It is the context in which the word is being used. The same goes with money. Money has no value, it is the value we attribute to it in a certain context. We can compare it with a hammer. The hammer is a tool that can be used in a constructive way to create a chair. It can also be used to kill. In both cases ethics can be applied, not to the hammer but to the hand that uses it and the purpose it is used for.

So instruments like words, coins, hammers or registered pieces of paper have absolutely no ethical meaning until they are used by human beings for one or another purpose. Right now the ethics of humankind is extremely off course. We are all to blame but those who claim leadership and intentionally keep up the system that is so destructive, should be brought to justice. The problem we have is that ethics has not found its way yet sufficiently in our systems of human laws and that is what is urgently needed. Sustainocracy can be help because it provides the tooling necessary to make a natural selection. It also helps institutions to transform while they still can. The excuse is still that they did not know better, had no choice and were not aware of a new paradigm. Soon no-one will be able to hold with such excuse because new standards are being set. These standards are based on true ethics. When people have a choice they immediately are at fault when their choice is contrary to a true ethical paradigm such sustainocracy. At this stage humankind can not afford to accept unethical leadership or behavior anymore whether we like it or not.

Sustainocracy – not a choice nor a process

The fact that sustainable progress is not a democratic choice nor a transformative process was a true revelation to me these days. It is an act of taking responsibility. If I take responsibility I can ask others to so too, even institutionally. And if they do not take responsibility I can ask them to justify their reasons and even ask justice to speak out. Wow! Will the near future look like that?

I came to that revelation while wrapping up my new booklet on “the new society” with my conclusions. My model takes a complex issue (a human value s.a. health) in a region and asks business, government, science and the civil community to take responsibility together. Purpose driven, multi-disciplinary ventures appear s.a. AiREAS or STIR (initiatives that I started myself). Today I am still relying on the voluntary choice of an institution to participate despite the value driven purpose.

Value drive ventures

Taking responsibility together for sustainable progress

“Sustainocracy” defines the new model for society. The word is a fusion between Sustainable Progress and Democracy.

Sustainable Progress is in my view not a democratic choice but an imperative mission of humankind. The imposition on all of us to work together on a healthy, vital and safe human community seems very logical to me. New leadership in this new society is represented by someone who takes the initiative to create new age purpose driven venture based on that moral imposition. Why would a single person take such complex initiative? Because no one else can, not institutionally anyway, because of the way economics works.

My own awareness came when I was challenged to make an instant decision of human value. The safety of my children or my money driven career? There was no middle way. For me it was no choice, I was given no transition time, I had to make up my mind instantly. My decision was to bring my children into safety. What else? Would I at that instant be at ease with myself if I had made the other choice? Once a person is aware the decision is not a choice anymore, nor a process. It become an instant change of mindset, taking responsibility at once. After that moment, the consequences are huge because the process of no return starts when the new responsibilities need to establish and organize themselves in one’s life while letting go the old securities and way of life. But there is no way back. The new mindset was instant, the decision made and the consequences are logical and permanent.

This is key. When someone who is aware and has taken responsibility for sustainable progress and subsequently takes a seat on that line of sustainable progress in my model, starting to invite government, business authorities, scientific institutions and civil individuals to join him and take responsibility too for a complex local issue around human health, vitality or safety, can any such authority decline their participation? On what grounds?

In my own experience so far the institutional excuses have been as varied as:

  • Not our main priority
  • No people, time or money available
  • If you have no budget we are not interested
  • Don’t how to contribute
  • Not taxable so we cannot support them
  • My shareholders won’t let me

It is amazing that in the fragmented, consequence driven, money dependent organizations, the corporate interests have no connection at all to sustainable issues. Else there would be no issue to join the venture, would there? They would be honored, but they are not. Amazing! And even more appalling is the fact that this attitude is considered normal and legally supported. Right now our common focus is on the economies of growth without any interest or even awareness of the consequences of such mentality. Even the genuine invitation of participating with corporate talent and authority in value driven ventures is treated with apprehensive policy choices.

Sustainocracy is dictatorial from a perspective of a common human goal, and democratic in how to achieve it. Democracy by itself is inclined to sum up the self-interest up to a point of self-destruction (Club of Rome warns for this already from the 70s). It is necessary that we accept the greedy nature of humankind but also acknowledge the wisdom that sustainable progress is mandatory, not by human choice but by universal logic. A simple modification in our global systems of justice, defining that all institutional hierarchies should commit to sustainable progress by taking responsibility, could help reform instantly our global wellness expectations. This is of course wishful thinking at this stage, however while precedence with the new model grows the pressure on institutions to take responsibility will grow too.

Important for everyone to know is that sustainable progress can be instantly accepted everywhere in the world. It is now not a political choice anymore, nor a transition process that takes many years. It is a simple moment of instant truth in which we take  responsibility or not. This decision is not made through voluntary choice but instant awareness, an act of consciousness that opens up our eyes to universal truth. When this occurs individually the consequences are personal and demanding. But can we expect this responsibility and awareness from our institutions? Yes, of course we can. They are not more than instrumental to human progress. We can demand from them to be constructive and not destructive.

There is not one single reason that would justify the lack of our participation, individually or institutionally, in human health, vitality and security improving missions defined by sustainable progress. It is up to ourselves to open up our eyes, take responsibility and expect others to do so too.

Call for Leadership

When the human world is in crisis entrepreneurship and society call for true and transformative leadership. Why is that? And what kind of leadership?

The very first thing we have to acknowledge when the human world is in crisis is that the way we organised our world has become obsolete, else it would not be in crisis. Trying to restore old securities is therefor no sign of leadership at all, it is called management. Management will never get anyone out of a crisis simply because the paradigm (the total set of values on which human interaction is based) has cracked  up. It served its purpose in the past but now cannot be revised and needs to be replaced with a new paradigm. And that introduces two leadership issues: Definition of the new paradigm and the intense en risky transformation exercise from one paradigm to the other. Let us deal with each separately.

Definition of the new paradigm:  We can distinguish five different paradigms that humankind can apply. In times of crisis we have seen four that have been regularly been called upon in history:  The State, The Church, Money and Technology. The one that has not been seriously used is the one that places the individual human being at the center of all our strategies. While we placed artificial human invented systems in place to conduct our progress we noticed that they invariably ended up in crisis. For the very first time in modern history the individual human being has sufficient access to information to become aware of its own evolutionary responsibilities and create a culture of progress through cooperation. This paradigm means that we leave all artificial structures behind and get ourselves into a purpose driven culture of individual responsibilities shared through our common progressive, evolutionary objectives. The shift between paradigms is intense because it places responsibilities at the individual level through self-leadership and at community level through result drive sustainable progress. Political leadership is asked or forced to let go and facilitate the process of self-leadership of the people. We are seeing this happening around the world while corporate leadership is asked to take purpose driven humanistic initiatives to drive progress with the power of result driven united talent and energy, demanding a totally new business culture and structure.

Transformation between paradigms:  The transformation between paradigms demands from leadership strong professionalism that goes way beyond technical or financial leadership. It requires strong understanding of human fears and hopes, the psychology of change and charisma to conduct the long term change by producing short term securities for all the people involved. It is a very humanistic type of leadership, a servant kind but also strongly demanding from the people on the verge of dictatorship. Sustainable progress is not a political discussion or democratic choice. This type of leadership that has nothing to do with the drive for power over people but the drive to provide comfort through change by getting people to provide comfort to themselves by taking responsibility. It requires strong insight, will power, anthropological/anthroposophical understandings and perseverance giving people their own share in the fruits they achieve through their own productivity.

Does that mean that the other paradigms are obsolete? From an operational leadership point of view: yes, because they cannot be placed at the kernel of human progress anymore. But the learning that we have reflectively embedded in our collective awareness is important to use those paradigms to feed the new one in development. Moral awareness that was claimed by religions is needed to provide ethical guidance to the humanistic drive of purpose driven communities, the state is needed to provide territorial cohesion and interaction between groups while technological innovation is required to provide the necessary tooling for humankind to produce abundance for all. The speculative money system needs to transform into a true value system that does  not measure and speculate on shortages but values abundance through result driven investment of individual and collective talent and energy. This part of the transformation of values is probably the most complicated one since most of the old paradigm has glued all current human systems around monetary dependencies. To break through that the crises need to do their work because human interaction will only encounter dangerous opposition from the old power positions. This impasse will slow down the processes of the paradigm shift  at the expense of human suffering. The introduction of new value system based on different criteria can slowly make way for large human structures that can break through the protective walls of the  old money driven paradigm. That’s why I see a huge chance for technology driven corporate business organisations to make the shift first and become creative in valuing their people while creating a movement of change through visionary, multidisciplinary cooperation with other actors in this holistic approach.

The call for leadership is hence a significant one. Extremely few people today unite the conditions that profile the transformative leader. They cannot necessarily be found in the current leadership positions because those are jobs for high level managers guided or puppeetered  by the self-interest of powerful shareholders. The true leaders that will stand up are currently without a job but with a personal mission. They may have lead significant ventures in the past which have provided them with the network and experience of old paradigm people management. Their personal enlightenment, together with a renewed energetic impulse to become the true instrument of change (they have no leadership ambitions but strong desires to see the paradigm shift). Others stand up and start anywhere in society or in a corporate organisation with sufficient skills and freedom to make the difference already today. On them the speed of the paradigm shift will depend and with them the sustainable progress of humankind that needs to be addressed.