The Shape of the Next Game

During my 38 year career as a consultant to organizations I have had the privilege of working with a few extraordinary leaders.  The question that invariably comes to mind is “What presence, of consequence, can I bring to this party?”  The world, the times, demand a new level of thinking and leading.  The bright lights in organizations around the world will step up to this call.  The question is whether or not we as practitioners are positioned to partner, significantly, in this next game. Context Some of what I know about organizational life and leadership I learned in classrooms, workshops and from my library of books and journal articles.  Most of what stands out as touch points comes from the unique experience of being in the trenches where I engaged people in the context of their work.  I have worked in corporate board rooms, exclusive retreat centers, nuclear plants, refineries, schools, charitable organizations and institutions of faith.  I boarded a navy aircraft carrier, rode sidesaddle with police and firefighters, and went underground in coal mines to work with supervisors.  Naturally, I have stories of success, failure, naiveté and courage all of which have shaped my personal and professional transformation, teaching me to honor the wisdom and worth of my unique ways of knowing as I join other thinkers in theirs. The field of organization consulting has changed both by design and out of necessity which is the impetus for this article. What are the most compelling questions that we as practitioners must consider about our approaches as business and society adapt to radical changes?  As individuals, groups, organizations and Communities of Practice, what must we mine from the outer world and what must we nurture and trust from our own interiority?

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