The Longing for Meaningful Connection

Map of Meaning

Can the Map of Meaning enable us to become more deeply human?  This was the question I held as I reflected on the story a patient shared with me recently.

He described how he had always felt lacking in his ability to feel empathy for others as a young man. His gut feeling had been that this must be related to his sense of disconnectedness from his mother who had been incapable of showing unconditional love.
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Meeting life where it is

Our summer newsletter opened with the sentence “‘Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous’ is the new business norm.” 

So what does it take to deal with – even to thrive – in these VUCA conditions? We believe there is an ANSA to VUCA.  Agility, Non-linear thinking, Self-Organisation and Awareness.
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Summer Reading Selection

summerAhhh summer.

The promise of lazy days, quality time with friends and family, and the opportunity to delve into a good book.

Here’s a selection of what some of our colleagues at Future Considerations have been reading this summer.

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Don’t be naïve about the shift to teal

photo-1437915219556-8c287594737a (800x533)Frederic Laloux’s book “Reinventing Organisations”” is inspiring.  The new illustrated version puts across the key concepts with even greater simplicity.  It is truly wonderful to see how many people and organisations are feeling the pull of “next-stage organisations”. The core breakthroughs of Wholeness, Evolutionary Purpose and Self-management are also simple, elegant concepts.  But chainsaws and shotguns are also simple, if perhaps less elegant.  Perhaps the simplicity should come with a health warning: Naïve implementation of these approaches may be harmful to your business.
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When Teal meets B Corps: a match made for transformation?

iStock_000025546849_Medium (2) (640x457)What happens when you bring together leaders involved in two of the most transformational movements in business and organisations?

On the 16th May, in partnership with B-Lab UK, we hosted an evening to explore this question.

We brought together representatives from purpose-led organisations that stand for reinventing success in business, B-Corps and those who are redesigning organisations inspired by the next stage of human consciousness and  are characterised by the 3 principles of self-management, wholeness and evolutionary purpose, often referred to as “Teal” organisations as first outlined in Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organisations.
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Sustainable Development Goals – what can Gen Y & Z do?

SD-Goals17 Goals were ratified by 193 countries last December. 17 Goals that have the ability to change our world. 17 Goals that will affect us all. Globally.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a guiding light for us here at Future Considerations. We believe that they hold the key to so much that can be evolved for the better:  in Leadership, in our Organisations and for Society as a whole. So you can understand our excitement when we were invited to facilitate the Youth Engagement Breakout Session on 25th April at the UKSSD Conference.

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Personal reflection on Future Considerations’ journey with Holacracy

Illustrations courtesy of Ali Warner

In April this year, Future Considerations moved to Holacracy as our organisational operating system.

I wanted to share some initial reflections on this journey for the sake of learning among our community of readers – both those familiar with Holacracy and those trying to redesign their organisations in other ways to bring about agility, innovation and purposefulness, and to unleash the energy and “wholeness” of their people.
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What does Brexit tell us about Politics, Systemic Complexity and Leadership?

Image relative to politic relationships between Europe Union and United Kingdom. National flags on concrete textured backdrop. Brexit theme

The days of national economies are basically gone. It’s debatable how controllable they ever were. We live in a world of interconnected financial systems, global trade and transnational corporations. Of course, no politician will readily admit that they have almost no control over the economy. And I’m talking about the national politicians of most countries.
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Meaning… A simple antidote to organisational change fatigue?

map_of_meaningFact. Organisations need to be adaptable, and resilient to change, in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world. However, despite best efforts to plan and manage change thoughtfully, 70% of organisational transformation efforts fail, often caused by change fatigue. For all our theories of change and expertise on organisational change, why is this change fatigue happening?
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Organisational restructures are a waste of time

postitsHow can we successfully restructure our organisations to meet 21st century needs?

It appears this is the question predominant for the majority of HR & Business leaders globally at present. 92%* actually.

Often restructures are undertaken in order to fix some perceived problem however by the time they have been analysed, planned and implemented the problems have changed. We are in VUCA times: increasing Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity and without the context and understanding of psycho-social perspectives, the majority of organisational restructures will not succeed.
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Why should anyone care about “Teal”?

fc_teal banner_mailchimp_2 (2)Austin Reed. BHS. The world changes. Companies that don’t change slump and die.

What’s special about the changes of today? There’s an acronym for everything and the one for this is VUCA.

Volatility, Unpredictability, Complexity, Ambiguity.

It’s six years since IBM’s survey of 1500 top CEO’s yielded that 65% cited unpredictability as their number one concern.
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Where does spirituality meet leadership?

sunsetThere’s a crisis in many modern organisations:  Who are they serving? What is their essence? How should they operate?

This week reveals the most shocking analysis of how a major ‘public service’, South Yorkshire police, not only systematically covered up, for 27 years, its culpability in the deaths of 96 football fans, but how it brazenly and knowingly set up innocent others as the causes of the tragedy at Hillsborough stadium.
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Future Considerations adopts Holacracy
Future Considerations adopts Holacracy

Future Considerations adopts Holacracy

Fresh from a 2 day training workshop with the lovely Nick & Sally from Evolving Organisations, we’re delighted to announce that Future Considerations has adopted Holacracy.

We’ve always been committed to discovering the models of leadership and organisation that are most fit-for-purpose in the volatile times in which we live. And to practise them on ourselves.
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Reinventing Leadership Development

Optical illusion surrealistic portrait front with cut out profile of a young man isolated on grey wall background

Gallup research shows that, worldwide, only 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs. The statistic is shocking and means more than three-quarters of employees are wasting their time, energy, and their organisation’s resources. How can we mobilize the creativity and collective intelligence in our organisations to turn this around?

For a challenge this massive, we need more than yesterday’s mindsets and leadership development approaches.
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Future Considerations turns 15

happy birthdayI am writing this on Future Considerations’ 15th birthday (February 2015). It’s quite a milestone for any organisation – and also for me personally, as I have journeyed (personally & professionally) with Future Considerations since its early days.

At our annual gathering in December, Bill Torbert shared his model of the successive Action Logics that organisations typically develop through. Just as many believe that children, leaders, and societies evolve through developmental stages, so do organisations. Frederic Laloux provides an excellent summary of these stages in Reinventing Organisations (read more here). As we explored Torbert’s theory, a reflection on our own path over the past 15 years seemed to validate it.
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Georgian song & leadership: more related than we think.

FC_living leadership bannersFor those familiar with the work of Barry Oshry, the North American systems theorist who has dedicated his life to uncovering the limiting patterns that exist within organisations & their leaders, the words Top, Middle & Bottom may have a particular extra meaning or significance. But have you considered their relationship to UNESCO Cultural Heritage Georgian Polyphonic singing?
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Conscious Business Collaboration

Picture1It’s heart-warming to acknowledge that conscious business offshoots are alive, well and flourishing in the UK.

In the last 10 years I have had the privilege to work with many organisations and initiatives promoting more conscious forms of business. These have included the B Team, WBCSD, World Blu, Breakthrough Capitalism, Future 500, Sustainable Brands and 1% for the Planet. But what more could be done, if these organisations had the opportunity to collaborate together?
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So what’s this “Teal” organisations thing?

iStock_000025546849_Medium (2)There has been some major buzz generating about “Teal” organisations.  It started with Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organizations and has been amplified by other conversations.  One of the example organisations, the Dutch healthcare company Buurtzorg, has particularly inspired people in Europe, and its founder/CEO Jos de Blok is a regular speaker on the topic. Further boost to the volume has come from the skeptical media attention for Zappos.  But then that is to be expected with a high profile organisation trying something new. And while Laloux’s book is a brilliant start, it can be only that, and if we are to make good use of the opening he is creating, we had better understand what else is required on the journey to teal organising.
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More than a mountain to climb

teamkenyaIn April I will be climbing Mount Kenya. It is almost 5,000m high (as high as Base Camp Everest), and will take me 5 days to summit the mountain and get back down. I’ll walk in temperatures ranging from 30c to -20c and, if I’m unlucky, potentially face the perils of mountain sickness.

I will walk for up to 8 hours a day on some days and on the last day will wake up at 2am to reach the summit by sunrise. And that’s only the beginning of my challenge….
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Is Barry Oshry’s Systems Thinking Still Relevant at the Teal level?

reinventionA significant number of leaders we meet are interested in a new way of organising: one that is centred on a larger and more compelling sense of purpose than just meeting the numbers, which liberates human potential and treats people as whole human beings not just human resources.

We partner with these leaders to steward responsibly and practically this transition in their own organisation and our work spans a number of areas including Barry Oshry’s Systemic Frameworks and applying the insights from the work of Frederic Laloux and his best-selling management book “Reinventing Organizations”.
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Are Teal Organizations naturally sustainable?

penguinsDuring our research earlier this year, we identified two key drivers that limit the progression of organisations to address the global sustainability challenges.

A lack of a clear definition of what sustainability means and a strategic approach.

And a predominant organisational paradigm which “separates mind and body, subject and object, culture and nature, thoughts and things, values and facts, spirit and matter, human and nonhuman” (Wilber 1995, 4). This dualistic and reductionist approach overlooks the complexity of the sustainability challenge.
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The quality of Attention in a virtual world: MOOC MITx U.Lab

CollectiveIntelligenceCollective intelligence is very powerful face to face, but I believe we are at the edge of making it work in very interesting ways virtually. And this opens up new possibilities for collective leadership practices at many scales.  The internet is making a huge amount possible in terms of day to day global connectivity.  But it is where we are coming from and the quality of attention we bring to this connectivity that really matters.
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Leading from the Heart: the field of collective intelligence
Male anatomy of human organs in x-ray view

Image courtesy of

What does it take to lead from our full potential in these challenging times? Humanity faces a whole series of highly dynamic and interconnected challenges: social, economic and ecological. Many of the systems we depend upon are in crisis.  And this is being played out on many scales simultaneously. Yes it is an enormous challenge. But it is also a tremendous opportunity and a call to continually develop new leadership capacities.
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Mindful Nation UK Report

mindfulnationukreportToday is a turning point for the global view of the value of Mindfulness in our modern lives.

After a year of intensive research by a committed group of mindfulness practitioners, teachers, leaders and policy makers, the final report from the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG) and the Mindfulness Initiative released the “Mindful Nation UK” report at British Parliament.
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Sustainable Development Goals – Upgrading the business agenda

SDGsI have recently returned from 10 days in New York. They weren’t any 10 days. They were the 10 days around the UN Sustainable Goal Summits. I was privileged to witness the largest gathering of world leaders in history for the adoption of 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. What a buzz it was to hang out with pioneers, visionaries and Industry disruptors.

During my time, I was invited to attend various forums specifically looking at how to integrate the Global Goals with existing and new initiatives in all aspects of society: Government, Non-Government, Youth led movements, and Businesses.
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Mind the Gap between Organisational Design and Sustainability

Mind-The-GapWhy is embedding sustainability within an organisation still the ‘holy grail’ for many?

We hear many Sustainability managers bemoaning the fact that the day-to-day business managers within their organisation are not focussed on sustainability issues. It’s either not on their radar, they actively dismiss it, or they think it’s something that gets taken care of by people in the sustainability function.
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Reconsidering Leadership Development

whatisleadershipWhat is Leadership? I ask the question, as I believe that most of the time, most people, have difficulty answering this question.

The difficulty lies in that leadership is a social phenomenon, which appears differently depending on the context. Leadership within a group of fire fighters evacuating a building and dealing with a blaze, will be utterly different to that of a group of academics running a University department. Indeed, precisely what made the fire fighters effective in leadership would make these academics ineffective.
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Uncovering the Grammar of the Social Field

If you are interested in the invisible dimension of leading profound social change — and in a blend of action science and consciousness to illuminate that blind spot – then read on…” This was Otto Scharmer’s invitation on his Huffington Post blog recently. Otto went on to explain “Today, in most social systems, we collectively produce results that no one wants. These results show up in the form of environmental, social, and cultural destruction. The ecological divide (which disconnects self from nature), the social divide (which disconnects self from other), and the spiritual divide (which disconnects self from self) shape the larger context in every large system change today.
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Could Teal be the new Green?

It is old news: the planet is in crisis. The signs and warnings can be ignored, but the consequences are increasingly unavoidable. The media, though it may dance between the arguments of climate change affirmers and deniers, nonetheless presents a gloomy, foreboding future. So you could be forgiven for skipping this article thinking that it is yet another fear-mongering, guilt-inducing polemic. But hear us out: we are introducing a promising organisational approach that we believe can heal the rift between businesses and the planet.
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Communities of Practice: it’s about loving the work

I recently had the privilege of working both with my colleague, George Pòr and the NHS in Yorkshire and Humber on a project involving the establishment of a network of Communities of Practice (CoP’s). George is an expert in introducing CoP’s in Europe and the client in the NHS was hungry to learn.

Communities of Practice (CoP’s) break through the traditional boundaries of organisations to bring together those with a deep knowledge and passion for their work. Whilst, in the instance of our NHS client the context was health and, ultimately improving the experience of care for patients, the context for a CoP can be anything from heavy industry to research labs or retail. What is at the heart of the approach is that the people involved have their own strong motivation to be part of it.
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