- A Change Leader is:
— Aligned: taking the lead in – and fully committed to – creating learning ecosystems that empower every person to live for universal wellbeing
— Collaborative: leading change in an explicitly open and collaborative manner
— Systemic: committed to deepening their capacity to effect enduring ecosystemic change
- Change Leaders can represent various stakeholder groups – teachers, school leaders, parents, employers, unions, policy makers, etc.
- There are several Change Leader archetypes and it is common for a person to fit more than one archetype:
— Innovator / entrepreneur / intrapreneur: A person who leads change by launching and scaling an innovative model, process, product, idea or organisation.
— Early adopter: Someone who adopts a model, process, or product in the early stages of its development. Early adopters are essential to the spread of new approaches and ideas.
— Organisation Leader: A person who is leading an institution, network or community towards transformative change.
— Thought Leader: An informed opinion leader and recognised expert in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with compelling stories, evidence and ideas.
— Systems Expert: A person who helps Change Leaders apply systems thinking to accelerate, scale and deepen their transformation work.
— Weaver: Someone who finds and connects Change Leaders, forges trusted relationships, builds vibrant communities and effective teams of Change Leaders, and helps Change Leaders collaborate for ecosystemic impact.
- Organising communities and teams of Change Leaders – and deepening their capacity – requires a particular kind of Change Leadership that we call weaving.
- Change Leaders must learn to weave their own communities and teams – catalysing, activating, facilitating, inspiring, stewarding, curating, nurturing, fostering, and shepherding fellow Change Leaders in collaborative, systemic impact. Some Change Leaders specialise in this role and self-identify as weavers.
- Weaving is a highly complex job, involving:
— building communities and teams
— building capacity and knowledge
— building conversations and demand
- “Without active leaders who take responsibility for building a network, spontaneous connections between groups emerge very slowly, or not at all. We call this active leader a network weaver.” Krebs, V. and Holley, J.(2004). Building Smart Communities Through Network Weaving. ~ http://www.orgnet.com/.
- Adopting the vision and values of the Weaving Lab as one’s own and applying it intentionally in professional and personal pursuits to fulfill that vision. An aligned Change Leader prioritises and focuses their (and their teams’) efforts on creating learning ecosystems that empower everyone to live for Universal Wellbeing.
- Thinking, planning and taking action to create lasting changes in mindsets and mechanisms.
- Making specific changes in a system, but also thinking about the whole system, addressing root causes and long term consequences.
- Reading the current system, forecasting and backcasting.
- “A system is an interconnected and interdependent series of entities, where decisions and actions in one entity are consequential to other neighbouring entities.” ~ Welbourn, D. et al. (2012) Leadership of whole systems. King’s Fund.
- “Systems are composed of multiple components of different types, both tangible and intangible. They include, for example, people, resources and services, as well as relationships, values, and perceptions. Systems exist in an environment, have boundaries, exhibit behaviours, and are made up of both interdependent and connected parts, causes and effects… Social systems are often complex and involve intractable, or ‘wicked’, problems.” ~ from here.
- ‘A complex network or interconnected system.’ ~ from here.
- We use this word to distinguish between the dominant education system (typically thought of as including a narrow set actors and entities, including teachers, schools, universities, policy makers etc. – operating in a linear fashion – being largely disconnected and slow to change) and a new kind of learning ecosystem (more inclusive, including parents, media, unions, etc. – more complex, connected, dynamic, adaptive and emergent).
- In any neighbourhood, network or organisation, diverse actors (families, educators, employers, policy makers, culture-makers, storytellers, social workers, religious leaders, etc.) are working together to provide learning experiences that empower everyone to live for universal wellbeing.
- With everyone learning to thrive together in this way, not only is every individual learning to live for universal wellbeing, but the whole ecosystem is continuously learning and adapting for the better.
- “Learning ecosystems are entities already in existence providing directly to learners. They comprise open and evolving communities of diverse providers that cater to the variety of learner needs in a given context or area.”
- “An educational ecosystem can be defined as a dynamically evolving and interconnected network of educational spaces, with individual and institutional providers, that offer a variety of learning experiences to individual and collective learners across the learning lifecycle” – Global Education Futures report, 2018
Living for Universal Wellbeing
- To thrive together in this world, everyone must be empowered to live for universal wellbeing: to act, from moment to moment, for the optimisation of personal wellbeing (physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual) and societal wellbeing (social, political and economic) and planetary wellbeing (other species, soil, air, water).
- Thriving can be defined as everyone and everything flourishing together. It makes no sense to think of an individual thriving at the expense of anyone or anything else. A healthy cell lives in a healthy organ, in a healthy body, in a healthy family, in a healthy community, in healthy species, in healthy natural habitats on a healthy planet.
- The wellbeing of every human and of every living thing is wholly intertwined and interdependent. It is through every single action – from moment to moment – that we change the world.
- “As we move around this world and as we act with kindness, perhaps, or with indifference or with hostility toward the people we meet, we are setting the great spider web atremble. The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt.” F. Buechner