Searching For Wisdom Summary

Good day,

The following link goes to a powerpoint that presents a summary of some of the concepts that was introduced in the opening retreat for Leadership Calgary 2007.

Click here to download slideshow.

The document should be opened with Microsoft Powerpoint and it should be seen as a slideshow.

You can provide comments on this blog post.


6 Replies to “Searching For Wisdom Summary”

  1. Hey Chris, I really like the revisions to the ppt. It’s really shaping up. I’ll offer a couple more comments – give me a call if they’re confusing…

    Slides 6&7 – “What shaped you? School, Parents, Friends, etc.” I thnk the biggest influences on our lives are the ones that we aren’t even aware of – most of us are very parochial when we think about our influences – we recognize the influence of what’s immediately around us socially (friends, family), culturally, and time-wise (what has happened in our lifetimes). However, most of our habits of thought and action have been shaped by years (millennia) of experience and the thinking, prioritizing, value-formation, caring and inquiry processes of others who have gone before us. Not sure how to capture this in a pithy way in your ppt, but I think it would be helpful to get them thinking in this way and connecting it to the role the human story/culture plays in our daily thinking, action, decision making, priroity setting, blind spots, etc… – ie.., in “shaping” us.

    Slide 12 – “ability to represent thoughtscape in actionscape” – I like this better than the “memory” thing you had before but am still struggling with it a bit. I think it’s because the TS/AS dynamic is more interactive than that, and “representation” implies a more static, one-way relationship (at least to me). The extent to which you can be effective in the AS (extent of your power and control) is (short of dumb luck) entirely determined by the quality, scope and depth of your thoughtscape. Is there some way to capture the interaction a bit more?

    Slide 28 – I love the way you have used the bomb to represent a general threat, and I think that the analogy can work for some of the levels, but it seems to me it breaks down at level 5. I have been trying to think about how to rework it and haven’t come up with much, so I’ll just offer my thoughts and hopefully your creative mind will come up with a solution. I think Level 5 is all about adaptive positioning and larger frames of action — taking into account the impact of any venture on bigger frames, not just the immediate ones – which is why it’s SYSTEMIC adaptive vs. specialized — your understanding is sufficiently deep ANd broad to see the interconnectedness of everything – thereby putting you in a context in which you can more adaptively position your actions. I don’t think the bomb analogy gets at this – I mean, it gets at the idea of sacrificing for world peace, but those kinds of ideals can be held by very conventional (L3) thinkers, so it’s not getting at what differentiates L5. I wish I had a nice, easy answer – but it’s possible that some things can’t be explained in a single sentence/analogy, and I think this is one of them. Not sure where that leaves us. Maybe others can jump in with thoughts and suggestions.

    Thanks for taking this on Chris – it’s VERY fun and will be a great way to tie things together.

  2. You want me to cram everything in don’t you! 🙂 Thanks for the additional helpful comments.

    I agree that ultimately the bomb analogy does not at all capture the deeper meaning of each of the levels. I even find the level 4 representation to be unsatisfying! Now on the other hand, the bomb analogy represents only how the adaptive levels might show up in a particular scenario.

    In other words, the level 5 response is only a slice of the level 5 thoughtscape as it shows up with regards to this specific threat. (i.e. – the stickman places his level 4 bomb defusing skills in the context of a larger system that is connected with the human venture). A level 5 stickman would be concerned about the implications of bombs for the future…. hmmm… maybe there is a way for me to represent this.

    I will let my creative juices churn this one over.

  3. Ya, you’re right – I’m asking for a lot. Of course, I only do that of people I know are capable of delivering a lot 🙂 (This year I’ll be leading the “How to get what you want through flattery” learning day…). No problem if these suggestions can’t get incorporated – I certainly understand the limitations of Powerpoints! Thanks, E

  4. Chris

    Good work. Two comments.

    Slide 17, the list of thoughtscape elements is all outer directed. In addition to taking stock of the situation, the thoughtscape is also inner directed – taking stock of oneself, one’s capacities, resources, caring and responisbility.

    I agree with Elizabeth’s concerns about the level 5 approach to bomb defusing. Being prepared to die attempting to defuse a bomb would not be the most important characteristic of level 5. [You could see this at level 1] A level 5 approach would include a level 4 diagnostic [if the level 5er couldn’t do it he/she would know enough not to attempt it and get somebody in who could – circumstances permitting of course], but 5er would also be thinking about how the bomb came to be, why it is where it is and what could be done to stop more of its kind from showing up -without creating even bigger problems. If the risk of dying in an explosion was an unavoidable, the level 5er would attempt to do it in such a way that something could be learned from the sacrifice, so the next caring/responsible person would have a better chance of succeeding with another bomb of similar design. Its all about capacity development….



  5. Second thoughts…

    Being willing to face almost certain death in defense of one’s tirbal identity group is strongly built in to some people at level 1. Enlarging one’s identity group to all of humanity and being prepared to sacrfice or use up one’s life to increase the adaptive position and positioning capacity of humanity is a signal characteristic of level 5 – provided it is done intellgently.


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