Sunday, December 10, 2006

Visionary and Practical Leadership: both/and

I've just finished writing and submitting the first of a series of approximately four articles I'm proposing for The Integralist magazine. The articles are about The Emergence of Integral Salons and require multiple articles to truly get to the depth of what's happeing in these emerging and evolving communities.

My dear friend Tom Mull, also with the SeattleIntegral Core group, and I , are also working on an article for The Integralist about how salons can use I-I's and Brian Robertson's Holacracy as a governing method, and why it's the best way to go.

The Integralist
is Ken's visionary idea of a magazine similar to What is Enlightenment?. According to Steve Frazee, the recently resigned I-I CEO, it will be more of a popular periodical as opposed to the AQAL Journal's academic focus. With I-I's current staffing and funding problems, it will interesting to see if it ever hits the streets. I am definitely holding space for that to happen and I am acting as if it will. was promised to us as part of our membership benefits to I-I.

One of the problems with visionary leadership is that it tends to over promise and under deliver. As someone who has owned businesses and managed and run others' businesses, I've learned, that to maintain credibility with your customers, you must under promise and over deliver. Make no mistake, I am an I-I customer, and if you're paying dues to support them, so are you.

In his blog Steve writes, "As CEO of Integral Institute it was my perspective that I-I should first be a healthy first-tier (conventional) business delivering second tier (post-conventional) content and services before it tried to be a second tier business, whatever that might be."

Tom Mull: "I'm inclined to agree. I know that Ken thinks that organizations can skip developmental stages (LLQ) unlike individuals (ULQ). I agree in principle, and while it may be possible, it isn't probable. I think that the basic structures of both of the lower quads have to be in place and that that will have to be a sequential development. I agree with Steve that before we become a second tier organization, we have to become a healthy first tier one (with the basic structures) thus my interest in LRQ organizational stuff."

Bingo! A vision can only be supported by practical means, or it just remains a vision. The structure (LRQ), informed by the group vision (LLQ), must be in place for the vision to come to fruition. Part of the problem is that Ken has never run organizations prior to this. He is, quite frankly, not well developed in this line (Note: that does not in any way negate his brilliance as a visionary, so before you blast me for criticizing Ken, it's not a criticism, but an observation).

At SeattleIntegral, we are working on the Core Group becoming a second-tier leadership group, while we are aware the larger SI group remains a first tier organization for now. That doesn't mean there aren't second tier people within that larger organization.

What we're seeing take place at Integral Institute at this time is an incredible learning lesson and opportunity for all of us who lead organizations, and we ignore it at our own peril.

AQAL bumper sticker by Gary Stamper

1 comment:

ralph said...


you know the trouble with you is that you're too much like ken! too far ahead of the 8-ball! i-i simply isn't ready for you or ken.

ken wants i-i to be a turquoise organization, something that doesn't exist, as well as we know, in the entire kosmos. for some time now he's been wanting the business group to come out with a text on integral business; the medical group to come out with a text on integral medicine; the ecology group to come out with a text on integral ecology; the feminist group to come out with a text on integral feminism; and so on. so far, no texts, or videos, or anthing, although there are rumors of more than 3000 pages of text that may eventually see the light of day. i guess it's hard for him to comprehend why, if he can put together books of remarkable quality just moonlighting at night, while the rest of us sleep, a group of experts can't put together a text in their field, with the aqal framework already laid out for them to simply fill in. that's just one example of his being just too damn good for the rest of us.

and you've been doing the same thing with seattleintegral and, more recently, with integralsalons. you're way ahead of where most other salons are, or, for that matter, of i-i. you're just too damn good an organizer.

if i remember correctly (somewhat doubtful), in one of your first conversations with ken, he stated quite openly (transparently!) that i-i wasn't yet ready to begin organizing some sort of umbrella for salons, but he didn't want to hold you up in any way, if you wanted to go forward with this, although he hoped you would work with i-i as much as possible.

so you got together with alex rollins and initiated isalons, i guess. while you both were busy starting that up, i-i came out with the multiplex and plans that clearly overlapped yours. you know much better than i what was going on here, but from my unanswered query of alex, i'm led to suspect that he wasn't that keen about working with i-i.

fortunately, it seems to me, you've now decided to include lynne feldman from i-i in your isalons leadership council. i just hope you keep in mind that, while i-i may be trailing behind ken's expectations, some of the salons already included in isalons are trailing far behind seattleintegral, for example, the one just a couple hundred miles to your south. there is without a doubt, imho, unmistakable pathology at work here. and, talk about a lack of transparency!

from my perspective, it would be better to work on this problem in your own backyard, before jumping on i-i.

i can understand your frustration. like ken, you're just way too far ahead of the rest of us. that's truly unfortunate that you're already getting together what sound like some great articles for 'the integralist', and we both know, given the present shake-up at i-i, there's no telling when they'll see the light of day.

i hope we can discuss this all further,