Bill McAllister-Lovatt, a renowned business consultant, speaker, coach and mentor with a passion for developing and expanding critical conversations and dialogue within the workplace.
What new models of leadership are required to reflect Sense of Place, aligned to values & behaviours?
Sense of Place
It is important to understand that sense of place is not just a physical /geographical situation but an emotional and attached interface to who we are. There is beautiful Welsh word “Hiraeth” which encompasses that thought, feeling, and emotion to the sense of place that we desire, feel attracted to, and connected with.
There has been much research on this topic and while I am not coming from an academic perspective it’s worth noting the vast amount of work that has been researched on this subject and how this affects our health and well being. I have been fortunate enough to work in many countries across the globe, one of the key factors was working in an environment that allows you to flourish and grow.
In the field of people-place relationships it can be seen that it is a facilitator of emotional needs and places our experience of terms of these emotional needs and at the same time represents a form of identity and social interaction.
Also, this can be defined as strength of association between the individual and specific places; fundamentally this will have an enduring impact on our lives both now and in the future.
- Operates in the background of awareness. It is difficult to assess; Shock of disruption helps to clarify what has been disrupted. A study of place attachment starts with an understanding of the disruptions of place attachment.
- Repeated interactions in specific settings including organisational locations typically result in place attachment. An emotional bond forms between an individual and a physical site.
- After the development of secure place attachments, the loss of normal attachments creates a stressful period of disruption, followed by a post-disruption phase of coping (See Diagram Below)
Therefore as part of our future well being and infrastructure, it is incumbent on all of us to define and deliver those structures that will have an effect on not just the workforce but those who can actually see the structures and organization.
Technology can now prove a huge benefit/and or detriment to this endeavour: will Smart Cities be one outcome and a leading development to our health and well being.
The office of the future may be virtual and physical. How will that be built monitored and fundamentally redesigned to mirror the new possibilities that may arise from collaboration and co-creation, and still fill the need for social & emotional engagement?
The I and The we
The I, I presume is not about singularity it is from that order where an individual can connect to the outside and inside world, also not to move in a circular fashion but in a vertical fashion in a spiral as CG Jung purports. The essence of the cognitive we, being that collective which is greater than the sum of its parts, is redefining the single I, it can show up in many different ways.
Our futures will all look and feel radically different; certainly there will be issues over the power and control of the individual and collective, the state, local, country and global. Do we wish to be controlled in a different way, will this be a form of subterfuge for us? Will the Chinese model where we’re being tracked through our phones and apps become the new norm? Will this be a definitive moment in our future dealings with others and ourselves; the effect on us will be profound. Is this now the moment for the greater good?
The systems change that will occur could be radical, benevolent or both at the same time, is it possible depending on your viewpoint? Will it be on the horizon beyond our capabilities, or could it be the top of the mountain, which will need to climb, Will this be a new staircase?
Their Values & Behaviours
So as we can see from the above, those interconnections from the I & We perspective have an intrinsic value that is reflected in the values and behaviors, so that the external and internal factors feed into the 4 quadrants.
This can be dependent on place, environment, and factors that have been brought to this situation. It is especially the case that the individual and collective, will have an historical narrate to bring which, may or may not be assimilated into the present structure/system, having evolved and included their own detail; will the emerging systems be able to include what is already present, or given the shift that is happening, will it now “focus and split” according to the situation that it readily finds itself, because the parameters that encased it are no longer there.
Edgar Schein suggests in his highly acclaimed book Organizational Culture and Leadership – “…any group with a stable membership and history of shared learning will have developed some level of culture” This then will allow us to evolve in a different way from a growth & sustainable capability.
It is interesting to note that leadership comes in many forms, what is not understood, is how to get there ?
One of the key aspects is to understand the values & behaviours in the workplace, and the complexity that lies underneath, it is often said that you need to look under the iceberg to understand what is occurring the same applies to leadership