Navigating Change Icon


This element is all about the importance of relationships in change. In particular we focus on relationships from a whole person/whole system perspective where everything is defined by relationship. For ease of understanding we have identified three different themes:

Principles and Paradoxes


  • Leadership to leaderful (Workplace of Tomorrow p24, Interviewees favoured a future in which it is recognised that each of us is capable of affecting change and bringing about positive outcomes. . . .)
  • Patterning hope to help the future emerge – to be meaningfully involved with others


  • The paradox of technology – it both connects and separates (Workplace of Tomorrow p30, Innovation in an interconnected world will be through and out of relationship)

New Ways of Leading

A New Style of Leadership Corporations are designed for execution, not innovation. But as uncertainty increases in the world around us, the way we manage has to change to meet these circumstances. To apply the innovator’s method requires a new style of leadership. In the age of uncertainty, leaders are no longer chief decision makers. Instead, they’re chief experimenters who formulate hypotheses with their team, conduct experiments, and let the data speak for themselves. “We want our leaders to be coaches and facilitators, not decision makers,” says Cook.” The experiments that the team runs should provide the data to help the team make decisions so the leader doesn’t have to.” Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer, The Innovators’s Method, p36-37

Leadership as Coach and Facilitator

  • Thus the manager’s role shifts to coach and facilitator of “fast and frugal” experiments. If the manager, or anyone else on the team, says, “I think we should do X” or “I believe X”, that statement is translated into a leap-of-faith assumption, and the next question should always be, “What’s the fastest way to run an experiment to help us know whether we should do X?” “With our new focus on experimentation, our leaders should . . . nurture innovation wherever it comes from . . .
    Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer, The Innovators’s Method, p36-37
  • Leaders have to walk the talk. Key decisions they want to make should be tested as leap-of-faith assumptions. Remember, in high uncertainty, anything you believe to be true is only your best guess. (What is your leap-of-faith assumption?)
    Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer, The Innovators’s Method, p37

Leadership in Different Relationships

  • Top down / bottom up (article, Margaret Heffernan, This is Change Management)
  • Humble facilitator who is a catalyst for change and creativity (E. Schein)
  • Provides a supportive context for many voices and adaptive action (TBC)
  • Peer working (book – Oasis Foundation, PEER works)
  • Personal control supported by clarity and competence (book – David Marquet, Turn the Ship Around)

Leadership in Making a Better Future

  • . . . an effective leader’s principal asset isn’t power but the ability to make a better future feel possible, practical and meaningful. They will need the moral authority to be honest about sacrifices and they will have to resist the rhetorical allure of over-simplified fantasies.
    M. Heffernan, Uncharted – How to Map the Future Together, 2020, p317

Everything is Defined by Relationship

  • Definitions etc (F. Capra, G Bateson, etc……)
  • Social narratives (eg Nora Bateson, People Need People)
  • The need to participate and belong (book – Neil Gibb, Participation Revolution)
  • Sacred awareness providing a sense of place (TBC)
  • Symmathesy – an entity formed by contextual mutual learning through interaction – everything is defined by relationship (Nora Bateson article/blog)
  • A key part of communicating is to listen, listen, listen (TBC)