The keynote address was delivered by Richard Hames, a corporate philosopher. Notes and observations from Hames' address:
Leadership is changing and needing to change—in response to a major transition occurring in the world. We are moving from industrial economism (which has sustained the world for the last 300 years) and a new world order. Population growth is putting huge pressure on “life critical” systems, systems initially created to sustain order in our society. These included the economy, trade, production and distribution of food, cleaning drinking water, education, and the law.
The occidental lens, through which most world systems have been developed, is no longer valid. Systems are beginning to fail. Extreme events (weather, for example) are fundamentally changing life on the planet. The pressures being exerted and the emergent failures are now creating opportunities for change, particularly in the leadership arena.
The emergent change is that we are starting to exit the CEO (competitive business achiever) meme, and to enter a “community” meme, where shared purpose (collaboration) will begin to prevail over the accumulation mindset. Hames said the vehicle to lead through this transition are the “the five literacies of leadership”.
Hames’ talk was interesting, and the five literacies coherent. However, the talk seemed to assume that the CEO meme is inherently flawed (ie: selfish and subject to corrupt practice) and must be replaced. This troubles me. Cannot CEO and community memes co-exist?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.