Many leaders have considerable skill in breaking things down. That is in the problem solving tradition they cut their leadership baby teeth on. Find the parts, test the parts, fix the ones that aren’t right and reassemble. Does reassemble offer us a clue as to what is required to achieve the kind of integrating skills that leaders need? I think it might suggest that there is a step beyond reassembling. That step is testing.
Testing provides an opportunity to see if all of the work with the parts has resulted in the creation or recreation of a satisfactorily functioning whole. In the case of the kinds of issues leaders must deal with it is critical to help them test from an integral perspective. How does the change relate to their own aspirations, values, beliefs, etc.? What does the change mean for their own actions, their behavior? What are the implications for the culture of the system? What are the implications for how the system functions?
Questions like these are probably somewhat commonplace. Others that really help push the opening for integrating include:
- What are the implications for your own self-management, your own learning, the relationship between what you say is important and the actions you are taking?
- What are the implications for your own alignment with the culture of the organization, of the large network it is a part?
- What are the implications for how your actions integrate with those of others to foster the effectiveness of the system?
- What are the implications for the evolution of the system, itself?