The Leadership Sphere aims to contribute to the community and society in significant ways by working with individuals, teams and organisations.
Leadership is the engine that drives so much in our organisations and society in general.
While leaders have an important role to play in terms of creating successful, high performing organisations, they also need to be cognizant of the interdependent outcomes for society.
Many have said that being successful requires a focus on both short term results and longer term sustainability, particularly how that success contributes to all important stakeholders – the customer, shareholders, employees and the community.
What Are We Doing?
We support the Ardoch Youth Foundation and have been Diamond Sponsors of the Financial Markets Foundation for Children. TLS facilitators are actively involved in delivering Facing the Challenge workshops through The 100% Project and Circus Oz’s High Flying Teams.
We are also actively involved and on the Board of MusiKarma – an initiative that aims to provide music programs, education, training and opportunities to young people who are disadvantaged through their life circumstances.
Are you a CEO or executive of a not-for-profit organisation?
The Leadership Sphere aims to support the community through the provision of professional services (e.g. coaching, consulting and group facilitation) at significantly reduced rates. Please contact us to register your interest.
Research in Sustainability and Organisational Longevity
In a groundbreaking book and article (The Living Company, Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Mar/Apr97, Vol. 75, Issue 2) Arie de Geus, former head of planning for Shell, says:
“If you look at them in light of what they could be, however, most commercial corporations are underachievers. They exist at an early stage of evolution; they develop and exploit only a small fraction of their potential. Consider their high mortality rate. By 1983, one-third of the 1970 Fortune 500 companies had been acquired or broken into pieces, or had merged with other companies.”
In his study, they found 30 companies scattered throughout North America, Europe, and Japan that had managed to survive and prosper over a long period of time. The companies ranged in age from 100 to 700 years. And 27 of them had reasonably well documented histories, including DuPont, W.R. Grace, Kodak, Mitsui, Sumitomo, and Siemens. As we all know, corporate history mostly consists of self-congratulatory books and articles written by people in the company itself about the virtues of the chief executive. The data are not always reliable. Nevertheless, we believe that those histories gave us some insights and that we learned something valuable from our study.
What do the extraordinarily successful companies have in common?
Here’s the summary:
- Conservatism in Financing
- Sensitivity to the World Around Them
- Awareness of their Identity
- Tolerance of New Ideas
- Valuing People, Not Assets
- Loosening Steering and Control
- Organized for Learning
- Birds that flock learn faster
- Shape the Human Community
- The living company is a river company
- In the living company, members know “who is us,” and they are aware that they hold values in common
- In the living company, the essence of the underlying contract is mutual trust
- Living, learning companies stand a better chance of surviving and evolving in a world they do not control